26 Weeks Pregnant

14 Weeks to Go!
Baby is as big as kale
Updated May 31, 2024
Fact Checked by Elizabeth Bryson

Key Takeaways at 26 Weeks Pregnant

  • Did you "fail" the one-hour glucose screening? You’re probably scheduled for the more conclusive three-hour glucose tolerance test. You’ll drink that sweet concoction again and have your blood drawn multiple times. If you fail this one, your doctor will diagnose gestational diabetes. You may be able to control it with diet changes, or medication may become necessary. Either way, you’ll be watched more closely during the duration of your pregnancy.
  • You may have gained close to 20 pounds at this point—give or take. What’s more, your belly will grow about a half an inch each week. (Basically, when you walk into a room, your bump leads the way!)
  • Feel baby kicking and jumping and wiggling? Talk to them! They can hear you and may respond to the comforting sound of your voice.

Baby is interfering with your sleep, messing with your memory and even giving you a stress headache or two at 26 weeks pregnant. When they say moms-to-be have 40 weeks to get ready for baby, they don’t just mean buying gear. You also need to mentally prepare for a newborn to become the center of your attention. And at week 26 of pregnancy, baby is giving you some practice in that department.

Video Highlights at 26 Weeks

Watch Week 26 Highlights

3D Views: My Baby, My Body

See their progress for yourself with our 3D interactive tool.

Baby at Week 26

Baby is getting their immune system ready for life on the outside by soaking up your antibodies. And baby's eyes are forming, and their eyes will soon start to open, if they haven’t already. Can you believe your 26-week fetus has already grown eyelashes? Soon, they’ll start batting them. (Aw!)

Baby is reacting more and more to stimulus, including reacting to bright lights, the sound of your voice (which they may now be able to recognize) and to pokes and prods through your belly. So even if you can’t take a peek inside your belly, you can still play with baby!

While baby is several weeks away from taking their first breath of air, your little one’s lungs are starting to produce surfactant, which is a substance that lets the air sacs in the lungs inflate. It also keeps the air sacs from collapsing and sticking together when they deflate.

How big is baby at 26 weeks pregnant?

At 26 weeks pregnant, baby is as big as a head of kale. Your 26-week fetus measures about 14 inches and weighs about 1.7 pounds. They’re developing senses, features and even talents. Wow!

What does baby look like at 26 weeks in the womb?

At 26 weeks pregnant, pictures of baby are probably not in the cards, so you’ll just have to imagine what baby looks like right now. Baby is still working on putting on weight to get adorably chubby, and their eyes are looking around, though there’s not enough pigment in the iris to determine eye color quite yet.

Baby is still working on putting on weight. At this point, they still probably look quite wrinkly, but they’ll continue to gain weight at a steady pace over the next 14 weeks.

26 weeks pregnant is how many months?

Twenty-six weeks pregnant is six months pregnant, though pregnancy is generally tracked by week, not month. At 26 weeks pregnant, trimester two is nearly over. Get ready for the final stretch.

26 week ultrasound

You’ve probably got a couple weeks until your next prenatal appointment and typically there is no 26 weeks pregnant ultrasound, so you’re probably itching to find out what’s going on inside your 26 weeks pregnant belly. Here’s a look: Baby is taking breaths—of amniotic fluid, not air. It’s good practice for those first moments after birth!


Pregnancy Symptoms at Week 26

Your 26 weeks pregnant symptoms are mostly discomforts—and are steadily getting more uncomfortable as baby grows and your body begins to make changes to get ready for childbirth.

Trouble sleeping

Yawn! The closer you get to your due date, the tougher it might be to get some rest. Watch your caffeine intake, stay hydrated and get a little exercise (take walks!) to help your body settle down at night.


You might not like the puffiness, but it’s normal to have some mild swelling around week 26 of pregnancy. But it’s important to watch out for swelling that’s severe or sudden, which could be a sign of a dangerous condition called preeclampsia. Call your doctor if your swelling seems worrisome.


These are often due to hormone fluctuations or stress. But you can also get headaches if you’re hungry or dehydrated, so continue taking care of yourself and baby by eating at least every few hours and keeping a glass of water by your side for frequent sipping.

Pregnancy brain

Is it getting tricky to remember stuff? That may be a physiological symptom of hormone fluctuations, but it also might be because, well, you’ve got quite a bit on your mind.

Braxton Hicks contractions

Notice your belly occasionally feeling really tight? It could very well be a Braxton Hicks contraction. Don’t freak out—your muscles are just flexing to practice for labor. As long as the contractions aren’t steady or severe, they’re run-of-the-mill. Tell your doctor if the contractions are painful or don’t stop; those are signs of preterm labor.

Higher blood pressure

A slight boost in blood pressure is normal at 26 weeks pregnant. If your doctor sees too high of a boost, though, they might have you monitored more closely. That’s because hypertension—a systolic reading of more than 140 mm Hg or diastolic reading of more than 90 mm Hg—could be a sign of preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome. These potentially dangerous pregnancy complications would need to be addressed right away.

