You are now 6 months into your pregnancy and only 3 left to go! As your pregnancy progresses and your antenatal care becomes more frequent you’ll be wondering what the point of the checks are and why they are carried out.
All of the routine checks carried out by your midwife are to ensure you are keeping good screening for any pregnancy related conditions such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia and monitor your baby’s growth and wellbeing.
It may seem a bit strange when your midwife whips out a measuring tape to measure your bump, but this is an important antenatal check that monitors your baby’s growth regularly.
What your midwife is doing is measuring the SFH – symphysis-fundal height, essentially a vertical measurement of your bump from the pubic bone (just under your bikini line) to the top of your bump (fundus).
Your midwife will ask you to lie back, propped up a little so you aren’t flat on your back and then measure in a straight line using a paper tape to determine how many centimetres long your bump is. Usually, the measurement in centimetres will be around the same as how many weeks pregnant you are – so at 26 weeks, you should be measuring between 25-27 centimetres.
Now every pregnancy is different and everyone grows differently, but overall the SFH is a great tool to keep an eye on your baby’s growth – with the midwife plotting your baby’s measurements taken at each appointment on a chart. This helps your midwife and doctors monitor your baby’s growth easily and also to note if it looks like the growth is slowing down or the baby’s growth is larger than expected.
How big is my baby at 26 weeks?
The Size of the Foetus at 26 Weeks Pregnant
At 26 weeks your growing baby is now roughly the size of a courgette but much cuter! Your baby will now be measuring around 36 centimetres in length and weigh about 765 grams.
What happens in week 26 of pregnancy?
At 26 weeks your baby is starting to react to things around them, we know from last week that baby has developed a startle reflex and is reacting to sound, but by the end of this week they will also start reacting to light and sights.
This is because your baby’s eyelids, which have remained shut, will open for the first time and your baby will start using the skill of blinking. For fun – you could try shining a torch on your bump and seeing if your baby reacts to the light shining through!
Continuing to develop this week is your baby’s digestive system and intestines. Also continue to grow and develop. The intestines are working harder and learning to absorb and digest nutrients from the amniotic fluid surrounding your baby.
Week 26 pregnancy symptoms
Round Ligament Pain
As your baby bump starts to really ramp up on growth, you may find yourself experiencing sharp twinges of pain that pass in seconds – often called round ligament pain. It’s caused by the two ligaments that are on either side of your uterus, stretching out to accommodate your growing uterus, which leads to these twinges of pain being felt by you. It shouldn’t last long and pass by quickly, but if you are worried do speak to your midwife about it.
Gas and wind
Have you felt a bit gassier than usual? Maybe even a little bloated – as strange as that may seem when you have a baby bump. It’s not uncommon to experience gas and wind at this stage in pregnancy caused by your expanding uterus putting pressure on your stomach and intestines and combined with a more sluggish digestive system.
The best way of managing this is to eat smaller meals instead of large ones, eating slowly and gentle exercise – all of which can help your digestive system work more efficiently.
Week 26 pregnancy tips
- If you are working from home or office based at a desk, you may need to adjust or change your office chair. As your body shape changes and your bump becomes more prominent, you will find that the support you need from a chair changes too. It may be as simple as changing the settings or using a footrest – but good lumbar support is essential.
- A good alternative, particularly if you are working from home and don’t want to buy a new chair, is a pregnancy/gym ball. They are a great way of sitting in a more upright position and can be quite relaxing too. Make sure you are using the right sized ball for you.
- Prepare for your next midwife appointment by writing down any questions you have – it’s hard to remember all the things you want to ask and then coming home and worrying about them. It’s also helpful for your midwife too – they won’t mind any questions you have, no matter how many or how silly they may seem – in fact there are no silly questions you can ask and midwives have seen and heard it all before, so don’t be shy or embarrassed to ask!