Week 22 of Pregnancy
Your Baby in Week 22 of Pregnancy
This week, your baby weighs in at a whopping pound and measures nearly eight inches, about the size of a small doll. But your little doll (who now has eyebrows, eyelashes, and maybe even some hair on that little head) is a living one who can now perceive light and dark. She can also hear your voice, your heartbeat, your gurgling stomach, and the whoosh-whoosh of blood circulating through your body. And as her brain and nerve endings develop, she may reach for her face (or whatever she can reach) just to experiment with her newfound sense of touch.
Learn more about your baby in week 22 and a baby’s hair growth.
Your Body in Week 22 of Pregnancy
As if an ever-expanding belly wasn’t enough — now your feet are getting in on the act! That’s because the pregnancy hormone relaxin, which loosens your pelvic ligaments when you’re expecting, loosens every other ligament too — including the ones in your tootsies. In turn, the bones beneath those ligaments spread slightly, which results, for many women, in a half or whole shoe-size increase. So if you haven’t already stashed away your stilettos, now’s the time to bid them farewell — at least for a while. Besides, you need sensible shoes to help you balance that big belly and your changing center of gravity.
Learn more about your body in week 22 and swelling during pregnancy.
Week 22 Pregnancy Tip
By now you may have been the target of at least one well-wishing tummy-toucher — you know, those people (and they could be anyone — friends, co-workers, the guy you buy your morning paper from, a perfect stranger on the deli line) who just can’t resist reaching out and rubbing your belly. And who can blame them? After all, pregnant bellies — so round, so cute, and housing something even cuter — practically beg to be touched. Now, at 22 weeks pregnant, you may not mind being treated like an exhibit at a children’s museum (and, if you’re a touchy-feely person yourself, you may even welcome the public display of affection for your belly), but if you do mind, there are a couple of approaches you can take. One, use your words (“I know it’s tempting, but I really would rather you didn’t touch my belly”). Two, back off — literally, dodging their advances. And three, turn the tables by giving their belly a rub to see how they like it (especially effective with middle-aged men sporting paunches). Remember, you’re sharing your body on the inside — you don’t need to share on the outside too.
Week 22 Pregnancy Symptoms
Heartburn or indigestion: Your growing uterus is starting to take over your abdominal cavity, which can help push gastric acids from your stomach up through your esophagus — resulting in the burning pain you may feel. Avoid aggravating heartburn by drinking before and after meals instead of with them (too much fluid mixed with too much food will distend the stomach and make heartburn worse).
Constipation: That growing uterus is also putting pressure on your bowels, making it harder to move waste out of your system. Give things a jump start by exercising regularly, which encourages bowel movements.
Increased vaginal discharge: If you’re finding your vaginal discharge to be heavy these days, remember to keep clean and dry (if you like, use a panty liner), which will help prevent the odors that sometimes accompany this pregnancy symptom.
Occasional faintness or dizziness: Your ever-expanding uterus can put pressure on your blood vessels, which can reduce blood flow to your brain and cause light-headedness. Help keep your blood pumping through your circulatory system by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day (more if it’s hot or you’re working out).
Leg cramps: Some experts theorize that leg cramps during pregnancy may be caused by a shortage of calcium or magnesium in the diet. Reduce the frequency of these painful spasms by taking your prenatal vitamin daily.
Stretch marks: Noticing stretch marks not just on your belly but also on your hips, thighs, and breasts as well? Go ahead and rub moisturizer all over your body — it may not be a miracle cure, but it’s worth a shot and it will help ease dryness and itchiness.
Protruding navel: Not loving your new outie belly button? After delivery it will revert back to an innie — but be prepared for the fact that you will probably be left with a slightly larger belly button.