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26 weeks pregnant

When you are 26 weeks pregnant, your baby will be developing more recognisable human features and you may notice some changes in your hair and your complexion.

Week by week stages of pregnancy: week 26

Now you are 26 weeks pregnant and your baby is growing fast. They're up by almost a centimetre from last week and will continue to grow in size and weight from now on. They now have distinct toenails, fingerprints and eyelashes as they gets closer and closer to being completely formed.

You are approaching the end of your second trimester. This is often the time people enjoy most as your bump is obviously showing, you can feel your baby kicking and your bump is not at an uncomfortable size yet. At 26 weeks pregnant, weight gain is likely to continue. 

The hormone progesterone in your body can cause changes in your hair and skin; it may be drier or oilier than usual.  There are mild preparations you can use to help get the right balance again. Getting enough rest, and moderate exercise also helps your general health and well being.

Every woman's body changes differently throughout pregnancy so just like the ‘blooming glow’ of other mums-to-be, these symptoms of pregnancy are perfectly normal. 

It’s never too early to get prepared
If you have decided to have your baby at a hospital, birth centre or anywhere else outside the home, why not start shopping for your hospital bag contents so that you'll be ready to go when labour starts.

Give plenty of thought to what you may need and ask around among friends who’ve had babies. This list could include disposable knickers (not your best set), slippers, tissues, lip balm and music. You will also need to take things for the baby such as nappies and baby sleep suits. There is no definitive list of hospital bag contents, but you can find a rough guide on our website.

Further help and information

NCT's helpline offers practical and emotional support in all areas of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood: 0300 330 0700. We also offer antenatal courses which are a great way to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby.

Join in with NCT on Facebook and Twitter - it's a great way to make new friends and stay in touch with old ones. Or joint our community for new parents on Google+ where you can connect with other parents online who are experiencing similar things.