Pregnancy week by week

Baby

Toddler

Week 22 of Pregnancy


You may be feeling comfortably pregnant now as most women tend to enjoy the second trimester of their pregnancy, as most of the early pregnancy symptoms would have left them and they are not yet too big to be uncomfortable all the time.

This is a good time to think ahead to what you will need for your baby- even if, like many mums, you don’t want to start buying anything yet.  Many women put off buying baby equipment till the seventh or eighth month- but it can be very tiring then to walk round all the shops. This is a good time to think about what all you will need for your baby. You can refer to our section on new born essentials to get started!



Your body

Your uterus is now about 2 cm above your belly button. By now you must have gained significant weight. Don’t fret; this will reassure you that baby is growing at a steady pace. You will start feeling   the baby almost throughout the day. This is the time to start bonding with your baby. Each day, spend some time talking to your baby or just rubbing your belly. Also use this trimester to spend some quality time with your hubby. Once you move to your third trimester your growing belly may limit your movements. After delivery, there will be very little one on one time, or peace and quiet to spend time together.

Another common you may experience around this time is dizziness. This is caused by the increase in blood volume and growing uterus putting pressure on your blood vessels. This reduces blood flow to brain, making your head spin. However, if your dizziness persists, or if you actually faint then you need to see your doctor to make sure everything is fine. Sometimes dizziness could be a sign of anaemia, hypertension or hypotension. You can stop a dizzy spell by lying down as soon as you get dizzy. Don’t get up too quickly from a sitting or lying down position. Eat small frequent meals so that your blood sugar remains stable.

You may start to experience backaches if you have done so earlier. This is due to the extra weight that puts pressure on your back. If you are very uncomfortable, you may wear special belts to support your bump. This would give your back some rest. Ask your doctor to recommend you one. Apart from this, try gentle exercises like swimming or pregnancy yoga or pilates to strengthen your back muscles.

You may find that your shoe size has increased. This happens because the ligaments in your feet are loosening up due to the effect of the hormone relaxin.  Also, the water retention in your feet causes oedema.  So it is time to head to the shoe store and pick something up for the rest of your pregnancy.



Your baby


Your baby measures about 19cm and weighs 460 g. Now that he is not so curled up, he is measured from head to heel instead of head to bottom (crown rump length)as was done earlier. He can hear your voice if you talk, read or sing to him; you may hear some extra kicks in response. His lips, eyebrows and eyelids are becoming more distinct. His pancreas is also developing at a good pace. As his brain is developing, the sensory system is evolving as well. Your baby has started to learn the sense of touch.

Your baby may be roused from his sleeping pattern by external sounds and your movements. Even though your baby’s eyelids are fused shut, he will be making blinking movements. Your baby’s organ systems are becoming specialized for their particular function.

Your baby may be spending some of its time sucking its thumb, holding on to its umbilical cord, hiccoughing, or practicing its grasp reflex. More fat is being laid down this week and your baby doesn’t look as translucent as it did a couple of weeks ago.


Remember

Keep yourself hydrated.  Fluids will help your body process nutrients, keep up your blood volume and help regulate your body temperature. You should aim to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day during your pregnancy. Drinking water may also aid with other common pregnancy problems such as headaches, uterine cramping and bladder infections.



FAQs

1) Is it normal to get abdominal pain during pregnancy?

Lower abdominal pain can be due to stretching of ligaments around your uterus. It is referred to as round ligament pain. As your uterus gets bigger, the muscles and ligaments supporting it stretch to accommodate the growing uterus. This stretching can cause pain, especially when you change positions or cough. These mild aches are normal and will persist throughout your pregnancy.

Try to avoid positions that induce these cramps. Resting comfortably with your legs stretched can also ease the pain. However, if the pain is very severe or accompanied by bleeding or other unusual signs, contact your doctor immediately.

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