Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 22
How big is my baby?
Fetal size: 19cm (7.6 inches) in length. Fetal weight: 350 grams (12.25 ounces).
Your baby is getting bigger as each day passes. Eyelids and eyebrows and fingernails are developed. Organs are developing to perform their particular functions.
Your baby starts to build an immune system to act as a natural defence against infection. In addition, he/she will begin to produce and store fatty tissue to produce body heat and keep warm. This fatty layer (called brown fat) starts to build up on different parts of the body, and continues to do so until your baby is born. The skin is growing and is protected from the amniotic fluid by a waxy layer (called Vernix). Until your baby develops more fat under the skin, it will remain red and wrinkly. The body is still covered with a fine layer of hair. Baby teeth have been formed and are waiting in the gums. Your baby can now taste and can tell the difference between sweet and bitter.
Your baby starts to move more, becoming more coordinated as muscles develop and strength increases. He/she can now turn and stretch. These movements will build muscle, strengthen bones and improve motor skills, but they may also make your abdomen sore! Your baby will also respond to outside pressure on your abdomen and may move as a result of this. Your baby's heartbeat can be heard using a stethoscope.
The sex organs are distinctive and you may be able to tell the sex of your baby during an ultrasound.
What pregnancy symptoms will I be experiencing?
This is a comfortable point in your pregnancy. You are visibly pregnant, but you will not yet be as uncomfortable as you might become later in your pregnancy. You can still walk, bend over and sit easily, so right now (and over the next few weeks) is a good time to start (or finish off!) all your shopping for the baby, and finalise any hard work on that nursery! Make sure you don't get up on any ladders, and have someone else do the painting for you.
You should still be drinking lots of fluids (preferably water), to help your body make up the extra blood volume required during pregnancy. More fluid may also help if you are experiencing headaches. If your urine is nearly clear, you know your fluid intake is good.
Varicose veins are a common complaint during pregnancy. Varicose veins can be made worse by pregnancy and standing for extended periods of time. Varicose veins are blood vessels that fill up with blood, and in most cases they become worse as your pregnancy progresses. Varicose veins will appear as a blue to purple blemish on the legs, or bulging veins.
Abdominal muscles are stretching and being pushed apart by your growing baby. You may notice abdominal muscle separation when you are lying down - it will look like there is a bulge in the middle of your abdomen. As your abdomen stretches, your skin also expands. This may cause skin irritation and itching, which can be relieved by applying a lotion. There are plenty of stretch mark creams available on the market available at all price ranges, some of EB’s favourite supermarket brands include Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula and Bio-Oil.
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