At 26 weeks, you are at the end of the sixth month of your pregnancy and are about to enter your last trimester. The little changes taking place in your baby this week are vital for him to have proper reflexes once he is born. Premature babies born during the 26th week have around 50% survival rate .
You are probably doing a little better in terms of the symptoms as you continue with a healthy diet and lifestyle along with your prenatal yoga classes. But don’t worry if you are down with terrible pelvic pain or morning sickness as your pregnancy is unique and unlike that of your sister’s or even your own earlier ones.
One important development this week is that of the immune system as your baby gets ready for the outside world by soaking up antibodies from you .
The 26th week is considered a landmark as this is when your baby starts to blink those tiny eyes  after having them sealed shut for so many months for the development of the retina . At the same time, the development of the nerves in his ears is almost complete, allowing him to hear you as well as your partner during a conversation .
The brain wave activity is settling in, with their patterns resembling that of a full-tem newborn at this stage . Apart from an increased activity level, a heightened fetal pulse rate is a common response to noises and little pokes to your belly .
This week, the fetus is about 14 inches (35.56 cm) long from head-to-heel , weighing around 1.68 pounds (762 gm), almost the size of a zucchini .
The sleep and wake patterns of your baby are getting more pronounced as he is likely to be active at night after getting some sleep during the day. In most cases, the kicks and punches become more evident when you try to get some rest . Some of them might even hurt as he is getting quite big. It is advisable to count these kicks throughout the day so any decrease in fetal movement can be detected immediately . In a few more weeks, your baby will start getting a little cramped up in the womb, with less space to perform those somersaults; but, there will still be lots of room for him to grow.
You can feel the uterus about 2.5 inches above your bellybutton at week 26 , while your belly will grow about 0.5 inch every week from this point forward . With a healthy diet and lifestyle, you should have gained 18 to 23 pounds by this week, while the ideal weight gain level for the coming months is 1 pound per week . The uterus continues to stretch out, weakening your abdominal muscles, shifting the center of gravity of your body and pressing on certain nerves and ligaments, aggravating existing lower back and hip pain .
The fetal hand co-ordination is improving steadily due to the improving nervous system, with an ultrasound scan showing your baby constantly bringing his hand up to his face .
Glucose screening, blood tests and antibody screening might be performed this week to rule out gestational diabetes or check the Rh factor . A positive result to the glucose screening generally calls for a glucose tolerance test to confirm the diagnosis for gestational diabetes .
Published on July 22nd 2014 by Pregmed Editorial Team.
Article was last reviewed on 13th August 2014.