Week by Week Pregnancy Guide – Week 26 of your pregnancy

Here is what happens during the 26th week of your pregnancy.

You have come a long way in your pregnancy. You know about all the aches and pains of pregnancy and have probably developed your own little ways to deal with them. However, there is still some time for you to reach the labour room and there is a lot happening in your life right now.

Here are a few things you will experience this week:

False contractions: Expectant mothers start to experience false contractions, also called Braxton Hick s contractions, as early as 24 weeks and it can continue till week 26. However, not all women experience this symptom during pregnancy. In case you are wondering how it feels to experience false contractions, you might feel menstrual-cramp-like pain for a couple of minutes which will settle on its own.

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Increased fetal movement: This week onwards, you might feel an increase in fetal movements. Those somersaults, change of position, twisting and turning that your baby is doing inside the womb, gives rise to those kicks, what baby movements are usually referred to. Rapid growth and development of the baby with cramped space in the womb makes those kicks prominent. This is also an indication that your baby is healthy and is growing right with every passing week.

Aches and pains: Remember it is common to experience headaches, hand and feet pain, chest pain, lower back, pelvic and back aches during pregnancy. You might experience some of these during this week. Most of these symptoms might go away with some rest. Never try to self medicate to ease the symptoms as it can have adverse effect on the baby. Talk to your doctor if the symptoms don t settle on their own.

Protruding belly: As the uterus expands in size, many women notice the navel pop out like a belly button. However, it will get back to its normal position, few months after delivery.

Sleeplessness: Pregnancy as a whole doesn t disrupt your sleep pattern, but it is the pregnancy-induced troubles that can make a good night s sleep difficult. With all those symptoms of heartburn, leg cramps, increased fetal movements, backaches, etc., it becomes difficult for your body to get sleep at a stretch.

Apart from these, you can also experience constipation, heartburn, leaky breasts, nausea and other symptoms of pregnancy.

Development of your baby

Your baby s eyelids open: Your baby is going to attain this milestone at week 26. Your baby s eyelids had been closed for the past few months, so the retina can develop fully to help focus. Now those little eyelids will start to open, however the irises are still in the stage of development. Your baby can be sensitive to light. If you flash a small torch light on your tummy your baby might kick in response or recoil. You can try out this harmless experiment at home.

Your baby breathes through nostrils: Now that your baby s nostrils are open, there is a lot of breathing practise happening inside the womb. All this will come in handy when it is time to breathe in fresh air outside the womb.

Your baby starts to look more human-like: Fat tissues keep on developing just under the skin of your fetus, which transforms your baby from a lean-looking creature to a more human-like figure.

Your baby s hearing ability improves: Apart from developing eyelids, the network of nerves in your baby s ears is now complete, which will help in the hearing process. Now your baby can hear you and become familiar to noise in your surroundings. If you haven t started bonding with your bump, this is the right time to talk to your bump and bond with your unborn child.

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