pregnancy-week-by-week

26 weeks pregnant

You and your baby's development

What's happening in week 26 of your pregnancy

At 26 weeks your baby is starting to practice using their little lungs all ready for D day!

At a glance

  • Your baby will start to practice breathing movements
  • As your bump grows, you might start to get hot and bothered
  • Second-hand baby equipment is a great way to save money
26 Weeks pregnant

How big is my baby at 26 weeks?

Your baby has grown a lot in the past few months, weighing around 1.6lbs, and is approximately 35.5cm long – can you believe how quickly time has gone?

If they were born early, they would now have a very good chance of survival with specialist care.

Your baby will start to practice making breathing movements at 26 weeks, breathing in the surrounding amniotic fluid, all ready for when they take their first gasps of air after delivery!

Their eyes will also start to open at 26 weeks, although their vision will still be underdeveloped but this will change over the coming weeks.

It’s possible with the increased brain activity your baby will respond to certain noises with increased activity or even increased pulse rate.

If you’re having a boy their testicles are beginning to descend into the Scrotum (a process that takes 2/3 months to complete).

Facts to know about your baby in week 26

  • At 26 weeks your baby is starting to practice using their little lungs all ready for D day!
  • When your baby is born, his or her eyes will already be 75 per cent of their adult size
  • Your baby now weights around 1.6lbs, and is approximately 35.5cm long
  • It's now possible that your baby will respond to certain noises with increased movement or even increased pulse rate

You at 26 weeks pregnant

Your nesting instinct may kick in at around five months pregnant, but what triggers this desire to clean and get organised?

According to research it’s a primal instinct going back thousands of years and is triggered by our brain telling us to ‘protect and prepare’ for our unborn baby. Nesting can make you want to do all sorts of things from cleaning the skirting boards to wanting to repaint the whole house. But do keep safe. Don’t climb overreach of lift anything too heavy and avoid the risky business of standing on a ladder so you can reach a cobweb!

You are probably feeling your baby move in different ways now as the space in your tummy is getting more and more crowded! Those somersaults and twists and turns are more likely to be solid kicks, and you might frequently see a foot or elbow shape poking out!

You can probably anticipate the times when your baby is going to be active or quiet by now, but do flag up with your midwife or GP if you are concerned you have not felt your baby move for a while.

Remember every single baby is different and there’s no set number of kicks you should be feeling. Instead, it’s about knowing what’s normal for your little one.

It is not true that babies move less often towards the end of pregnancy, you should feel your baby move right up to the time of labour, and during labour too. Never hesitate to contact their midwife or maternity unit for advice, no matter how many times this happens.

As your bump continues to grow, you might find yourself getting a bit hot and bothered, and your skin starting to itch or dry out – or it could go the other way entirely and give you a lovely crop of hormonal spots! Treat it gently, and don't use harsh chemical products to deal with any breakouts. Loose clothes, lots of cool drinks and keeping a cooling spray in your handbag should help you get through any hot flushes or sweaty periods!

Facts to know about you in  week 26

  • If you're having a boy their testicles are beginning to descend into the Scrotum (a process that takes 2/3 months to complete)
  • Oliver, Jack and Charlie are the most popular boys' names
  • Mums who exclusively breastfeed can burn as many as 600 calories a day, which may help you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight
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What to think about in week 26

If you are keeping to a strict baby budget, then buying second-hand is a fab way to save loads of money – particularly as most baby equipment gets so little use. There are loads of places to find bargains too – eBay, Gumtree, NCT sales, car boot fairs, and even for free on sites like Freecycle, or from generous friends whose babies have outgrown their newborn equipment.

Do make sure you clean everything with an anti-bacterial cleanser though, and check that any equipment has the appropriate British safety standard labelling – and if you buy a pre-loved cot or Moses basket, always replace the mattress.

Choosing the right car seat is an important decision and it can be difficult to know which is right for your needs. A Group 0 car seat is your first stop, you need one of these tiny, comfy, rear-facing car seats for your baby’s first all-exciting journey home – in fact you won’t be allowed to leave the hospital if you don’t have one. 

Group 0 seats are small, portable and cosy, they offer good protection for a tiny baby and it is essential you use one every time you go out in the car.

It’s worth reading up on the latest models around and understanding exactly what you should be looking for when choosing the right one for you as there’s lots of new things to consider nowadays like i-Size and baby’s being in rear facing car seats for longer.

Sleeping during your pregnancy is getting difficult, as your bump gets bigger and it’s hard to get comfortable at night, a pregnancy pillow could be the answer. Pregnancy pillows are also known as maternity support pillows and don’t resemble a regular pillow.

Most are body-length and gently curved so you can put one end between your knees, have it supporting your bump and even put your head on the other end.

Some also have a quilted base to go under your body to stop you rolling on to your back during the night.

Signs and symptoms at 26 weeks pregnant

Pregnancy insomnia

Getting a good night’s sleep is so important when you’re pregnant but suffering with pregnancy insomnia is not unusual and can be hard to beat. Some say it’s your body’s way of preparing for sleepless nights when your little one arrives, but ultimately it can be down-right miserable. There are some things you can do to help you sleep better including avoiding any caffeine in the lead up to going to bed. For more tips take a look at our ways to beat pregnancy insomnia on bounty.com.

High blood pressure

If you suffer with high blood pressure in your pregnancy can be quite harmless and as long as it’s checked regularly can cause you no further problems. However, it’s really important to be aware that very high blood pressure can be a sign of pre-eclampsia. http://www.bounty.com/pregnancy-and-birth/pregnancy/pregnancy-other-conditions/pre-eclampsia You should have regular blood pressure checks at your midwife appointments as it’s not unusual for your blood pressure to change during pregnancy. If high blood pressure is identified in your antenatal checks your midwife will discuss any concerns she has with you. 

Watch our videos below:

Video 1: Gestational diabetes (NHS content)

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Video 2: Preparing a birth plan 

Video 3: Caesareans explained

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At a glance

  • Your baby will start to practice breathing movements
  • As your bump grows, you might start to get hot and bothered
  • Second-hand baby equipment is a great way to save money

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