What happens in the 26th week of pregnancy in the baby and the mother?

By (embryologist) and .
Last Update: 01/23/2023

In the 26th week of pregnancy the baby continues, little by little, to increase in size and gain weight. It will be very special to see how his movements can already be perceived from outside the woman's abdomen, which will become a beautiful moment to share.

Pregnant women may experience some discomfort, such as an increased urge to urinate (which may even make it difficult to get a good night's rest) and some swelling, especially in the legs.

The baby in the 26th week of pregnancy

The baby in the 26th week of pregnancy measures about 23 cm (from head to buttocks, i.e. not counting the length of the legs) and weighs about 900 grams.

Your skin is still a little translucent, but it looks a little smoother because of the subcutaneous fat you are accumulating, which will help you maintain your body temperature outside the uterus. She is getting more and more hair on her little head and her eyelashes are starting to grow.

On the other hand, it is possible that the baby will open its eyes in this week. In addition, she may already be able to detect sounds inside the uterus and the woman may begin to notice how the baby moves in response to certain stimuli. Fetal movements, at this stage of pregnancy, can perhaps be perceived from the outside, because the maternal abdomen moves.

The baby will be asleep for a good part of the day, which the pregnant woman will be able to identify because she will not notice any movement. However, at other times the baby's movements will be very noticeable. The specialist may instruct the woman on how to record her baby's movements.

Her lungs begin to produce surfactant, a substance important for the lungs not to collapse when breathing, and she will gradually acquire the ability to make breathing movements, as training for when she must do so outside the uterus.

Maternal symptoms in the 26th week of pregnancy

During this period of gestation, the woman will notice an increased urge to urinate because the growing uterus presses on the bladder. The pregnant woman may even have to get up at night to urinate, which will contribute to sleep and rest difficulties.

However, other symptoms and discomforts that the pregnant woman may notice in the 26th week of gestation include:

  • Pelvic pain.
  • Swelling, especially in legs, feet, ankles and hands.
  • Night cramps and varicose veins in the legs.
  • Stomach acidity and reflux.
  • Increased vaginal discharge.
  • Constipation and hemorrhoids.
  • Stretch marks.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions, different from labor contractions because Braxton Hicks contractions are irregular and do not increase in frequency or intensity.

In addition, the breasts will also increase in volume (so it will be necessary to wear a maternity bra of appropriate size) and the breast areolas will increase in size and acquire a darker tone.

Finally, it is important to see a doctor in case of symptoms such as pain or stinging when urinating, as it may be a urinary tract infection (frequent in pregnancy). In this way, if the urinary tract infection is confirmed, the specialist will be able to prescribe antibiotic treatment to the woman to avoid possible complications.

Medical check-up for the 26th week of pregnancy

The screening test for gestational diabetes, the O'Sullivan o'Sullivan testis usually performed from the 24th week of gestation.

Therefore, in the event that this test has given an altered result, it is possible that in the 26th week of pregnancy the pregnant woman will be subjected to the oral glucose overload test or long curve test. This test is used to confirm if the woman has gestational diabetes and its duration is 3 hours. It consists of an initial blood test to check the blood glucose level at basal fasting. Subsequently, the pregnant woman should drink a solution containing 100 g of glucose and wait at rest for 3 more blood draws: at 60, 120 and 180 minutes after having taken the glucose preparation.

Therefore, in the long curve, 4 blood draws are performed at different times. If 2 or more values are altered, the pregnant woman has gestational diabetes and should be monitored by a specialist.

On the other hand, the pregnant woman's blood pressure will be checked during the different consultations. In this week, there may be a slight increase in blood pressure that will be monitored, because if it rises too much it may be related to a gestational complication called preeclampsia.

Finally, week 26 may be a good time to perform a 3D ultrasound to see the baby's face.


As throughout pregnancy, the diet during the 26th week of pregnancy should be varied, balanced and basically made up of healthy foods. Similarly, it is important to maintain proper hydration to avoid problems such as constipation (along with adequate fiber intake) and urinary tract infections.

However, to avoid other discomforts such as heartburn and reflux, small frequent meals are recommended.

Exercise adapted to the stage of pregnancy is always recommended, when not contraindicated by a specialist.

Finally, if stretch marks appear, the best thing to do is to properly moisturize, using specific creams or oils to reduce them during pregnancy.

FAQs from users

What can cause a hard belly in the 26th week of pregnancy?

By Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez B.Sc., M.Sc. (embryologist).

In the 26th week of pregnancy, a woman may notice Braxton Hicks contractions. These are contractions that are different from labor contractions and may feel like the belly is getting hard.

To distinguish them from true labor contractions, it is important to know that Braxton Hicks contractions can be uncomfortable, but not painful, are irregular and do not increase in frequency or intensity.

Is it possible for my baby to have hiccups in the 26th week of pregnancy?

By Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez B.Sc., M.Sc. (embryologist).

Yes, the pregnant woman may notice small jerks, which correspond to her baby's hiccups inside her womb. However, this is completely normal, as it serves as breathing training for the baby.

Does the baby move little in the 26th week of pregnancy?

By Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez B.Sc., M.Sc. (embryologist).

The baby's movements may be less noticeable, as the baby's increasing size makes it less and less able to move freely in the uterus, but these movements are more intense. However, the baby is still moving at 26 weeks gestation.

However, there are several ways to monitor fetal movements and the woman should do this control in the manner indicated by the specialist who is managing her pregnancy. If you detect a decrease in the baby's activity, you should go to the hospital so that they can check that everything is all right.

Suggested for you

If you are 26 weeks pregnant, this article may be very useful for you soon: What is the 27th week of pregnancy like and what changes occur?

On the other hand, if you want to know more about the preeclampsia we have mentioned in this article, you can access the following link: What is preeclampsia in pregnancy? Why does it occur?

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FAQs from users: 'What can cause a hard belly in the 26th week of pregnancy?', 'Is it possible for my baby to have hiccups in the 26th week of pregnancy?' and 'Does the baby move little in the 26th week of pregnancy?'.

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 Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez
Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez
B.Sc., M.Sc.
Graduate in Health Biology from the University of Alcalá and specialized in Clinical Genetics from the same university. Master in Assisted Reproduction by the University of Valencia in collaboration with IVI clinics. More information about Silvia Azaña Gutiérrez
License: 3435-CV
Adapted into english by:

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