What to expect at 26 weeks pregnant

At 26 weeks pregnant, you’re hopefully still feeling pretty good physically and able to enjoy interacting with baby inside your belly. You might be starting to feel a little anxious about birth, though. If you are, start thinking seriously about what you hope for your birth experience. Remember that you can’t plan exactly what will happen, but you can make plans for many of the possibilities.

Your Pregnant Belly at 26 Weeks

By 26 weeks pregnant, you’ve probably gained about 16 to 22 pounds—or about 27 to 42 pounds if you’re 26 weeks pregnant with twins. When you touch your 26 weeks pregnant belly, you’ll notice the top of your uterus is about 2.5 inches above your belly button. Your belly will keep growing about a half inch each week for the rest of your pregnancy. At 26 weeks, baby size and belly size are likely starting to feel unwieldy, so don’t forget to take it slow.

Why does baby move so much at night?

It’s not uncommon to hear people say that their 26-week fetus is most active at night. In fact, the majority of babies in utero are active in the evening or at night! Though it’s not exactly clear why this is, scientists believe that fetuses are working on developing circadian rhythms, even in the womb. So if baby has decided that bedtime = partytime, take heart in knowing you’re not the only one being kept awake by their own baby.

You may be wondering if there’s a way for you to get ready for those 28 week labs that include the glucose test. Some of my patients ask if there is a diet they should follow before taking the test, and my simple answer is no—we want to know how your body responds to your actual diet to know how it’s affecting the baby. Everyone has different genetics, body makeup and risk factors, so take a deep breath.

MD, an ob-gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies

Tips for 26 Weeks Pregnant

Here are some things you can do this week to take action to live your best life.

Start asking loved ones to get vaccinated

Any loved ones who will be in close contact with baby need to get an updated Tdap vaccination. You might find that older loved ones may brush this off, saying that they never did that when you were little, but hold firm. Things change, and this is important.

Time for a safety check

You may be enjoying a baby shower sometime soon, or gifts may start to roll in from friends and family. Yay! Just keep in mind that people aren’t always savvy about checking updated safety standards, so you may have to go through to make sure gifts (and especially hand-me-downs) are safe for baby. Graciously return or exchange anything that doesn’t pass muster.

Start talking

If you haven’t started talking to baby yet, now’s the time to get chatty. You can read books, sing songs or just narrate your day so baby has a chance to enjoy your voice. Loved ones can also talk to your belly so baby can learn their voices too.

Keep up with exercise

In all honesty, getting your exercise is only going to get harder as your belly grows. For now, you’re probably still feeling pretty spritely, so use that energy while you have it and get whatever exercise you can.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I treat hemorrhoids during pregnancy?

Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins under the skin around the anus that can cause itching and bleeding. And, sorry to say, they’re quite common in pregnancy. There are a few things you can do to get relief, including applying a witch hazel-soaked cotton pad to the affected area. Also do what you can to keep your stools soft: try eating plenty of fiber and staying well hydrated.

Why am I getting sudden blurry vision during my second trimester?

You can chalk it up to the usual culprit: hormones. Hormones that support baby’s growth during pregnancy can cause fluid retention—and that can change your eyes in ways that could blur your vision. Possible eye changes include an altered shape or thickness of the cornea, the transparent part of the eye that covers the iris; lower-than-usual tear production, which can impact how well you see and increased pressure inside your eyes. The good news: This should all get better after baby is born. Keep in mind that blurry vision can be a sign of serious pregnancy complications like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, so it’s a good idea to flag symptoms with your doctor during your next checkup.

When and why should I start doing kegel exercises?

Kegel exercises are movements that work your pelvic floor, a muscular area that supports your pelvic organs, including your bladder, uterus and vagina. Kegel exercises contract those muscles. You can start doing Kegel exercises whenever you want, including before and during your pregnancy. Doing them regularly is the best way to get stronger down there. Strengthening these muscles can lower your risk of bladder leakage after you give birth and even improve your sex life.

How can I pass the three-hour glucose test?

The three-hour glucose test is used to detect gestational diabetes. It’s usually given if you failed the one-hour glucose screening. It’s crucial to follow your doctor’s instructions before taking this test. It’s usually a fasting test, which means you have to stop eating a certain amount of time before the test is taken. However, check in with your doctor for their specific directions on taking the test. Suffice it to say, there’s no cheat to help you pass the test. You want accurate results so you and your doctor can create a plan to keep you and baby healthy.

What does spotting mean in the second trimester?

Spotting during any part of your pregnancy can be alarming, but you don’t need to panic. It could be due to a range of factors, including interference with your cervix during an exam or even sex. If you’ve never experienced spotting before and you have it now, talk to your doctor about it.

After taking a birthing class, I was able to understand more about how to create a birthing plan and what I did and didn't want for my experience. I remained open to the idea that my birth plan may not work out exactly as I wanted, but I felt more confident having it written down!

Katie M., mom of one


Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.


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Christine Greves, MD, is an ob-gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Orlando. She earned her medical degree from the University Of South Florida College Of Medicine

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Definition & Facts of Hemorrhoids

Cleveland Clinic, Blurry Vision While Pregnant

Nemours Kids’ Health, Week 26

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