Your growing baby now measures 36cm from crown to heel and weighs approximately 900g. Taking daily excercise and fresh air is important for your well-being.
3D Ultrasound image of a fetus at 26 weeks gestation.
By week 26 of pregnancy the fetus weighs approximately 900g and measures around 36cm from crown to heel. This week sees the start of another growth spurt that will involve an increase in body fat as well as intensive brain, nervous system and sensory development. Sensory development continues throughout this week and the eyes, which have previously been developing under fused eyelids, are now starting to open, making fetal response to light more consistent. The same is true of response to sounds as the neural network connecting the brain and ears is now complete.
Ensuring a healthy, balanced diet is important throughout your pregnancy, but it is more important than ever at this stage as good nutrition will help your baby through the massive growth spurt and surge in brain development that is taking place now, and over the coming weeks. You should try to ensure that your diet contains foods that are high in fibre and also includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains and pulses. Your midwife will be able to provide you with information on pregnancy-related nutrition if you are unsure of which foods to eat or avoid.
Many women find that having a good night’s sleep is problematic at this stage of pregnancy. Women often find it difficult to get comfortable, suffer from indigestion and suffer with leg cramps at night. Although there aren’t any ways to eliminate these problems, it may be helpful to take daily exercise, or at least try to get some fresh air each day. Round ligament pains (abdominal achiness) is also common at this time. Although it is a normal part of pregnancy, caused by the expanding uterus stretching the surrounding ligaments, it can be uncomfortable. Taking warm baths or showers can help and also ensuring plenty of rest can be beneficial. You should also try to avoid making sudden movements that might aggravate the pain.
If you suffer from migraines, you may find that you have them more frequently during pregnancy, although some women report having fewer. If you usually take medication for your migraines, you should check with your Doctor before taking it whilst pregnant. Many women find that, if their medication is not suitable for use during pregnancy, complementary therapies such as acupuncture are helpful. Practicing meditation or yoga can also help, particularly if your migraines are stress-related. If you are taking antenatal classes, they are likely to be starting around now.
These classes are designed to give clear and accurate information about the birthing process and what to expect after the baby is born.
Although rare at this stage pre eclampsia is a potentially very serious condition. It is characterized by headaches, swelling of the legs and particularly the face, flashing lights or little black floaters in the eyes. When severe there can be pain below the ribs. There should be no vaginal bleeding or change in vaginal discharge at this stage. Fetal movements should in general be well established.
You will have a midwife check about this time. She will ask you questions about how you are feeling. She will check your blood pressure and urine for signs of pre eclampsia. She will feel your tummy and may use a tape measure to measure it. From this stage your tummy will increase in size from the top of the lump to the bottom by one centimetre per week. If she finds this is not the case you will be referred for a scan. The midwife will start to discuss antenatal preparation classes which are usually run locally.
You can be seen in a private clinic without a referral letter. You can see a midwife or a specialist to discuss any concerns you may have. You may like to book a Fetal Well Being Scan to ensure your baby is growing in line with expectations. You can have a short-notice appointment with a private midwife, which will give you plenty of time for a thorough check-up of your health and that of your baby. You can see a nutritionist for detailed advice tailored to your pregnancy needs. In a private clinic there should be more time, often better equipment and access to highly skilled expertise.
You can book private antenatal classes with an experienced midwife trained in relaxation techniques for labour.
We had received possible worrying news from our NHS anomaly scan, without much information provided or confirmation. I am so pleased that we came to The Birth Company for reassurance, as we are now extremely happy that everything is fine. Shahrzad was fantastic and went through the whole anomaly scan thoroughly, explaining everything and looking in detail at each area. Nothing was rushed and she took her time to make sure baby was in the correct position to get the best results. We can’t thank her and Dr Gibb enough for the confidence they have given us. Would highly recommend The Birth Company for all scans.
' Professional and reassuring 'Helen Campbell
The sonographer was ready as soon as I arrived, and she was extremely calming, personable and professional. The scan and blood test where efficient without feeling rushed and all very easy. These appointments can feel uneasy and make you feel anxious but I felt reassured and in professional hands the whole time
I saw Kate throughout my first pregnancy and am now doing so again with my second. She is absolutely amazing, she explains everything really clearly, and has answered all sorts of bizarre questions and worries I have had. On top of being clinically excellent she is also just the loveliest person and always a pleasure to see.Sarah Elliott
We had the harmony test with the Birth Company and had a reassurance scan with sonographer Kirsty McGarry who was absolutely lovely and really put our minds at rest. We had been scared by our NHS dating scan and left feeling like there was something wrong. We explained the situation and was treated very professionally and with good care. Also speedy appointments also as I had phone in the morning and got an appointment by afternoon. So thankful.Ashley and Tom
Really friendly, efficient service. Great experience overall. Had the Panorama. My appointment was with Kate who was absolutely fantastic. The results came really quickly. Have a comparison with private healthcare elsewhere and must say that The Birth Company was just how I would like to be treated when I pay for medical services - attentively, calmly, friendly, in a pleasant environment that doesn't look like hospital. Top marks!Anna
' Efficient, friendly and always on hand to provide last minute appointments 'Hannah Murphy
The Birth Company has been excellent, providing timely scans and blood tests during my IVF treatment abroad. Staff are always friendly and extremely efficient. I would highly recommend coming here.
' Professional and friendly 'Lyndsey Dilla
When I first contacted the Birth Company I spoke to Danielle. She was fantastic. She went above & beyond to put me at easy & make the journey from Kent as stress free as possible. Every staff member that myself and my husband have come into contact with have been approachable, professional and friendly. Kate scanned me the first time and put me completely at easy. Lisa on reception is professional and very approachable. Highly recommended
' Highly recommended 'Emelie
Donald was so lovely! I was so nervous as I have a bad history and he was super quick and confirmed my baby's heartbeat as quickly as he could. He spent time showing me the baby and the anatomy and it was the best money I have ever spent! The reception girls were lovely too - considering they deal with babies day in day out they were super excited for me! Thank you so much one and all! If only I lived in London and could have all my scans with you!