Pregnancy Week 26 – The Baby’s Progress

Now, pregnancy week 26 is officially the start of your third and final trimester known as ‘the infant period’. Babies can be born at any time during this trimester but any baby born before 32 weeks will have some element of risk attached. Once you get to 30 weeks though, the viability rate reaches as high as 80-90% with intensive, professional medical care.


A smiling 26 week fetus

As your baby is currently in the middle of a growth spurt your level of amniotic fluid has risen to around 500ml (16fl oz, almost 1 pint) and the entire lot is being replenished every three hours. Your baby is much less wrinkled now and her skin is no longer translucent looking, but rather opaque in color with the arms, legs and torso having the proportions of a newborn, only smaller, and she still has just enough room to still move around. Pregnancy at 26 weeks will now see your baby’s entire body containing around 2-3% of body fat.

It is not clear why some babies appear to be more active in the womb than others. It has been suggested that some women are more attuned to it and just simply feel their babies moving more, whereas some women may not feel much at all, even when their baby does a complete somersault. As you near the end of your third trimester babies will tend to move less due to their increased size and lack of room, in most cases they will usually adopt a ‘head-down’ fetal position by that stage.

The blood vessels that have began forming in your baby’s lungs will start exchanging oxygen and circulating it in order to begin producing surfactant in the next couple of weeks. The nerve fibers in your baby’s brain are now encased in myelin, a fatty substance that enables messages to travel faster along the nerves, thus boosting her ability to learn, remember and move much quicker. All the nerve circuits are fully connected and the brain continues to increase in size. Your baby can not only hiccup and swallow but can also cough now too.

By pregnancy week 26 you should be gaining around 0.5kg (1 lb) per week now and your fundus will be nearing the bottom of your ribcage which can cause some rib pain and it forces your ribcage to expand to make room for the baby. Your 26 week fetus will measure around 12” (30.5 cm) crown to rump and weigh in at approximately 2 lbs (907 g).

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(See 26 Weeks Pregnant – The Mother’s Progress)

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