What Stage of Pregnancy Is 26 Weeks
The 26th week of pregnancy is the week of the second trimester. Learn about how your baby is developing and what changes you may experience during this stage of pregnancy

At 26 weeks of pregnancy, you are at the end of the second trimester and almost at the third. Learn about how your baby is developing and what symptoms you may experience during this stage of pregnancy.

What is happening with your baby at 26 weeks of pregnancy?

Your baby is continuing to grow during this stage of pregnancy:

  • Organ systems have fully formed
  • Weight continues to increase
  • Eyes have fully developed
  • Eyebrows and eyelashes begin to develop
  • Nostrils start to open, allowing them to breathe via amniotic fluid using new muscles
  • Sucking reflex becomes stronger (ultrasounds around week 26 often show babies sucking their thumbs)
  • Umbilical cord gets stronger and thicker, intestines continue to develop, and more nutrients are absorbed by the baby

What changes are happening to your baby at 26 weeks of pregnancy?

For many women, the second trimester of pregnancy is the most enjoyable. You may be over some of the more uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy and feeling pretty good. 

However, you may experience symptoms such as Braxton Hicks contractions (false labor pains), leg cramps, mild ankle swelling, and back pain. Other symptoms may include rib pain and stretch marks:

  • Rib pain: Depending on the baby's position, you may feel pressure in different areas of your abdomen, including your ribs. Hormones, weight gain, and other symptoms such as heartburn can contribute to rib pain. You can relieve rib pain by shifting positions, practicing prenatal yoga or stretching, maintaining a healthy weight, and wearing supportive bras or bands.
  • Stretch marks: As your pregnancy bump grows, you may start to notice stretch marks. Stretch marks are very common and affect 55%-90% of pregnant women. While they are no cause for concern, they can cause itchiness or burning. Typical areas that may be affected include the breasts, abdomen, hips, and thighs. You can reduce your risk of developing stretch marks by eating healthy and keeping your skin hydrated and moisturized.

At 26 weeks of pregnancy, it is important to be monitored for signs of raised blood sugar levels, raised blood pressure, and thyroid abnormalities.

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Medically Reviewed on 5/5/2022
References
Image Source: iStock Image

American Pregnancy Association. Pregnancy Week 26. https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/week-by-week/26-weeks-pregnant/