From week 26 studies have indicated that the foetus can respond to touch now. You may even notice a reaction to a bright light aimed at the uterus. This indicates good optic nerve function.
Your baby weighs approximately 1.6 pounds and measures around 14 inches (36cm) from head to toe. During pregnancy week 26 your baby will grow to almost 2 whole pounds.
Your baby is most active between weeks 24 to 28, when small size and ample amniotic fluid allow for freedom of movement. From 26 weeks pregnant you may notice that your baby tends to jump more or startle at the sound of loud noises. This is perfectly normal. Your baby will also start to recognize your voice and that of your partner. You may even notice a reaction to a bright light aimed at the uterus. This indicates good optic nerve function. Studies indicate that the foetus can respond to touch now.
During pregnancy week 26 your baby continues to practice breathing and swallowing amniotic fluid. Many boy babies go through a bit of a growth spurt during 26 weeks of pregnancy, as their testicles start their descent into the scrotum. This process will be complete in approximately two or three days.
The eyelids have finally separated (they were fused closed previously). The eyes are developing the ability to focus, although the newborn will only be able to see objects 15-20cm away at birth.
By 26 to 28 weeks the lungs are more ready to breathe if your baby was to be born early it would have an 80% chance of survival. Your baby's heartbeat has dropped to an average of 150 beats a minute now. Boys tend to have rates below this and girls above.
At 26 weeks pregnant your uterus should be approximately 2.5 inches above your navel and will continue growing roughly 1 centimetre every week of your pregnancy. Many women will have put on between 15 and 25 pounds by this time.
This is the final week of your second trimester. You may feel a bit constipated around this time this is due to producing higher levels of progesterone, which relaxes muscle issue throughout the whole body.
Common symptoms that women can experience around this time include back pain or pressure and leg cramps. You can help alleviate some of this discomfort by stretching routinely and by eating a nutritious diet to help keep your body charged with the vitamins and minerals it needs to grow properly.
To help combat constipation increase your standard fiber intake with fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, or whole grains (such as millet, rye and wheat), lentils and brown rice. Exercise will also help, try walking or swimming.
My Experience at 26 weeks
I started feeling a really bad pain in my rib, directly under my breastbone. I thought it was indigestion at first and it just seemed to get worse. Some nights it would really keep me awake. My midwife said it was the baby pushing into my ribs. She said that because I was quite small there was not much room for my uterus to expand and this was causing pressure on my ribs. The comfort I did get was that it would go away after the baby was born but that is still a long way off yet!