At 26 weeks, your baby is now weighing in at 760g (26.808oz) and is 35.6 centimetres in length – he or she is growing at a great pace!
Your baby’s eyelids would have formed by now, and their little eyes are now open revealing eyes that are bluish in colour, however, this colour often changes in the first few months after birth.
Your baby’s development at this stage
There is a nerve network in your little one’s ears which is now better developed and extremely sensitive. Your baby can now hear you and other noises properly. He or she is inhaling small quantities of the amniotic fluid, and then, of course, exhaling it. This is a vital process for developing the lungs. These motions of breathing are also great practice for when the baby is ready to take their first breath of air. He or she is also continuing with their build-up of fat. If you are expecting a little boy, then his testicles will soon start to descend into the scrotum, this will take about three months.
Changes in your life as your baby grows
Right now, you may be rushing around as you try to attend your prenatal visits, get to your childbirth classes and, of course, get the baby’s room ready. With all of this happening, you need to ensure you are still eating well and getting enough sleep and rest where you can put your (often swollen) feet up.
At this stage, you may also experience a slight increase in your blood pressure, however, it is likely to still be lower now than before you fell pregnant. Your blood pressure will normally drop towards the end of your first trimester and will reach its lowest point around week 22 or week 24.
Be aware of the condition known as preeclampsia (toxaemia/toxemia), this will often show up at around week 37, but it can also develop earlier than this. Be sure to contact your doctor if you notice any unusual swelling of your face, a sudden or excessive swelling of your ankles or more than slight puffiness around your eyes. If you suffer from vision changes, a persistent headache, vomiting or extreme abdominal tenderness, then contact your doctor immediately as these may be symptoms of more severe preeclampsia.
Tests and what to do at this stage
You may want to write out a birth plan. This basically outlines how you would like your doctor to handle the delivery and allow you to speak to your doctor about what your options of birth are. This is also a great way to learn about labour and know what your preferences are for care.
However, labour is always unpredictable, therefore, it is vital that you stay flexible and are open to any changes that you may have to accommodate for.