illustration of developing human baby at 26 weeks

26 weeks pregnant

For more information about week 26 in a twin or multiple pregnancy, tap here.

Here you are in week 26, with your second trimester drawing to a close! You and Baby are getting closer to your due date every day!

How’s Baby?

Baby is almost fourteen inches tall (31.5 cm), and weighs about 2 pounds (913 g), the size of an adorable butternut squash!

Most of Baby’s bodily systems and functions are now intact, although they need plenty of time to develop and grow. And while this may sound like a broken record, Baby is still spending lots of time building fat that will help them regulate their body temperature.

Baby’s eyes are starting to open, so they’ll be more responsive to light now. Their ears are hearing the sweet sounds of familiar voices, but prolonged exposure to loud noises can cause damage.

Now is usually the time when your OB provider will mention starting some regular kick counts. These are daily check-ins with your baby to make sure they’re moving as expected. Baby’s movements are one of the best signs we have of their well-being. Many people choose to do them each day right after a meal and some good hydration. Lie down in a comfortable position, and turn down the noise so that you can concentrate. Most people will get 10 movements (anything but hiccups count) within an hour. Talk to your provider about whether it’s time to start this or other recommendations they may have.

What’s new with you?

As you move ever closer to your due date, you’ll likely gain more weight or just notice the growth of your bump. You may also notice your breasts start to feel heavy or leak.  Rest assured, not all people leak or feel fullness as there is a wide range of what is normal. And many folks experience restless leg syndrome (RLS) during the third trimester. If this affects you, you can try cutting down on caffeine, using compression stockings, or taking magnesium supplements (though be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about adding any supplements to your diet). You may also start to experience more difficulty sleeping as a result of hormones, physical changes, and baby moving! 

Braxton Hicks or practice contractions may also appear or continue as you move closer to your giving birth. They can be frustrating, but are totally normal. Sometimes it can be tricky to tell the difference between Braxton Hicks and real labor contractions. Braxton Hicks are usually irregular contractions and can change or end if you shift your position, take a shower, rest or drink water. Most importantly, they don’t change or dilate your cervix. If you aren’t sure whether the contractions you’re feeling are the real thing or not, it’s better to be safe than sorry — give your healthcare provider a call and let them know what you are feeling. Having more than 4-6 contractions in an hour at 26 weeks is a sign you need some support!

Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team
Read more
  • A R Hayward. “The human fetus and newborn: Development of the immune response.” Birth defects original article series. 19(3):289-94. Web. February 1983.
  • “Differentiation of the gonads.” Embryology. Human Embryology, n.d. Web.
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. “Fetal development: The 3rd trimester.” Mayo Clinic. Web. June 30, 2020.
  • Committee on Obstetric Practice. “Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Number 548.” American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Web. Reaffirmed 2020.
  • “Vital Considerations in Treating a Pregnant Woman.” Pregnancy and RLS. Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation. Web. 2015.
  • “Sleeping By The Trimesters.” Sleep Foundation. National Sleep Foundation, n.d. Web.
  • Mark A Curran, M.D. “Fetal Development.” March 31, 2019.

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