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26 weeks pregnant

Katie de Klee
All you need to know, what changes to expect, and some great tips for the week ahead.
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5 things to look forward to this week:
1.     Your baby’s eyes are opening.
2.     Contractions – don’t worry, not real ones.
3.     Occasional headaches.
4.     Sleeplessness.
5.     Some more forgetfulness. 

How your life will change this week:
If you feel your abdomen tighten and release all of a sudden, don’t panic – you are not going into labour yet. These “false contractions” are known as Braxton Hicks contractions and have actually been occurring sporadically (and gently) since about the sixth week of your pregnancy. They are sporadic uterine contractions, and can usually be eased by long, deep breathing, drinking a glass of water or taking a warm bath. The main difference between Braxton Hicks and real labour is that in false labour the contractions don’t grow longer, stronger, and closer together.

As you get nearer to the end of your pregnancy you may find that you suffer more often from pregnancy insomnia. Try not to get too frustrated – your body is working overtime and it might be difficult to wind down in the evenings. All the hormones in your body can also affect your sleep, and if you’ve been experiencing any heartburn or leg cramps they can make you even more restless. Try to make sure you get some fresh air every day, and remember to drink less fluid in the evenings.

Your fluctuating hormones can also lead to occasional headaches, which are often worsened by stress. Remember that pregnancy can also make you forgetful (what, you didn’t remember that?) so if you find  ourself going into rooms and forgetting what you came for, don’t worry about it. Luckily, pregnancy brain is only temporary!

Your baby’s development this week:
This is the week your baby’s eyes start to open. Their eyelashes are fully formed, and you might notice your baby move inside you in response to bright lights near your stomach. They may also react to loud noises. Your baby will be going through all sorts of movements in your womb – sometimes it might feel like they are tap dancing on your belly. As your baby’s nervous system becomes more and more  eveloped, the movements will become more coordinated. As your baby builds muscle tone, the movements will get stronger. 

This week’s To Do list:
  • Start antenatal classes.
  • Discuss with your partner and your doctor what kind of birth you want to have.
If you have 5 minutes… Pregnancy top tip.
One of the best ways to feel calm about labour and childbirth is to know that you’re as prepared as you can be. Check out our Birth Checklist to see if you’ve thought of everything you need.

Curious about next week?  
Click here to find out what happens next week… And the week after.

Share your thoughts and concerns
Chat with other Moms-to-be in your area or at the same developmental stage as you in BabyGroup Forums.

BabyGroup says:
This article has been checked by Andrea Klinkenberg, Midwife. A member of the BabyGroup Medical Council.

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