Pregnancy Calendar Week 22
YOUR PREGNANCY WEEK BY WEEK:WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WEEK 22Now at about 1 pound and 7-8 inches long from head to rump, your baby is discovering more of the world around her with heightened senses and major brain growth taking place this week. At this point in your pregnancy, the physical changes that you’re experiencing may be taking a toll on your emotional well-being. Hang in there and let us help you through.Your BodyAt 22 weeks pregnant, you could be dealing with a brand new pain down below along with some stress about the new shape your body is taking on.Vaginal PainDuring the second half of their pregnancy, some expecting mothers start feeling pain in their vaginal area, which is perfectly normal.There are many changes taking place in the vagina during pregnancy that can cause discomfort. There is more blood flow to your vaginal area, which may make it feel swollen and uncomfortable. Pain in the vagina may also result from other pregnancy symptoms including pressure on your cervix, round ligament pain, and varicose veins (which can occur inside the vagina and be quite painful).Your baby can also be the culprit. If she’s kicking your cervix, or as she grows and drops down lower, your little one could be causing pressure, pain and discomfort in your vaginal area.As you get closer to delivery, a common cause of vaginal pain is the dilating (opening) of your cervix as it prepares for your baby to pass through. This dilation may take place several weeks or just days before you deliver.When vaginal pain is particularly problematic, try getting relief by taking warm (not hot) baths and lying down with your legs and feet elevated.Contact your doctor for help if your pain is severe, if you’re seeing abnormal discharge or if you’ve got a fever with your pain.Body Image ConcernsWomen often have body image on their minds and, during pregnancy, this can become a major concern with all the body changes having a baby brings about.With physical changes happening from head to toe, it’s understandable and normal to experience a range of emotions about your evolving body shape.If you’re struggling with stress about how your body is changing, you may be able to better cope by keeping these tips top of mind:· Try to embrace and love the look that your pregnancy results in, knowing that the changes you’re experiencing are essential to bringing your beautiful new baby into the world.· With so many changes taking place that are simply out of your control, it’s important to learn to let go. This can be hard, but one way to help is to focus on what you can control, which includes exercising daily and eating a healthy diet. This will help you feel more fit, increase your self-esteem and contribute to a greater sense of emotional well-being.· Remember that having a positive body image is more about how you feel than how you look. Feeling better about your body comes easier if you see this as a time to celebrate and pamper it. After all, your body is responsible for the awesome miracle of a brand new life growing inside you. Enjoy your body and treat it like the beautiful temple that it is.· Worrying about whether you’ll return to the shape your body was in before becoming pregnant is a common concern. Sometimes this worry develops out of fear that others, most notably your partner, may see you differently. Try talking about your feelings with your partner, friends and family. Oftentimes the reassurance you get from your support network can do wonders to make you feel more confident and ease your fears.Your BabyIn the 22nd week of pregnancy, if you took a look inside your womb, here’s what you’d see your baby up to:Your baby is gaining more weight. So far your little one has been putting on pounds slowly. But, that’s about to change as your baby enters a rapid period of weight gain this week. In fact, over the next four weeks or so, she’ll likely double her weight. Her wrinkly skin will begin to smooth out as her weight increases, and the baby fat she puts on will be filling out those sweet chubby cheeks you’ll be pinching soon!Your baby has developed her sense of touch. Although your baby had some sensitivity to touch earlier in her development, this week marks a time when her sense of touch is much sharper, thanks to maturing brain cells and nerve endings. So, she’s probably inside you now experimenting with her heightened sense of touch by sucking her thumb, feeling her body parts and moving around more in the womb.Your baby’s brain development kicks into high gear. Your baby’s brain has entered an exciting, rapid stage of growth at this point, which will continue throughout your pregnancy and into your baby’s first few years of life. Right now, a lot of brain activity is focused on development of her senses. Week by week, her brain cells will grow at a fast pace to form a more complete nervous system, regulate all of her body functions and fine-tune her sense of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing. While genes play a major role in brain development, proper nutrition, daily exercise and avoidance of toxins are all ways you can aid the healthy development of your baby’s brain.Diet and Exercise Tips You Should FollowTo keep you and your baby healthy, follow these tips in week 22:Eat yogurt to strengthen your baby’s immune system. Your baby’s immune system is growing rapidly now. You can help make it strong by eating yogurt, which has the good bacteria necessary for developing a healthy immune system for you and your baby. Reach for drinkable yogurt smoothies as a great snack option.Exercise helps you and your baby sleep better. Exercise has so many benefits, and one of the best is that it helps you and your baby get better quality sleep. And, with your baby able to dream these days, your good exercise habits will also help her have sweet dreams. Try mixing in a low-impact aerobics class with walking and swimming each week to keep in shape and get better sleep.Things You Should Do· Get ready for your baby shower by setting up your gift registry.· Think about setting up a session for professional maternity photos in the coming month to capture beautiful memories of your pregnancy.Words You Should KnowEpidural: A type of local anesthesia used to relieve pain during delivery that involves injecting medication just outside the sac of fluid around your spinal cord, called the epidural space.Gestational Age: The duration of the pregnancy measured from the first day of the last menstrual period.Lactation: Production of milk by the breasts.Spinal Anesthesia: A type of anesthesia used to relive pain during delivery that involves numbing the lower half of the body with an injection of medication into the fluid of the spinal cord.