What’s going on?
At Week 26, your baby will start to open his/her eyes – although it may be a couple of weeks more before he/she can catch a glimpse of the surroundings more clearly. What’s more, those kicks and jabs are starting to get stronger now!
Baby at Week 26
Your baby measures approximately 35.5cm and weighs 750g this week, which is about the size of a scallion. Now that he/she has grown bigger in size, his/her movements are also getting stronger – your spouse and older kids should be able to feel them with ease when they touch your belly.
Chances are, your baby is in a breech position (with his/her head up) right now as this gives him/her more legroom in your pear-shaped uterus. Although still wrinkly, your baby is now almost halfway through to his/her expected birthweight. His/her spine is getting stronger, and is now capable of inhaling, exhaling and even crying.
The network of nerves in your baby’s ears has developed further and is now more sensitive to sounds. He/she can hear both your voice and your spouse’s as you chat with each other, and even respond to them through his/her movements.
Your baby’s eyes, which have been closed for the past few months in order for the retina to develop, are starting to open right about now. With this new development, your baby will be able to see what’s going on around him/her (although there’s not much happening in your womb). If you were to shine a torchlight at your belly, your little one might respond by kicking.
What is mum up to?
You are now two-thirds of the way through your pregnancy and your uterus is 2.5 inches above your belly button. Speaking of which, have you noticed that your belly button has transformed from an “innie” to a protruding “outie”? Starting from the middle to the end of the second trimester, your ever-increasing uterus will swell up to a point that it pushes your abdomen forward, which makes your belly button pop out. This should revert to an “innie” a few months after delivery, although it may still look stretched out. But in the meantime, having an “outie” means that you’ll have a chance to give your belly button a good cleaning out.
Apart from the change in your belly button, your growing uterus also brings about aches and pain to your lower back. The extra weight you are carrying creates more tension for your muscles and joints, which can put a strain on your back when you walk, stand or sit for long periods. Opting for a warm bath or applying hot compress might bring some relief, as well as maintaining a good posture during the day. Other remedies that can help ease the pain in your back include:
- Avoiding activities that require you to bend over
- Taking breaks when sitting or standing
- Sleeping on your side with one or both knees bent with a pillow between your legs, and supporting your belly with another pillow
Top tips for Week 26
Preeclampsia, a serious health condition caused by high blood pressure during pregnancy, often occurs in the third trimester – but it may happen earlier, which is why it is important to be aware of the warning signals.
Do call your doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Swelling in your face
- Puffiness around your eyes
- Swelling of your hands
- Excessive or sudden swelling of your feet or ankles
- Rapid weight gain (more than 2kg in a week)