Week 22! The baby bump protrudes even more and you might start becoming sensitive to and cautious about the little everyday things around you. Some women start to move more slowly and even watch the words they use during this period. Do you feel like you are already doing so? What are the possible reasons why this happens?
22 Weeks Pregnant: Size of belly and weight gain
Moms move slowly because their bellies have become much bigger. The fundal height, the distance from the top of the pubic bone to the top of the uterus, is 21–27 cm in Week 22. The uterus is 18–20 cm long and is bigger than an adult’s head. With that big a belly getting in the way, everyday actions like tying shoelaces and squatting down can become more difficult.
When the uterus becomes bigger, it puts stress on the blood vessels, and this can lead to lower abdominal pains, dizziness, or loss of consciousness.Your body weight should ideally increase by 1 pound every week, but this range might vary depending on your physique or lifestyle. It is important that you stay in control of your weight gain as much as possible. Cultivate the habit of weighing yourself on the scales every day.
If you have already put on 13 lbs in comparison to pre-pregnancy, or if you are putting on more than 1 pound a week, you might want to watch your diet more carefully. Also, you might want to note that some pregnant moms develop gestational diabetes (also known as gestational diabetes mellitus or GDM) in the middle of pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes means you have too much glucose in your blood. Moms usually take a test for gestational diabetes between Weeks 24 to 28. Gestational diabetes can be treated with a healthy diet, exercise and in some cases, insulin shots. Talk to your doctor and remember that you can help your baby by helping yourself first with healthier lifestyle choices.
Fetus: Feeling fetal movement once a day
Almost all pregnant moms feel their babies move at least once a day. That said, you might be feeling a little worried because the number of fetal movements might have decreased in the past week (Week 21 to 22). This is actually nothing to worry about – rather, it’s a sign that the baby is starting to have a sleep pattern.
You might start feeling the fetal movements around the same time each day, and if you feel your fetus move at least once a day, then there is no cause for alarm. However, if you don’t feel your baby move at least once in 24 hours, arrange for a checkup with your OB-GYN.
22 Weeks Pregnant: Sonogram of fetus in your belly
22 Weeks Pregnant: Fetus’ sense of hearing
The fetus in Week 22 is 23–28 cm long and weighs 400–500 grams. In the next 4 weeks, the fetus will gain weight at an astonishing rate and in Week 27, will be about twice their current size. During this period, the fetus’ sense of hearing develops and the brain receives auditory information. Your fetus will respond to sounds originating from outside the womb – that includes sounds you make!
- Reacts to loud sounds
The limbs and body continue to lengthen
Lanugo (soft, fine hair) continues to grow all over the head and body
Eyebrows and eyelashes grow
The top and bottom eyelids are completely formed but are still fused together
The respiratory system is developing
Sense of smell, taste and hearing continue to develop
The Auditory Ossicles – the three tiny bones that transmit vibrations caused by sound – in the middle ear continue to harden
22 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms of preterm labor
From Week 22 onward, the risk of a miscarriage is low but the risk of a preterm labor or a preterm birth still exists. A delivery between Week 22 and 37 is called a preterm birth, and a preterm labor refers to the contractions of the uterus before Week 37 that can result in a preterm birth. In a preterm birth, not all the organs in the fetus are completely formed. Therefore, the baby is at risk of being born with severe congenital anomalies and can easily fall prey to respiratory problems.
In order to reduce the risk of a preterm labor or a preterm birth, you must not overexert yourself. Symptoms of a preterm labor include vaginal discharge that is bloody and watery, an increase in amount of vaginal discharge, cramps, back pain, or regular contractions every 10 minutes or so. If you have any of these symptoms, or feel that something is wrong, do go to your OB-GYN and get yourself checked.
22 Weeks Pregnant: Skincare for the belly
When the belly expands, stretch marks appear in the skin around the abdominal area. The cruel reality is that once stretch marks appear, it is almost impossible to get rid of them, so do spend some time keeping your skin moist to prevent them from appearing.
Massage your body with cream and keep your skin soft. You may have to put in extra effort in moisturizing areas prone to becoming dry or areas hard to reach. It will be fun talking to Baby while you’re putting lotion on yourself – enjoy the massage-cum-quality time with Baby!
22 Weeks Pregnant: It begins in the womb
You’re probably no stranger to the saying “Education begins in the womb”. It is also said that the love you give to Baby while they are still in the womb will give you a baby filled with love when they are born. Keep this in mind: It begins in the womb. What you do now affects your baby for life, so take things slow and pass each day as stress-free as you can, doing things within your “comfort zone”.