Noticing patterns in your baby's movements?
your baby this week:
Your baby is continuing to rapidly grow and mature inside of you, filling out and crowding your space. Their pancreas, which is a key player in hormone production, is developing steadily.
Your little one's skin may appear wrinkled at this point; but in the coming weeks, your baby will gain enough overall body weight to fill out their skin. And if your baby is a boy, his testes are now beginning to descend from the pelvis to the scrotum.
Those cute, little eyes are fully developed, but the irises still lack color. Most babies, even those of non-white ethnicities, appear to have deeply dark blue eye at birth; but your baby's genetics will ultimately determine their eye color. As your baby’s melatonin increases, their eye color is affected. You won't know how all of this plays out until about nine months after your baby's birth. In fact, most parents wait until their child's first birthday to determine the actual, permanent eye color. Nothing is certain, but your basic knowledge about science already offers you a clue. For example, two brown-eyed parents will most likely have a brown-eyed child. Two blue-eyed parents will most likely have a blue-eyed child. If one parent has blue eyes and one parent has brown eyes, your child's odds of having either blue or brown irises are about 50/50; though if Grandma has blue eyes, your child's odds of having blue eyes increases.
Another fun fact this week is, your little one’s nerve endings and brain are developed enough to feel whenever you rub your belly! And if you gently press into your stomach, your baby may even react by pressing back!
By week 22, you are probably feeling a little swollen, especially in your ankles and feet. This swelling, called edema, occurs when the changes in your body chemistry cause fluids to move into your body tissue. Your enlarging uterus puts pressure on the two main veins responsible for circulating blood through the lower half of your body. This swelling is likely more noticeable or severe towards the end of the day. And if your pregnancy endures through the summer months, the hottest days are even worse for swelling. To combat edema, try to avoid sitting for long periods of time. If you do sit, put your feet up. When you stand up again, stretch out your legs before resuming activities. Compression socks help with swelling too. And though you may want to avoid fluids when you feel swollen, you need to keep hydrated. It helps.
The swelling in your feet might make your shoes feel small, but there's also a chance your foot size is simply increasing due to pregnancy hormones, which are relaxing and loosening your joints and muscles in preparation for childbirth. If this is happening, your feet may permanently need a larger shoe size.
Be sure to call your doctor or midwife if you notice any sudden swelling - especially in your hands or face - as this could be a sign of a more serious condition, called preeclampsia. Preeclampsia affects three to eight percent of all pregnant women and usually occurs late in the third trimester but can occur as early as 20 weeks. To diagnose preeclampsia, your doctor looks for certain signs, such as high blood pressure, constant swelling, and large amounts of protein in your urine.
This week, you may feel the benefits of all those prenatal vitamins and pregnancy hormones.
Your hair seems thicker. Your nails feel stronger. Some women will regularly take prenatal vitamins when they aren't even pregnant, just to naturally experience these very benefits. There is a slight chance these benefits have caused a bit of unwanted hair growth by now too, like on your face. If this happens, you can always wax, shave, or tweeze these unwanted hairs; no one will know, and we won’t tell. One more thing to note is, many chemicals in bleach can be absorbed through your skin. Because of this, you should not bleach any unwanted hair growth, no matter what! Your baby’s health and development come first.
Louise Broadbridge - Our Expert Midwife
Hi, my name is Louise, I am a Registered Midwife, founder of Let's Talk Birth and Baby and the face behind Instagram's The Honest Midwife. I have worked in health settings for the past 30 years, the majority of which have been working in children and family settings.
your tips & to do's:
Discuss how you plan to diaper your little one, once he or she is here. It's true, your baby isn't here yet; but one glance at the available diapering options for a newborn can tell you this is something you should figure out, before you're gifted with a lot of cloth diapering supplies or storing your friends unopened packages of leftover throwaway diapers. Talking with your partner, or with family and friends who've recently had a baby, about your diapering choices is just the first step on a journey you never thought you would take. Because the average newborn will require about 10 to 12 diaper changes in a 24-hour period. So, you will, at some point, become fascinated with this diapering business. Do your research, look at your options, and talk with other parents who have recently gone through this stage of parenting. Which will you choose? Disposable, cloth, or a combination of both?
Have you scheduled your glucose challenge test? This test determines your risk for gestational diabetes and should take place somewhere between the 24th and 28th week of your pregnancy.
Don't forget to also schedule a maternity photoshoot this week, if you are hoping to have one. And take a side profile pregnancy picture.
Write in your pregnancy journal. In a few years, you'll look back and realize just how priceless this journal is!
Last, but not least
If you haven't decided on your little one's name, take a few minutes this week to narrow it down, removing at least one choice from the list of possibilities.
By week 22, most of your symptoms are directly related to the amount of space your little one now occupies inside of you. Here are some things you may experience this week.
- Outie bellybutton
- Stronger nails
- Thicker hair
- Larger feet
- Swelling in the ankles and feet
- Swelling in the hands or face
- Leg cramps and/or backaches
- Increased libido
- Heartburn, indigestion, gas, and/or constipation
- Frequent nighttime wakings
- Crazy dreams
- Stretch marks, itchy or dry skin, and/or unwanted hair growth
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