Week 22 of pregnancy

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In week 22 of pregnancy, your baby looks like a little newborn, with all the systems that are getting in place and working. The hands and feet are now moving rapidly, swallowing the amniotic acid and discharging the urine, the baby is learning practicing movements, and understanding the senses. It can now hear you and respond by swift movements. You can feel the movements more clearly now. This article will help you get a clear picture of what week 22 of pregnancy might look like and suggest tips and checklists that you need to take care of this week.

What does week 22 of pregnancy look like?

Your baby is invading your space more and more every day. This is why you might be experiencing some back pain. As the baby is expanding you might notice more visible stretch marks and your belly button will bend outwards. The uterus has expanded quite a lot from being just an organ in your pelvis to as giant as reaching your belly button at week 22 of pregnancy.

Slow and steady weight gain is recommended, gaining approximately a pound per week as recommended for normal BMI. don’t overwhelm yourself with calorie counting. Consistency is the key!

Fetal development at week 22 of pregnancy

The baby now weighs more than a pound and almost the size of a big coconut. The length between the crown and heel of the foot is 10.9 inches. 

  • The eyes and lips are more developed, with sight getting more fine-tuned.
  • The baby can hear your voice and the heartbeat and gurgling of your stomach..eeks!
  •  The baby has a sleeping cycle of about 12 to 14 hours per day 
  • The systems are now starting to function 
  • The baby is developing a stronger sense of reactions and responses.

What are the symptoms?

Foot growth

One of the common symptoms most of the women face is bigger feet. Along with your tummy, your feet might also start to get bigger. Relaxin, the pregnancy hormone that loosens the ligaments and joints around the pelvis. Ligaments in the feet loosen, the bones tend to spread slightly resulting in big feet. 

The new outie button 

As the pregnant belly stretches out in the uterus, the big belly now goes up to the abdomen, pushing the belly button out! Don’t worry after the pregnancy your belly button would go inside but you will be left with a slightly larger navel.

Increasing vaginal discharge

You might have a lot of water breakout going on, all the result of increased blood flow down there and the increasing pressure in your pelvic region.

Trouble in breathing

The increasing size of the baby, pushes all the contents of the abdomen to the opposite side. This causes pressure on the elastic lungs and women typically have difficulty in breathing due to the increased pressure.

Stretch marks 

These scars are the result of little tears in the skin due to the stretching skin. The stretches marks don’t completely go away but you can reduce them by proper skincare and consistent weight gain. It makes the the skin more elastic and there is no uneven stretching.

Self-care tips

Prep yourself for the Braxton Hicks

You might feel some contractions and pain, probably because your uterus is preparing to deliver the baby. These are Braxton Hicks contractions and they are not a matter of concern. It is your body doing rehearsal to prep itself for the big day.

Consider adding magnesium to your diet

In addition to the strengthening of the baby’s bones and teeth, magnesium also helps to enhance the enzymes functioning in the body, control the blood sugar levels, and insulin regulation. Magnesium decreases the chances of hypertension in pregnancy and helps avoid the horrible eclampsia. It also helps in the nerve and muscle growth of the child.

Relieving anxiety

The pregnancy anxiety is sure to kick in and now that you can feel the kicks, even more, a lot of thoughts would run through your mind. The realities of the pregnancy would kick in. 

Clearly, once the pregnancy becomes a visible reality, you and your partner would feel the excitement and the fear, it is a pack of experience on its own. 

Eye on the weighing scale

Weight gain is probably one of the most significant tasks for moms-to-be during pregnancy. A steady weight gain would reduce the chances of stretch marks and also create more space for the baby. For the health of you and your baby, a steady increase in weight would also help you to reduce complications. 

Related articles: Week 21 of pregnancy

Special considerations and complications

Hypertensive disorder of pregnancy

The condition occurs when the women experience the development of high blood pressure, with added complications of extreme swelling. The women who are above 35 years old or who are pregnant for the first time are at higher risk of developing this condition. It is also related to the genetic makeup of an individual and the BMI of the person. Severe cases may even have seizures and should be avoided at all costs.

Decreased fetal movements

The fetal movements are also called quickening.

The movement and the sensation of the baby’s responses might be dependent on various factors. But mother usually has a sense of the rate of the movements without counting them all the time.

If you feel a decrease in the fetal movement counts, do not hesitate and do not wait. Visit your OBGYN immediately and get your baby checked.

week 22 of pregnancy

Visit the doctor

  • During this week you might have three-part integrated screening for birth defects and down syndrome. Get it done this week or ask your healthcare provider for the best-time. This test includes ultrasound, followed by blood tests in the first and second trimester.
  • Cordocentesis is also known as umbilical blood sampling. It examines the blood collected from the umbilical cord. But this test is dangerous than amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling. It will be only done if you screen positive in the previous tests.
  • If you are at the risk of getting preterm labor aka threatened abortion, your doctor may suggest you do a fFN- fetal fibronectin screening. It is considered pretty accurate to tell about any full spontaneous abortion occurring in the next 7-10 days.

Important checklist for week 22 pregnancy

  • Continue taking your prenatal vitamins 
  • Stay hydrated
  • Have balanced and short meals throughout the day

Reference:

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