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Pregnancy at week 26

5-minute read

Your baby

Your baby will start to put on a lot of fat and muscle from now, which will help to fill them out.

By 26 weeks, your baby can respond better to the world around them. They can suck, see, hear and taste, and might move in response to you running your hand firmly over your tummy. In boys, the testicles are usually fully descended now.

Your baby’s lungs are still developing. Your baby would have about an 80% chance of surviving if they were born now and receive expert care in a neonatal unit.

Your body

As your baby grows, your centre of gravity is shifting. This means you might start walking differently and you might feel a bit off balance. Take care not to trip over.

You might also be experiencing backache and it’s caused by the growing weight of your pregnancy and hormonal changes that are relaxing the ligaments in your body. This can put a strain on your lower back and pelvis, making back pain more likely. Gentle exercise and stretching can help easy your discomfort. Talk to your doctor or midwife if you pain is severe or persists for more than 2 weeks.

From now and into the third trimester, you might start having some vivid dreams. That’s due to the pregnancy hormones and because your sleep is more disturbed. You might also find that because, for example, you need to get up to go to the toilet more often, you’re more likely to remember your dreams.

Things to remember

If you don’t know your Rhesus (Rh) blood type yet, you will need a blood test to check.

If your blood type is Rh (D) negative, and your baby’s Rh (D) positive, problems can happen if a small amount of your baby’s blood enters your bloodstream during pregnancy or birth. This can lead to a condition called haemolytic disease of the newborn in subsequent pregnancies. This condition is uncommon these days, because it can usually be prevented with injections of a medicine called 'anti-D’ for mothers with a negative blood group.

If you are Rh-negative, you will be offered an injection of anti-D at your 26-28 week antenatal visit and again at 34-36 weeks.

Talk to your doctor or midwife for more information about this test and the anti-D injection or if you don’t know your blood type.

Resources and support

Speak to your doctor, midwife or obstetrician if you have questions about your pregnancy.

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby also has more information on:

NEXT WEEK...YOUR PREGNANCY AT WEEK 27 — Learn about your pregnancy journey and what is happening to you and your baby.

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Last reviewed: August 2023

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