Week 26 of Your Pregnancy
Though you’re already taking notes on childbirth and babycare, remember to take it a day at a time. In week 26, your baby will undergo significant growth and brain development. Be sure to consume enough DHA!
Have you been shopping for maternity wear? You must be busy dressing your bump, because there’s a lettuce-sized fetus inside you! If you're a working supermom, this is a good time to talk to your employer about your maternity leave plans. Read on to find out what changes are happening to your little one!
Your baby responds to your voice when you speak. You might be able to feel the pull in your stomach more often now. The eyes of your baby have matured and it can distinguish between light and darkness. His hearing is also evolving. His spine is stronger, and his lungs are continuing to mature. He yawns and stretches in your belly with a length of about 35 centimetres and weight at about 760 grams.
Relax and don't be too tensed up! Now is the time to prepare a birth plan so that you feel prepared for and confident about your baby’s arrival. This will help ease some of your worries.
Good Fat Facts
Have you heard of AA and DHA? They are two long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, or LCPs in short, that are vital for your baby’s development. These are part of the omega 3 and omega 6 family of fats3. Even after birth, DHA contributes to your baby’s brain and eye development through your lactation.
Mums who take extra DHA during pregnancy were found to reduce their risk of preterm delivery and increase the birth weight of their babies5,6. This explains why DHA comes up in almost every mum talk!
Sources of Good Fat
It’s important to include good sources of LCPs, particularly DHA, into your diet both before and after pregnancy. Experts recommend an extra daily dose of 100mg to 200mg of DHA during pregnancy and lactation7.
For a healthy intake of LCPs and DHA, eat 1 to 2 portions of oily fish weekly, such as mackerel, sardines, fresh tuna and salmon. Don’t eat any more than this though – these foods contain pollutants and mercury. Do also avoid foods such as offal and liver.
For more omega-3 fats, work nuts, seeds, dark green vegetables, rapeseed oil, wholegrain cereals and soya products8 into every meal! For more snack ideas, consider:
- Mackerel on a slice of wholegrain toast
- Grilled salmon with steamed vegetables
- Salad made from apples, celery and walnuts
- Salmon fishcakes with a baby spinach salad
- A handful of nuts and seeds
- A bowl of wholegrain cereal
- A soya milk fruit smoothie
1. Murkoff H, Mazel S. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. 4th ed. London: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2009. p. 261.
2. Deans A. Your New Pregnancy Bible, The experts’ guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. 4th ed. London: Carroll & Brown Publishers Limited, 2013. p. 43.
3. Brenna JT, Lapillonne A. Background paper on fat and fatty acid requirements during pregnancy and lactation. Ann Nutr Metab 2009;55(1-3):97-122.
4. European Food Safety Authority Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies. Scientific opinion: DHA and ARA and visual development. EFSA Journal 2009;941:1-14
5. Carlson SE et al. DHA supplementation and pregnancy outcomes. Am J Clin Nutr 2013;97(4):808-15.
6. Imhoff-Kunsch B et al. Effect of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid intake during pregnancy on maternal, infant, and child health outcomes: a systematic review. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol 2012;26(1):91-107.
7. EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition, and Allergies (NDA); Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for fats, including saturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids, and cholesterol. EFSA Journal 2010;8(3):1461.
8. Gandy J (ed). Manual of Dietetic Practice. 5th ed. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell. 2014. p. 759.
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