Pregnancy Week 22

As you pass the middle of your second trimester, you and your baby are growing at a rapid but even pace. There must be many noticeable changes in the physical appearance of a Mom. The saddening stretch marks, irking vaginal discharge and uncomfortable belly balloon may make you depressed at times. No worries as these feelings are perfectly normal.

Remember, that you have got this immense power to create a new life within you. So, with so much strength handling these tiny issues is not a big deal.

Just cheer on, and see what your baby is doing in there.

Growth and Development of Baby

By this week, the baby is invading more and more space of uterus as continuously growing in size. Weighing about a pound and measuring 11 inches, your baby looks like a miniature newborn. The eyebrows and eyelids are becoming distinguishable. The eyes are also fully formed and are placed at their right position. The colored pigment of eyes, iris, still lacks pigment. The nose and ears are also fully developed and ears are functional too.

With all these developments, your baby has developed his sensory system very well. He has got that sense of touch and now he is rubbing his hands, legs and torso. This week your baby is busy in sucking its thumb, playing with umbilical cord, hiccupping and practicing in grasping power along with sleeping and kicking around.

As more and more fat comes under the skin, the baby does not look as translucent as he used to look a couple of weeks before. However, to provide more fat to the baby, don’t fall for extra fat. You just need to take 10% extra to ensure complete nutrition for baby.

If you are living in an area having high fluoride content in water, it may benefit your baby as he or she is developing tiny tooth buds under his gums. The baby is still in the process of developing fatty tissues beneath the skin which will soon make him look like a complete baby. The baby’s wrinkled skin is covered with fine hair called lanugo.

The spinal cord is getting protected with the vertebrae forming a long chain that narrows down with a slight outward curve. The liver has started its function and is producing several enzymes. The various enzymes are required for the breakdown of bilirubin which is a by-product of RBCs break down. A fetus produces more of bilirubin which is filtered out of the body through mother’s liver via placenta.

If it’s a boy, his testes would be descending out of the body from abdomen down to his scrotum while girls must have settled their uterus and vagina in place. You must have noticed that a few babies have large genitals at the time of birth. This is due to pregnancy hormones. But they will soon settle down to normal size.

Changes in Mother’s Body

  • Feeling hard to catch the breath? As your uterus grows, it continues to rise past navel. This reduces your lung capacity which can make you feel breathless. However, body organs know very well how to adjust. To let lungs have more space, whole ribcage move upwards and bottom ribcage move sideways. Isn’t it great to find that your body is as stretchable as your pants?
  • The uterus is growing by leaps and bounds, the belly is becoming bigger and bigger but this is not so. There is something else also which needs more space now, your feet. Have you noticed them lately? Your feet must have grown by one or two size. Though, a little bit of foot growth is attributed to the pregnancy swelling called edema but there are other reasons too. The relaxing hormone, which loosens ligaments and joints around pelvis, also causes its effect in feet ligaments. This causes bones to stretch and spread slightly making your feet size longer and broader.
  • The relaxing hormone can’t keep itself confined to its localized areas. Along with softening the pelvic ligaments, it is also relaxing the digestive tract muscles. As the muscles relax, the digestion process becomes sluggish which can result in heartburn and indigestion. There is nothing much you can do except going easy with your diet. Fall for salads, curries and fruits rather than settling your cravings with white, processed varieties and spicy foods.
  • The weeks old problem of constipation still lingers on. Include more and more fiber and roughage in your diet. Drink plenty of water. You can also take help of your doctor to suggest safe options for easy bowels.
  • Many of the second trimester problems like back pain, increased vaginal discharge, nasal congestion and gum sensitivity would continue in this week also.
  • Your uterus might start practicing labor through occasional warm up contractions called Braxton hicks contractions.
  • Scatter brain or foggy brain, whatsoever it is, it must be leaving you in tears at times. Try to focus on things one by one. The external and internal body changes, the new emotions and responsibilities may make it difficult for you to perform well in multi-tasking.
  • As the second trimester is quite comfortable as compared to the previous one, there may be days when you are too busy to think about your baby and pregnancy. You can remind of this fact only in the evenings when you become free from all the tasks. This may put you into guilt, but believe that this is perfectly normal. Your baby does not want you to remember him every moment. The only priority is that you must take a good care of yourself. As long as you are doing so, everything would be normal.

Prenatal Check up

This month, you would probably be going for your regular prenatal check up. Your doctor may inform you for the upcoming glucose screening test which is done to check for gestational diabetes. This is pregnancy diabetes which develops during pregnancy only and disappears with the birth of the baby. This test is probably done around 24th to 28th week of pregnancy.

Some Tips to Consider

  • Avoid bending down directly. This may cause back strain and can also put pressure on your uterus. Sagging and unsupportive mattress can further add to it. A comfortable alignment while sleeping is very important to support your spine.
  • Don’t forget your pelvic floor exercises. Though, jarring exercises, jogging and running are not ideal you may opt for walking, swimming, stretching and yoga.
  • Lying on your back is not advisable as it hinders the sufficient circulation of blood. Try sideways sleeping as along with giving you comfortable postures to sleep, it will also enhance blood circulation to you and your baby.
  • As your baby has developed good sense of hearing, make sure that you are reading, talking and listening something good. If you have time, try reading some religious books to inculcate good habits in him. Yoga and meditation are also good practices to develop a healthy individual.

Some nice things to do

  • Have start thinking about baby names? Not yet? Well, you can start working on that from now. Your baby’s name is one thing which you are giving him for the rest of his/her life. So, won’t you want it to be perfect? While thinking over baby names, you have to consider a lot of things like gender, family’s choice, religiously good, relevant meaning, cuteness, easy pronunciation and uniqueness. It may take some time to decide one name which fulfills all requirements. Start preparing a list soon.
  • If you haven’t planned a holiday yet and want to go for one, do not delay further. This is the perfect time for making such plans as you must be feeling healthy, lively and energetic except for some small pregnancy problems. Once the baby is there, you may have to wait for another year at least before planning a trip anywhere so, why not take advantage of this baby-free time and enjoy your pregnancy and holiday together.
  • Have you tried tub bath? Lying back in water and observing your tummy would be a fun for you. The rolling movements, quick jabs, poking and some kind of electric sensations in your bladder are some wonderful things; you will observe when your baby is active.

Hang on mommies! This is not enough. You would soon be experiencing new symptoms, emotions and changes. Just wait for the surprises ahead.