If you are 26 weeks pregnant, you'll find that your mobility is becoming more limited as your belly becomes bigger. Hang in there! It won't be long now before you'll be able to hold your baby in your arms.
Pregnancy signs Week 26
Your belly button protrudes
Before you even pop, your navel will do so first. Don't be surprised if you notice your belly button beginning to protrude. As your uterus grows, it's pushing your abdomen forward — your navel included. While some women become very conscious about it, know that a bulging belly button is perfectly normal among pregnant women. Give it time, and it will return to its regular state after you give birth.
Even if you're watching what you eat, it's inevitable for you to gain weight — you need to add the pounds for a healthy pregnancy! Just make sure you're well within the healthy weight gain bracket. Check your BMI and if it falls under normal pre-pregnancy, you can gain about 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy.
Possibly due to hormone fluctuations, headaches are quite common during pregnancy, and if you were prone to them before you got pregnant, chances are you'll also have them more often in this stage. Try getting some air or meditation to counter this symptom.
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Elevated blood pressure
You already know that your blood production increases during pregnancy, but you might be surprised when you see your blood pressure become slightly elevated ('slightly' being the operative word). If the change is too drastic, or if your blood pressure goes over 140/90 during pregnancy, that's a red flag for preeclampsia, and your doctor will want you monitored closely.
Don't be surprised if even at a young age, you may experience bouts of forgetfulness at this point in your pregnancy. Mommy brain is real, but not in a bad way. It only means your mind is getting used to having a lot to think about now that you're so close to having a baby to care for.
When you're sore and achy from top to bottom, front and back, it really becomes a challenge to find a comfortable position that could help you fall asleep. It's called pregnancy insomnia, and it's going to get worse as you get near your due date. Some of the thing you can do to help you dose off faster at night are: getting light exercises during the the day, limiting fluid intake before bedtime, and avoiding caffeine in the afternoon.
It's not you, it's the pregnancy — and don't worry. With your core shifting, an added weight in your midsection, and other physiological changes happening all at once, it's normal to feel a bit off. Be extra careful to avoid accidents.
Round ligament pain
You might already be getting used to it by this time. As your expanding uterus stretches, you'll feel the pull around your lower abdomen and your back. Do a few stretches, distribute your weight evenly between your two legs, and do a bit of walking to ease the pain.
Your baby's sense of hearing has been his primary sensor for weeks now, but by week 26, he could actually open his eyes (and will have grown eyelashes)! What a milestone!
Your baby can inhale and exhale
Part of the development of healthy lungs is inhaling and swallowing small amounts of amniotic fluid, which your baby will begin doing starting week 26. It's also a way to develop his breathing skills which he'll need once he's born.
Your to-do list on Week 26 of your pregnancy
Consider attending birthing classes
Some birthing classes require that their attendees be at least six months pregnant, so that makes you qualified. These sessions often cover not only topics on pregnancy and childbirth, but also other things that you'll find useful such as caring for a newborn, breastfeeding, and safe sleep, among others. (If you're thinking about enrolling in one with your partner, here are a few things to keep in mind.)
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Start putting together a birth plan
You may think it's too early to do so, but before you know it, you'll be giving birth already. Don't know where to start? Here's a guide to help you.
Finalize where you plan to give birth
Whether that's a hospital, a lying-in clinic, or at a birthing home, find out the rates, check out the facilities, and ask questions pertinent to your delivery.