Now that the baby has fully developed, it’s just growing at a rapid pace. And it is truly amazing how fast that little one is growing. This week, your baby is going to make its presence felt to you. Are you ready? Let’s find out in week 22!
Your baby’s fast paced growth means your belly is stretching more and more to make room for it. The result? Stretch marks! There’s nothing you can do to minimise them as of now. So, let it be.
Many women experience an increase in vaginal discharge during this week. It can appear worrisome, but rest assured – it’s completely normal. Increased vaginal discharge is just a result of increased blood flow and your body trying to keep the area bacteria-free.
Swollen hands and feet will continue to be a common sight from now till the baby is born! However, beware of too much swelling and pain in these areas, as it may be a sign of preeclampsia (i.e. high blood pressure during pregnancy). If this happens, call your obstetrician immediately.
In addition, you will experience sharp pain and soreness in your back due to the baby’s increasing weight.
A spurt in hormones will cause your nails to grow faster. You may also notice extra hair growth all over your body. It’ll subside once the baby is born and the hormones have come back to normal.
As the baby starts occupying all the available space in your body, other organs start to feel the pressure. One such area is the lungs that start to feel cramped, causing breathlessness among pregnant women.
You may notice that your nipples appear darker and larger than before, due to the fully developed milk ducts, hormones and increased blood supply.
Pregnancy hormones responsible for loosening and relaxing the muscles around the pelvis for the baby’s passage, also affect muscles in other areas of the body namely, your feet. This means that your feet have now increased in size. It’ll go back to normal once the baby is born.
Your baby has grown up to 11 inches in length and weighs around 450 grams! Your baby’s facial features are growing to become more and more defined and distinct. Although the eyes have formed, they still lack colour.
The gums have already developed tooth buds for when the baby’s teeth will grow, a few months after its birth!
You’re not the only one with a set routine. Your baby has developed a routine of its own too – specific times in the day when it’s asleep and when it’s active. That is why you may notice periods of silence through the day, but you’ll feel the baby moving about during the nights!
The baby can also react to external sounds. You may feel a jumping movement in your belly, when there’s a sudden loud noise. It may also move in response to your voice and music. It’s a fun activity to try!
If you haven’t had your mid-pregnancy ultrasound yet, this is the best time to do it. Your doctor will observe the baby’s complete development – right from physical development to internal organs and overall health to possibility of diseases. (Please note: Sex determination of the foetus via ultrasound or any other methods is illegal in India)
Stick to gaining weight steadily over each week, to be able to support your baby’s growth. Your metabolism is on fire and your body is burning calories faster than ever. The best way to make sure you’re getting sufficient calories into your body is by having small meals throughout the day. Eat healthy, non-greasy, unprocessed foods that are rich in proteins, vitamins and fibre, such as red and green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, dry fruits, etc.
You may want to lower the intensity of your exercises now. Just keep it mild, focus on stretching and stimulating blood flow throughout your body. Don’t push yourself too hard, you may make your backache worse. Speaking of backaches, get a regular back massage or use a heat pack for some quick and effective relief from the pain.
Avoid chemical treatments such as waxing or bleaching to get rid of extra body hair. Either leave it be until after the delivery or simply shave.
Buy yourself a few new and comfortable pair of shoes to accommodate your enlarged feet. Also, if you have swollen hands, check your finger rings, and remove them before your fingers swell up further and your ring is stuck and interfering with blood circulation.
Working moms, sort out your maternity leave and pay right away!
You may want to think about baby-proofing the house. While you’re at it, identify a few quiet and cosy corners throughout the house, where you can breastfeed the baby in peace, when it arrives.
Make your health and comfort your absolute priority! Get all the rest you can, indulge in a nice back massage regularly, sleep, eat and hydrate well. And listen to your doctor!
Have any queries you’d like us to answer? Drop them in the comments below!