26 weeks pregnant: Tips and nutrition
This week your baby’s fat reserves will be stored for use after birth. Clever, eh? See all the other amazing developments this week and learn how you can cope with a bigger bump.
At a glance
Take sides - avoid too much pressure on your veins by sleeping on your side
Go bananas. They contain magnesium, which could help with pregnancy leg cramps
Pillow talk - invest in a maternity pillow, it will enhance your quality of sleep during pregnancy
Keep moving - 30 minutes of gentle exercise a day can aid sleep
Baby's development at 26 weeks pregnant
Your baby at 26 weeks is now about 35 cm long, the size of a small marrow. But your darling little marrow won’t stay little for long. That’s because her body is getting chubbier as she gradually stores baby fat under her skin in preparation for life in the outside world.
Hair, nails and lashes are growing and she’s able to open her eyes. Although it’s a bit dark in there she can detect bright lights from outside. Her grasping reflex is now developed enough for her to hold onto the umbilical cord, sometimes pulling on it. Don’t worry though, it won’t hurt, in fact it’s harmless.
Changes in you and your body at 26 weeks pregnant
You’ve had a long day carrying your growing baby around, but just as you’re ready for bed, guess who decides to wake up and party? During the day your walking has rocked her to sleep. Now you’ve stopped rocking, she’s started cartwheeling!
The good news is she’ll sleep 20 hours a day, so the trick is to get quality sleep during pregnancy when you can. Here’s a few tricks to help:
- Invest in a maternity pillow – they’re worth every penny
- Trade your afternoon cuppa for warm milk with cinnamon or try camomile tea
- 30 minutes gentle exercise every day can help
- Switch off that screen at least an hour before bed
- Sleep on your side with a cushion between your knees, not your back when pregnant- the weight of baby can put pressure on your main veins
- White noise apps can lull you into sleep in no time
Discover more sleep tips here.
Nutrition at 26 weeks pregnant
Just when you thought you’d got through every pregnancy symptom there is, along come the pregnancy leg cramps. These often happen in the second or third trimester and usually hit at night. They’re nothing to worry about but they can be a pain – literally. Here’s a few tips to help:
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat magnesium rich foods like bananas
- A well-balanced diet including calcium-rich foods like yoghurt is a good idea
- Do leg stretching exercises before bed
- Put your feet up
Making the right moves
If your bump’s starting to feel tighter, it’s starting to feel tighter for baby too. Those fun acrobatics will be over soon and the usual kicks and elbows will begin. However, if you notice your baby is moving significantly less than normal, or there's a change in the pattern of movements, it could be the first sign she’s unwell. Contact your midwife or local maternity unit immediately so your baby can be checked.