26 Weeks Pregnant

Your baby is the size of a


When you are 26 weeks pregnant, your baby is growing and developing at a steady pace, getting ready to make their grand entrance at birth. You’ve likely had your fair share of physical and emotional changes during the first two trimesters, with more to come soon! Read on to find out more about 26 weeks of pregnancy, from fetal development to symptoms, and to learn how to prepare for the remainder of the pregnancy and the upcoming birth.

Highlights at 26 Weeks Pregnant

Here are a few highlights to keep in mind at 26 weeks pregnant:

  • At 26 weeks pregnant, your baby is about the size of a zucchini.

  • Your little one’s lungs are preparing themselves for the outside world by producing surfactant.

  • Your body might start practicing for labor during this period with Braxton Hicks contractions.

  • With your due date quickly approaching, deciding on a baby name becomes a priority. For inspiration, try our fun Baby Name Generator below:


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26 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development

Here's what's going on with fetal development at 26 weeks pregnant:

  • At 26 weeks, your baby’s lungs are hard at work, getting ready to take those first breaths once they’re born. The lungs are now starting to produce surfactant, which is a substance that helps the lungs inflate properly with each breath.

  • By now, your baby's sucking reflex is so strong that if their hand floats by their face, they might suck on their thumb or fingers. Ultrasounds around 26 weeks often show babies sucking their thumbs.

  • Your baby’s skin is starting to take on a reddish color, though it’s still slightly translucent.

  • Hair continues to grow on their head, and eyelashes are also starting to sprout.

  • If you’re eagerly awaiting the day when you can look into your newborn’s eyes, you’re a little more than halfway there. All the components of the eyes have developed now, and though the eyes have been sealed shut up to this point, in a week or two, the eyelids will be able to open, and your baby can practice blinking.

When you're 26 weeks pregnant, you may want to start tracking your baby’s movements if your healthcare provider approves. Download our fetal movement tracker to keep a count of all those little kicks, flips, and pokes.

When you’re 26 weeks pregnant, your baby’s position may change from time to time, and in the coming weeks, it will be important to pay attention to the frequency of their movements and whether they’ve slowed down. Your healthcare provider will let you know more about how to do this.

How Many Months Is 26 Weeks Pregnant?

Pregnancies are often measured in weeks, so when it comes to months, it’s common to wonder “How far along is 26 weeks?” At 26 weeks, it’s likely you’re in your sixth month of pregnancy, although the 40 weeks of pregnancy can be divided into months in different ways.

What trimester is 26 weeks? The end of your second trimester is quickly approaching! In just two weeks, or from 28 weeks onward, you’ll begin your third trimester.

Baby's Size at 26 Weeks Pregnant

How big is a baby at 26 weeks? At 26 weeks pregnant, your baby is about the size of a zucchini. They could measure about 9 inches, from crown to rump, and your baby’s weight may be nearly 2 pounds at 26 weeks.

Your Baby: What Does 26 Weeks Pregnant Look Like?

Check out what your baby may look like during this week of pregnancy:

Your Body at 26 Weeks Pregnant

At 26 weeks pregnant, your belly and breasts are continuing to grow as you gain weight and your baby grows, so you’ll want to make sure you’re dressing comfortably and wearing a well-fitting, supportive bra with wide straps and ample cup coverage. A department store or specialty lingerie shop may stock a variety of maternity bras and provide professional fittings to make sure you’re wearing the right size.

You may notice stretch marks on your belly, breasts, and thighs at around 26 weeks pregnant. Unfortunately, you can't prevent these from appearing, but you can take some comfort in the fact that they usually fade after you give birth. If your expanding skin is itchy, try moisturizing more often.

If you experience any abdominal pain or discomfort around 26 weeks pregnant, your healthcare provider may suggest an ultrasound to check the amount of amniotic fluid in your uterus.

26 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

At 26 weeks pregnant, here are some of the symptoms you may be experiencing:

  • Pelvic pain. The ligaments in your pelvis may be loosening and becoming more flexible in preparation for labor and delivery during this time. This can cause pelvic pain and lower back pain at 26 weeks pregnant. You may feel this when you sit down or stand up from a chair, or when you walk up or down stairs. Talk to your healthcare provider about how to manage and alleviate pelvic and back pain at 26 weeks pregnant using exercise, stretches, and other methods that avoid putting too much pressure on these areas.

  • Braxton Hicks contractions. Some experience these so-called practice contractions in the second trimester, though the third trimester is a more likely time for these to occur. Braxton Hicks contractions may feel like a tightness in your abdomen, or they can be a little more painful. Be aware that they’re more likely to strike later in the day and after exercise or sexual activity. Staying hydrated is one way you can help ward off Braxton Hicks contractions. If you’re unsure if you’re feeling Braxton Hicks or true labor contractions at 26 weeks, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

  • Stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety are symptoms that can crop up at 26 weeks pregnant as you start preparing for your baby’s arrival, and it’s normal to feel worried about the life changes that lie ahead. If you have a history of depression, or if you find yourself more worried or anxious than usual, talk to your healthcare provider about stress during pregnancy. Keeping up a moderate exercise routine can also help you manage stress, as can getting together with friends. Give yourself a break from time to time, too, and remember that you’re not alone.

