Your pregnancy at week 26

Welcome to your week 26 pregnancy update where we outline the changes you and your baby are experiencing.

Your Baby

At week 26 your little baby is around 35.6 cm long and weighs 760 grams and is now developing the blinking reflex as she is now also able to open her eyes. Studies have shown that when a torch or strong light is shone against a mother’s belly, the baby will move towards – or even away from – the light.

In fact, your baby is developing most of the reflexes they will have at birth while they grow inside you. These include the startle reflex – baby will fling her arms and legs out at the sound of a sudden noise – and a sucking reflex where she will suck her thumb or fingers. Your precious baby will also be born knowing how to automatically do things like dive (her lungs have a reflex to automatically seal off if baby is under water, though this reflex is lost as baby grows older), suck, grasp, and turn her cheek to suckle.

Your baby may develop a new habit this week – sucking her thumb. Her hand will still remain clenched for large portions of the day, but she can unclench and stick out her thumb. Your baby has the coordination to figure out how to get her thumb in her mouth. If she likes the comfort from sucking, she may well make it a habit.

The foetus now has distinct sleeping and waking cycles. You may find a pattern; at certain times of the day your baby is very active, while at other times he or she is asleep. In addition, all five sense are now fully developed.

Just like adults, all babies are different and develop at varying rates in the womb. This information gives a general idea of your baby’s development and progress.

The Mum update

Your baby’s eyes might be adapting to the watery and dim world she is growing up in, but the actual true colour of her eyes won’t develop until she is born – eyes need light to develop the colour. Research shows several genes determine baby’s eye colour and it’s impossible to predict eye colour just from the parents – so you can guess all you like, but you won’t know baby’s final eye colour until she is at least a few months old!

You will by now have heard your baby’s heartbeat at a few of your LMC visits – how reassuring is that! If you don’t know the sex of your baby you might like to take a guess based on the old wifes tale of fetal heart rate – if the rate is over 140 beats per minute (bpm) it’s likely to be a girl. Below this, more likely to be a boy. There is no scientific evidence for this theory but it’s a bit of fun to test.
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