Pregnancy Week By Week : 22 Weeks Pregnant - What To Expect
How wonderful is this! You are progressing towards the end of your second trimester. Hopefully, you are having a good time and basking in al...
The tiny grip is getting stronger
Your little one's sense of touch is improving a great deal. It is growing a strong grip as its vision and hearing are getting sharper with each passing week. Your baby will not find a lot of things to grab in your womb, and the only thing it can get a grip on is the umbilical cord. Often your baby may hold on it quite tightly but there is no need to fear as the cord is strong enough to withstand its tiny grip.
Sight is getting better
There is immense fine tuning happening as far as your baby's sense of sight is concerned. It can perceive darkness and light although its eyelids are still fused together. Though the womb is dark, if you shine a torchlight over your belly, your baby can sense the difference at this time.
Distinct eyelids and eyebrows
There are developments in the facial region where the eyelids and eyelashes become distinguishable. The internal parts of the eye are also forming rapidly. The eyeball has formed by now but the iris is yet to develop the pigment that will give your baby its eye color.
Production of bilirubin in the liver
As your baby's liver has become fully functional at this stage, it is producing the necessary enzymes that help in the breakdown bilirubin. When red blood cells breakdown, the byproduct we get is known as bilirubin. As fetal RBC's have a shorter life than ours, there is an increased level of bilirubin in the baby. This byproduct enters the mother's bloodstream through the placenta and it is the mother who disposes of the fetal bilirubin.
Baby's weight milestone
Your baby has hit the one pound mark this week. You tiny one now weighs a full pound and is easily comparable to a spaghetti squash. The baby's head to rump length measures a good 11 inches in week 22 of your pregnancy.
Body Changes & Common Symptoms
Uterus position: You must be feeling the rapid growth of your uterus as each day your waistline and belly seem to have expanded a little. The position of the uterus is almost an inch above your navel and you can notice it if you look at yourself in a mirror. You can feel and see the bulge of your belly quite clearly now and also feel your little one's kicks and punches more frequently than in the last couple of weeks.
Increase in foot size: Thanks to the hormone Relaxin, strange as it may sound, your foot size will also undergo an increase. The primary role of this hormone is to loosen the ligaments in the pelvic region so that it can withstand and remain flexible to aid in giving birth. However, Relaxin cannot distinguish between the ligaments in the lower part of your body and ends up loosening the ligaments and joints of the legs too. As a result, the bones under these ligaments spread out a bit causing an increase in your feet size.
Braxton Hicks contractions: As your uterus is preparing itself to deliver the little one into your eagerly waiting arms, you may feel a strange squeezing yet painless sensation in your abdominal region. These false contractions are better known as Braxton Hicks Contractions and may occur quite randomly. It starts from week 22 of your pregnancy and may continue for some weeks. These are not harmful and need not raise an alarm.
Protruding navel: Your sexy belly button might now have popped out and it may not be the gorgeous sight in the world. Your growing womb pushes the belly forward and in turn ends up pushing out the inverted navel forward. You may have to stay away from your stylish clothes that show your belly button. But worry not. Soon after pregnancy, the protruding belly button will get back right to its earlier position.
- Low on magnesium? Magnesium is an important mineral required by the pregnant body. How will you know if you are low in this nutrient? An easy way to find out is if you have regular leg cramps or your legs feel restless at frequent intervals. Speak to your doctor and see if a magnesium supplement can be added to your nutrition supplements.
- Do you stand the risk of preterm labor? A fetal fibronectin screening is done to check if you stand a high chance of preterm labor. If you have had a history of preterm labor during your earlier pregnancy, make sure your gynecologist is aware of it. Also, if there is a history of your mother or sisters having preterm labor, keep the doctor posted about the same. If the test results are negative, you have nothing to worry about. However, if the fFN screening tests positive, your gynecologist will have to take actions to prevent this to a certain extent and also make sure that your little one's lungs are prepared for an early birth.
This week onwards keep a tab on any strange symptoms occurring in your body and keep your practitioner posted about the same. For now, you may not have too many pregnancy discomforts apart from a growing body. Enjoy each day and eat well for the well-being of your precious little baby.
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