By this point, your baby’s eyes are developed enough for them to see and react to light outside of your belly. You might also start to feel the pressure of the baby and pregnancy weight gain.
Lights out, please
In week 26, your baby’s tastebuds on the tongue and in the cheeks are fully developed! Your baby will also begin to open their eyes and the retina will start to form. Research shows that babies will start to react to light, so if you shine a flashlight onto your belly, you should feel the baby move away from the light. Pretty cool, right?
At the end of week 26 of your pregnancy, your baby measures around 34 centimeters head to toe and has passed the 1-kilogram mark!
Running to the bathroom – again
In the beginning of your pregnancy, we warned you that you could get an increased urge to use the powder room – not because the baby or the uterus was pressing on your bladder, but because the pregnancy hormone hCG would make your kidneys work harder to get rid of waste in your body.
Well, guess what. The time has come. From now on, it is your baby and your uterus pressing down on your bladder! Your body also stores more fluid during the day, which then naturally finds its way to your bladder during the night, so prepare to get your sleep interrupted by bathroom runs. But of course, if you want to find a positive angle, consider this training for the many, many nights of interrupted sleep to come.
Remember to do your pelvic floor exercises, because the pressure and weight of your baby will only increase from here; But remember, the further along you get in your pregnancy, the more common pregnancy–related incontinence becomes. Around 50% of all pregnant women experience leakages – especially in the third trimester – and pelvic exercises only go so far.
By now, you’ve probably started to notice a little weight gain. Very generally speaking, most pregnant women gain between 10-13 kg over the course of their pregnancy, but some women gain up to 20+ kgs, especially with twin pregnancies or if mom was petite or underweight before the pregnancy. Most of the weight gain happens in the second and third trimesters. You might be wondering: where does all that weight go? Your baby will probably weigh around 3.5 kilograms at birth, which only accounts for a small part of the overall weight gain.
Well, the weight gain in your body during pregnancy is distributed all over your body:
- Your growing uterus
- The amniotic fluid your baby is swimming around in
- Your added blood volume (remember, a pregnant woman can have up to 60% more blood in her system)
- Added fluid volume as your body holds onto water
And of course, you are also gaining fat, but this is a good thing! Your body is storing fat to prepare you for breastfeeding.