Hard to believe, but you’re almost through the second trimester! From now until the end of your pregnancy, the good news is that you might not experience any new symptoms. The bad news is that the ones you currently have will likely become more challenging. A happy and comfortable mama is the goal—so don’t be afraid to book that spa visit, take naps, and otherwise keep up with your self-care.
Your uterus now is almost 3 inches above your belly button, which if it hasn’t already is surely to become an “outtie” soon enough. This happens because your uterus has grown large enough to push against your abdominal wall with enough force to pop your belly button out.
Normal symptoms at this stage of pregnancy include aches and pains in your joints and muscles, both from carrying the extra weight and from the hormones causing your joints to be loose, headaches (though if they are severe or won’t go away, let your provider know), cramps, and insomnia (at least in part because you can’t get comfortable at night). It’s a good idea to stay in regular contact with your healthcare provider to help you deal with any symptoms as they arise. It’s also a good idea to continue with the stretching and exercise to reduce achiness. And don’t forget drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
How is the nursery coming? At 26 weeks, you’re about two-thirds of the way through, with just 14 weeks to go to full term. If you’re still planning the nursery and shopping, make sure to read up on all the current safety recommendations for cribs, changing tables, infant car seats, strollers, and other items your baby will need. These are changing all the time, so even if you have a “perfectly good” item left over from a previous baby or donated to you by a caring friend, it’s still a good idea to take a look at current safety standards and make sure you’re covered. And remember, it’s more important to be safe than stylish.
Your baby is now 24 weeks old. At this stage, your baby is likely somewhere between 1.5 pounds and 2 pounds, with a crown-to-rump length of 10 or more inches. These weeks are likely the peak of the cartwheeling party going on in your uterus—your baby is still small enough to have plenty of room to move. In the coming weeks, however, your baby will continue growing and lose some of that wonderful space. For you, this will likely mean fewer hard right hooks to the ribs.
Also right now, your baby’s eyes are finally opening. The eyes sealed shut earlier in your pregnancy, but now they are opening and actually beginning to function. True, that’s not much to look at, but babies at this age can see light in the uterus and may even react to it. Curious about eye color? Even if there were a way to look into your uterus to see your baby’s eyes, you still wouldn’t learn much. There’s not enough pigment in the eyes at this stage to really tell eye color. As a matter of fact, your baby’s eyes might continue changing color until he or she is several months old.
“As your belly gets bigger and your center of gravity shifts, it is important to go more slowly when doing routine things like walking down stairs or carrying groceries.”
Reviewed by Dr. Jen Lincoln, April 2020