Week 26 of Your Pregnancy
If you don’t know your Rhesus (Rh) blood type, you will need a blood test now to check whether your baby needs protection against rhesus disease.
That’s because if you are Rh-negative and your baby is Rh-positive, there can be serious complications for the baby. If you are Rh-negative, you will need special injections. Talk to your doctor about it.
PREGNANCY WEEK 26
Your Body at Week 26 of Your Pregnancy
More than half of all pregnant women experience swollen, itchy veins in the rectum due to the bigger uterus pressing down as well as to increased blood flow to the area. Hemorrhoids can be painful and even cause rectal bleeding.
Constipation can aggravate them, so your best bet at prevention is to increase your fluid and fiber intake and to eat plenty of fiber-rich foods, like fruits, veggies and whole grains.
Your navel may protrude
You're almost two-thirds of the way through your pregnancy and your uterus is about 2½ inches above your belly button. Beginning somewhere around the middle to end of your second trimester, your enlarging uterus swells enough to push your abdomen forward, making your navel pop out.
As your baby's nervous system becomes more developed, fetal movements will become much more coordinated. And as she gets bigger and stronger, those movements will become much more powerful and occasionally, even painful to you.
Snoring is quite common during pregnancy since increased blood flow to mucus membranes in your nose can cause congestion. But if you find your snoring is seriously interfering with your sleep, this could be a sign that you have sleep apnea, which can deprive you of oxygen, in this case talk to your doctor.
Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD)
If you’re feeling pain in the pelvic area, you may be experiencing SPD, caused by relaxed and stretchy ligaments that normally keep your pelvic joints, or the symphysis pubis, aligned. If pain is severe, consult a physiotherapist.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS)
You may feel a tingling in your legs accompanied by a strong urge to move them (usually in the night). Talk to your doctor about it. Keep a food journal, too — some women feel that a sensitivity to certain foods makes symptoms worse.
Many women experience this. Hair loss is suppressed by pregnancy hormones, you may notice that your hair feels thicker and more lustrous than ever before.
A dark line called linea nigra runs between your belly button and your pubic area. You may have darker areolas. Some women, usually those with darker-skin, notice discoloration on the face too, especially in the area around the nose, forehead, cheeks and eyes. It's called the mask of pregnancy (or melasma).
Appetite and Food Cravings
You may start feeling more hungry and may have a lot of food cravings. This is quite normal. Just so that you don't eat junk, make sure to stock your kitchen with some healthy and tasty snacks. Also, make some rules for healthy eating.
Bloating and Gas
Progesterone causes bloating, burping and passing gas. It causes the smooth muscle tissue in the gastrointestinal tract to relax. This slows down digestion, which can cause you to feel bloated. Your expanding uterus places increasing pressure on your rectum, which can disrupt muscle control and lead to the passing of gas.
These are spasms in your calves, which you may usually feel in the night time. Try to stretch your calves before going to bed, it may help relieve some pain.
Pregnancy hormones cause gum inflammation, making them more susceptible to bacteria, irritation and bleeding. While this is normal, it’s important to keep flossing and brushing regularly. Also see the dentist at least once during pregnancy to avoid gum disease.
Swelling in Feet and Ankles
During pregnancy your body tissues accumulate excess fluid that is needed to support you and your baby, this may cause swelling in your ankles and feet. Because fluid tends to pool in the feet due to gravity. Reduce water retention in your feet by avoiding standing or sitting for long periods of time — and try to keep your legs elevated when you can. Also keep yourself hydrated.
You may start seeing stretch marks around this time of your pregnancy. Many women get stretch marks, it maybe due to genetics, it may be due to rapid weight gain. Keep the area well moisturised with a pregnancy safe cream, butter or oil and keep yourself well hydrated. Try to not scratch as it may worsen the skin.
Many women have stuffy nose during their pregnancy and this is again due to hormones and increased blood volume. But, if you have a fever, coughing, sore throat, then it's probably a cold or another infection. Talk to your doctor, and eat foods high in vitamin C.
As your belly gets bigger, your lower back curves more than usual to accommodate the load, resulting in strained back muscles. Try to soothe these sore muscles by getting a prenatal massage, even from your partner, or taking a warm bath or shower.
Heartburn and Indigestion
If you’ve got a burning sensation from the depths of your stomach to your mouth after you eat, then you’ve got pregnancy-induced indigestion and heartburn. Avoid heartburn triggers like spicy or fatty foods and caffeinated drinks and ask your doctor about pregnancy-safe heartburn remedies.
Starting in the second trimester, your baby's getting bigger and bigger, and consequently, you should be too. Your growing baby is demanding more nourishment. Listen to your hunger pangs and eat when you need to; try to choose foods that fill you up and meet your nutrient needs, like high-fiber grains, produce and lean protein. Aim for slow and steady weight gain, around 2 kgs each month on average, but again it depends on your medical condition and pre pregnancy weight.
Hormones relax your bowel muscles, so they are not that efficient in moving the waste products out from your body. Add high-fiber foods to your diet, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, along with plenty of fluids, too.
Your brain-cell volume actually decreases during pregnancy. Pregnancy-induced brain fog is a fact. You may forget stuff that you had no problem remembering earlier, like maybe why you walked in the kitchen, where you placed your keys and so on. Don't worry it will get better on its own.
Swelling during pregnancy can put pressure on nerves in the wrists and cause the aching and tingling associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. If you work at a computer, take frequent hand-stretching breaks and make sure your wrists are straight and elbows aren’t higher than your hands when you’re at your desk.
Lower Abdominal Aches
As your uterus continues to expand, the ligaments that support it stretch, which may cause some pain. Occasional lower abdominal achiness is normal, but if the discomfort is accompanied by symptoms such as fever, chills or bleeding, call your doctor immediately.
Your vision may seem blurrier and your eyes drier. Vision changes are common during pregnancy. Pregnancy changes in hormones, metabolism, fluid retention, and blood circulation can all affect your eyes and eyesight. These changes are usually minor and will go away after you have your baby. Sometimes vision changes can be caused by a more serious condition, though, so talk to your doctor if you have blurry vision, double vision, temporary loss of vision, or anything else unusual.
If you find your headaches last for days, are severe and are sometimes accompanied by nausea or vision changes, they might be migraines. Inform your doctor and keep a journal of what you ate, where you were and what you were doing before you experienced each migraine so you can pinpoint the triggers — and start to avoid them.
Round Ligament Pain
The ligaments on the right and left side of your lower belly are stretching out and getting thinner. As your belly gets heavier, the weight pulls on the ligaments, causing sharp or dull pain — especially when you walk or turn to the side. Try to take some rest whenever you can.
Your Baby at Week 26 of Your Pregnancy
How big is my baby?
Your baby now measures more than 30cm and weighs about 820g. They will start to put on a lot of fat and muscle from now, which will fill them out to look more like a newborn baby.
By 26 weeks, your baby can respond better to the world around them. They can suck, see, hear and taste, and might move in response to you running your hand firmly over your tummy. In boys, the testicles are fully descended now.
The lungs still aren’t mature, but they are developing quickly. The baby would have about an 80% chance of surviving in intensive care if they were born now, but they would still need help to breathe for quite a while.
Your Baby responds to sounds
Your baby can hear your voice and may even respond to it with changes in their heartbeat, breathing, and movement. If a noise is particularly loud, your baby may startle – and you might feel your baby move. Ultrasounds have also caught changes in babies' facial expressions when they hear music.
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