Your baby has now reached the size of a sweet dumpling squash and can sense light and sound. You’re gaining weight, your nipples may be leaking colostrum, and you may be experiencing Braxton Hicks.
22 Weeks Pregnant – Fetus
Your baby is getting bigger and bigger, now measuring 10.5 inches / 26.7 cm, the size of a sweet dumpling squash, and weighing 15.3 oz/434 grams. The delicate facial features are more distinct now. The eyes have formed, but the eyelids are still fused shut and the irises still have to develop pigment. Baby already has distinctly formed lips, and teeth buds are growing beneath the gums. The brain and nerves are rapidly developing.
Your baby still has to put on weight, and until he does, his skin will look red and wrinkly but worry not, he will become chubby in no time. What’s more, your baby is growing some hair! His body is already covered with lanugo – soft, downy hair that will still cover him at the time of delivery, eyebrows are growing, and hair will start growing on his tiny scalp! Some babies are born bald, and others have relatively thick hair. Either is normal.
His lungs are developing rapidly, and they will begin making a protein called surfactant, which will help your baby breathe independently once he’s born.
Although your baby’s eyelids are still used shut, he can now sense light pretty well. Baby can also hear voices, and the sounds inside your body – from the rumbling of your stomach to your heartbeat. You will never get closer than you are now.
22 Weeks Pregnant – Symptoms
Week 22 has started, and hopefully, you’ve put on some weight! If you were average weight before conceiving, you were supposed to gain about 5 – 7 kg so far, that is, around 220 grams per week. Have you?
Your breasts may keep growing. Have you noticed your nipples leaking yellowish liquid? This is colostrum, the super-important substance that your baby will need in the first few days after delivery – until your “real” milk starts flowing. Some women find their breasts leaking colostrum during pregnancy, and others only see it right after delivery. Either is fine.
Your breasts are not the only part of your body that may have grown a bit. Think your shoes don’t fit? You may not be imagining things. For many women, pregnancy leads to an increase in shoe size, and sadly, this is not going to change after delivery. This happens due to the pregnancy hormone Relaxin, that loosens your joints and ligaments. its main purpose is to loosen the ligaments around the pelvic area so that the baby can come out more easily, but unfortunately, the effect is not confined to the pelvic area. Loosened ligaments cause the bones in your feet to spread. If this is your case, comfort yourself with a pair (or more) of new shoes and think no more about it, annoying as it is.
You may still be experiencing increased vaginal discharge, and may be prone to developing a yeast infection. The symptoms include redness, itching and burning, increased, cheesy discharge and odor. Do your best to avoid foods with high sugar content and do a vaginal culture to make sure it’s not bacterial vaginosis, which requires different treatment though the symptoms may seem the same (itching, burning and odor).
Hemorrhoid formation is quite common during pregnancy, mostly during the third trimester. Hemorrhoids are swollen, painful blood vessels around your lower rectum and anus. The reasons for the development of hemorrhoids are the growing pressure from your uterus on your anus, as well as pregnancy hormones and straining due to constipation and labor. Hemorrhoids usually disappear soon after delivery. To help prevent the formation of hemorrhoids, make sure you get enough fiber and fluids daily, or get a fiber supplement and/or a stool softener to prevent constipation.
If you’re experiencing sporadic, infrequent, painless cramps or tightening in your belly, you’re probably having Braxton Hicks. These contractions, also called false labor or practice contractions, usually start around the second or third trimester, though not all women experience them. As your pregnancy progresses, Braxton Hicks go from sporadic, painless contractions to frequent,strong cramps.
Feeling short of breath? The growing uterus is pressing on your lungs, making it harder to breathe. Bear that in mind when taking your daily walk, and take a rest when you feel like you might need it.
Back pain still there? Now, this one is probably going to stay with you until delivery. Mind your posture, sleep propped against a pillow and lie down when possible.
22 Weeks Pregnant – Questions
The delivery is still months away, but if you plan on going back to work, it’s best to start considering your options. What do you think will suit you best?
1. What are my Childcare Options?
It might take time to find the child care option that will suit the professional, financial and emotional needs of your family. This is a good reason not to postpone the decision until after delivery, but start thinking about it now. Would you consider being a stay-at-home parent? Your child is sure to benefit from this arrangement, but there are many factors to consider, the financial often being the first. Some parents prefer hiring a nanny if they can afford it, others prefer daycare or homecare, which is more affordable and where there is more supervision. Take your time to discuss it with your partner and do some reading.