Understanding your pregnancy: Week 22

Understanding your pregnancy: Week 22

A quick snapshot

If you're passing a toy store this week, then call in and check out the sizes of the dolls. Your baby is around the same size as a small doll and not so different in appearance too. At 22 weeks, your baby's eyelids remain fused and closed but it can still detect the difference between light and dark. One of the reasons why your areolas are becoming darker is to help your baby find the nipple in order to suck. Their darker contrast against the surrounding breast tissue is a marker for where to aim their mouth. It’s also why toys for newborns tend to be black and white.

What’s changing in your body

  • Your uterus will continue to grow up past your navel. You may be starting to feel a little breathless and not have as much lung capacity as you usually do. Your whole ribcage will move upwards so it's more out of the way and your bottom ribs will adjust sideways. Much like those stretchy pants you're wearing. Indigestion and heartburn are still hanging around. Go easy on the curries, despite what your cravings are telling you.
  • Keep constipation under control with lots of fibre, water and roughage in your diet. Go easy on the white, processed bread, rice and noodles. If you're really uncomfortable, speak with your doctor or a pharmacist about safe options you can take to make it easier to move your bowels.
  • You may notice your feet and ankles getting swollen by the end of the day. You could be retaining more fluid than usual and it's showing if you are standing up for long periods. Watch those shoes. Go for comfort rather than style and think about getting shoes which you can just slide onto your feet rather than bend over to do up.

How your emotions are affected

  • Mummy brain, pregnancy amnesia, foggy brain; call it what you like but it all means the same thing. This can be very frustrating and you may even end in tears some days. Try to focus on one thing at a time and then complete it before you move onto something else. Go easy on yourself; after all, you are growing a baby.
  • If you are busy you may find yourself forgetting about your pregnancy through the day and only remembering in the evenings. This is normal and no, the baby won't think it's not wanted. As long as you are looking after yourself and not doing anything too risky, things generally work out just fine.

How your baby is growing

Second Trimester: Week 22Pregnant -lady -wk -22-closeup

  • Lots more development and fine tuning with those little muscles this week. Your baby may be spending some of their time sucking their thumb, holding onto their umbilical cord, hiccupping or practicing its grasp reflex.
  • More fat is being laid down this week and your baby doesn't look as translucent as they did a couple of weeks ago. Don't fall for the old line of needing to eat extra food for the baby as well. The recommendation from experts is that during pregnancy, you only need to increase your normal intake by about 10%. That means an extra piece of fruit, a handful of nuts or a healthy sandwich will cover the extra requirement.
  • Your baby has fingernails, tiny as they are. If your baby is a girl her uterus and vagina will be in place and if your baby is a boy, his testes will be descending from his abdomen down to his scrotum.

Tips for the week

  • Plan a holiday. Now is the time to think about having a break before the baby is born and you are still comfortable enough to travel.
  • Lower back pain can be a fact of life during pregnancy and it pays to look after your spine. Take a good hard look at your mattress. If it is sagging and unsupportive it's time for a new one that will support your spine in comfortable alignment.
  • Remember to do your pelvic floor exercise and avoid repetitive, jarring exercises. Jogging and running are not ideal forms of exercise at this stage. Walking, swimming, stretching, yoga or pilates are better options.