Pregnancy Week 26

Now that you're 26 weeks pregnant, your baby is becoming more stable. Learn more about her development as well as how to deal with several pregnancy-related discomforts including sleep positions, Braxton Hicks contractions, and uncomfortable intercourse.

Week by week baby size image. Week by week baby size image.

How big is baby?

Your baby is nearly as long as a zucchini. Her eyebrows and eyelashes are well-defined; plus, she has more hair on her head this week.

Baby's Length: 14.02in.
Baby's Weight: 1.68lb.
Fetus at Week 26 What the baby looks like at week 26 of fetal development. Med ART Studios Explore More

Baby's Development

Once baby reaches 26 weeks, she will settle into a distinct sleep-wake pattern. You may notice that sometimes she's very active and kicking or punching, and other times she sleeps. If you're lucky, these patterns will mimic yours.

Baby Week 26

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As you come to the end of the second trimester, the developing fetus is just under 2 pounds and about the size of a large zucchini.Your developing fetus continues to practice breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid.The fetus's immune system, including the lymph nodes, thymus and spleen, are rapidly developing, a process that started during the early weeks of development.
Week by week baby ultrasound image. Week by week baby ultrasound image. American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine - AIUM.org

Week 26 Ultrasound

Hi, Mom! This image reveals a close-up look at your unborn baby's nose and mouth. It's almost as if her face is pressed up against a window.

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Watch Baby's Growth

What Week 26 of Your Pregnancy is Really Like

Mom's changing body

By now, you've probably gained around 15 pounds, and possibly even more, depending on your pre-pregnancy weight. It may sound like a lot and you may not be loving your pregnancy size, but remember it's a necessity. Also, much of the weight can be attributed to the weight of your baby, an increase of blood and fluid volume, your expanded uterus, larger breasts, the placenta, and amniotic fluid. 

Weekly Tip

Edema -- aka the swelling of your hands and feet -- may make it hard to get your rings on and your shoes off these days. In fact, 75 percent of pregnant women experience this side effect. The excess fluid in your body often causes your hands, legs, ankles, and feet to swell. Be sure to drink lots of water to try to flush everything through your system. Support stockings can also help prevent swelling.

Pregnancy Confidential Podcast

Is Breast Always Best?

If pregnancy felt a little like a dream in the early days, at 26 Weeks it definitely feels like reality: you're sporting the belly to prove it and you're probably well aware of there being a real, live baby inside with every somersault you feel. This real baby has gotta eat when he comes out, so now's a good time to think seriously about how and what you'll feed him. You've heard it a million times: breast is best. But is it always? In this week's podcast, we take a look at the formula/breast milk debate to help you think ahead about your little bub's nutrition.

This Week's To-Do List

Must-Reads