Pregnancy calendar

weeks pregnant

26 weeks pregnant - what's happening

If you could see your baby, you might notice their eyelids open. They’ll soon be blinking.

Week 26 infographic.

What does my baby look like?

Their eye colour at this stage is very likely to be blue. Sometime after they're born, your baby’s eyes will become the colour they will stay.

Your baby is around 35cm long from the top of their head to their heels, which is nearly the length of your forearm - though they're is curled up in the womb. They're about the length of a courgette now.

Your uterus is still pretty roomy and you’ve probably been feeling baby move around vigorously.

Over the next couple of months your baby will be putting on more fat and muscle, and start to look a little less wrinkly and skinny and more like a little cherub.

Your symptoms - what's happening

Leg cramps waking you up?

No one knows for certain why pregnant mums are prone to cramp, especially during the night, but regular gentle ankle and calf exercises may prevent it from happening.

Try our easy pregnancy workout at home.

Are you suffering from cramps, headaches, swollen feet or indigestion?

Here’s our guide to 10 common pregnancy complaints (and how to avoid them).

Lost your keys… again?

Lots of pregnant women find they get forgetful - some people call it ‘baby brain’. If this sounds like you, keep essentials such as your keys, purse or mobile in the same place so there’s no last-minute rush to find them when you go out.

Actions to take

Maternity Allowance

If you’re entitled to Maternity Allowance, you can claim it from when you’re 26 weeks pregnant and it can be paid from 29 weeks of pregnancy.

“Even though I was self-employed, I was able to claim Maternity Allowance. It made a big difference to us. Don’t assume you’re not entitled to maternity pay - do some research.” Anja, mum of two

Breakfast club

Breakfast is a prime time to get a variety of essential nutrients for you and your baby, such as B vitamins, folate, calcium and vitamin C.

Here are 5 healthy breakfast ideas.

It’s good to walk

Even if you didn’t exercise before pregnancy, this is a great time to start, and walking is the perfect activity to start with.

You can do it whenever it suits you and you don’t need any special kit. If possible incorporate it into your daily routine - the commute to work, the school run or a daily lunchtime walk for example.

A brisk, mile-long walk (1.6 kilometres) three times a week can help keep you feeling fit.

Antenatal classes

If you haven't already booked antenatal classes, make sure you ask your midwife now. They get booked up quickly so don't miss out.

You can pay for classes through the NCT or your hospital might offer free parentcraft or antenatal classes for you and your partner.

Find out more about how active you should be during your pregnancy.

Sources

1. http://e.informationserviceforparents.nhs.uk/interface/external_view_email.php?AF10763000651340203&varId=

2. Kumar A, Srivasvata AK, Verma AK (2010) Estimation of stature by percutaneous measurements of distal half of upper limb (forearm & hand), Journal of Indian Academy of Forensic Medicine 32(4): 325–8.

3. Leg cramps, NHS Choices: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/legcrampsunknowncause/pages/introduction.aspx[accessed 12 March 2015] (last reviewed: 11 September 2014; next review due: 11 September 2016).

4. Sharp K, Brindle PM, Brown MW, Turner GM (1993) Memory loss during pregnancy, British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 100(3): 209–15: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-0528.1993.tb15232.x/abstract [accessed 12 March 2015].

5. Maternity Allowance, Gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance/overview [accessed 12 March 2015].

6. Ibid

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Last reviewed on April 1st, 2015. Next review date April 1st, 2018.

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