  • Urinary tract infections. During pregnancy, these infections are not uncommon, as bacteria can sometimes make its way into the body through the urethra. Urinary tract infections can lead to more serious bladder or kidney infections if not treated. Some symptoms not to ignore at 26 weeks pregnant include painful urination, a strong urge to urinate, or a fever. Contact your healthcare provider right away. They may prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection.

How Big Is a Pregnant Belly at 26 Weeks?

As your third trimester of pregnancy draws near, you may start seeing a big difference in the size of your belly bump at 26 weeks pregnant. Your baby is putting on a lot of weight during this period, so in turn, your uterus is expanding and becoming heavier. If your fundal height (distance from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus) is measured this week, it would be around 26 centimeters.

What Does 26 Weeks Pregnant Look Like?

For a general idea of what your belly might look like at 26 weeks pregnant, take a look at the image below.

26 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

From creating a birth plan to picking out baby names, there’s a lot to consider as your pregnancy nears the third trimester. Check out our helpful list below:

  • Some parents-to-be enlist the help of a doula, who can act as a professional assistant during labor and delivery and help during the postpartum period. Though not a substitute for medically trained healthcare providers such as doctors, nurses, and midwives, doulas can offer emotional support, help you communicate effectively with hospital staff, and even help get you started with breastfeeding after delivery. If having a doula is something that interests you, ask your healthcare provider or your childbirth class instructor (and classmates) for recommendations.

  • You may wish to create a birth plan to help define what you might like to happen during your labor and delivery and to share your preferences with your birth partner and the hospital staff. What you choose to include is up to you, but it's a good idea to consult your healthcare provider while writing it, as they will have valuable recommendations and know more about what is available and appropriate for your specific situation.

    • Having a birth plan is certainly not required, and, even if you do have one, it’s important to be flexible. The birth of your baby may not go exactly according to plan. If you’re interested and would like some inspiration on what you could include, download our birth plan guide. Once your plan is finalized, share it with hospital staff and your birth partner.

  • Keep an eye on your fluids and your fiber intake. Drinking six to eight glasses of water each day helps you stay hydrated, improves digestion, and helps prevent urinary and bladder infections. It also helps ensure your growing baby gets the nutrients they need. Meanwhile, consuming enough fiber (25 grams daily) can help you avoid constipation while also reducing your risk of diabetes and heart disease. If you need to ramp up your fiber consumption, add foods like bananas, whole-wheat pasta, lentils, and apples to your diet.

  • As your pregnancy bump grows, you and your partner may be wondering whether sex during pregnancy is safe at 26 weeks pregnant. It’s always safest to double-check with your healthcare provider for advice based on your specific situation, but, if your pregnancy is progressing normally and both you and your partner feel up for it, having sex while pregnant is generally considered safe. It can also still be enjoyable and comfortable for both of you—though you may need to experiment with different positions if your growing bump is getting in the way.

  • Now might be a good time to consider taking a trip. Traveling during the second trimester is usually the best time, as symptoms may be less bothersome right now. If you plan to travel, contact your healthcare provider to get the all-clear. Take our babymoon destination quiz for some travel inspiration.

  • Although some parents-to-be might be narrowing down their list of favorite baby names, if you’re still in the browsing phase, check out our curated and thematic lists for some added inspiration:

26 Weeks Pregnant: Questions for Your Healthcare Provider

  • What is cord blood banking, and is this something I should consider?

  • When should I get the Tdap booster shot to protect my baby and me from tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis?

  • What should I do if I’m not sure whether I’m feeling Braxton Hicks or true labor contractions at 26 weeks? Who can I call if I’m in doubt and it’s after-hours?

  • How can I be sure I’m getting enough vitamin D in my diet?

  • What happens if my blood pressure gets too high?

  • Am I at risk of gestational diabetes? If you’re 26 weeks pregnant with twins, you may be at a higher risk of gestational diabetes.

26 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

□ If you’re interested, research local doulas to assist you with your labor and delivery. You can ask your healthcare provider, friends, and family to recommend someone, or you can search DONA International to find one near you.

□ If you have started working on a birth plan, go over it with your healthcare provider and ask for their input and advice.

□ Start looking for information and local resources to help with breastfeeding, such as breastfeeding classes and lactation consultants. It might help you feel more prepared if you do this research now, well before the birth of your baby.

□ If you have a pet, you might like to ask your vet whether any special training or preparation needs to take place before you bring your baby home. Ask your vet how to safely go about introducing your pet dog or cat to your baby and what precautions you should take. Remember, experts advise against leaving a pet animal alone with a baby or young child.

How We Wrote This Article The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.