Week 22

Your baby this week

430

GRAMS IN WEIGHT

Your baby has now mastered the swallowing technique.

Your baby is absorbing sugar from the amniotic fluid.

Your baby’s features are becoming more defined.

How big is your baby?

He is now 27.7cm (10.9in) from crown to heel and he weighs 430g (15.2oz). This makes him around the size of a papaya – and he’s getting bigger every day!

How big is your baby?

He is now 27.7cm (10.9in) from crown to heel and he weighs 430g (15.2oz). This makes him around the size of a papaya – and he’s getting bigger every day!

What does your baby look like?

Excitingly, your baby is now beginning to look just like a miniature newborn, although a thinner version because he doesn’t have all his baby fat yet. His features are becoming more defined and he has fingernails now reaching the very end of his fingers.

Changes in your body this week

Hopefully by now you’ve left most of the unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy behind you in the first trimester. The second trimester heralds the famous ‘pregnancy glow’ for most women. This healthy appearance can be attributed to the extra blood pumping around your body, and the fact that you’re retaining more moisture, so your skin will be feeling and looking great about now. All this makes a welcome change from the misery of morning sickness and exhaustion that you’ve probably been suffering.

How your baby is developing

Now he’s mastered the swallowing technique, your baby is doing it more and more often, and by week 22 of pregnancy he is absorbing small amounts of sugar from the amniotic fluid which provides extra nourishment alongside the nutrients he’s getting through the placenta.

In boy babies the testes are descending into the scrotum, and in girl babies her mammary glands are developing.

How your baby is developing

Now he’s mastered the swallowing technique, your baby is doing it more and more often, and by week 22 of pregnancy he is absorbing small amounts of sugar from the amniotic fluid which provides extra nourishment alongside the nutrients he’s getting through the placenta. In boy babies the testes are descending into the scrotum, and in girl babies her mammary glands are developing.

It may seem light years away yet, but as you’re going through the reproductive process, your baby’s body is already preparing to do the same thing.

Health concerns

There’s no doubt that pregnancy can be a tough process for lots of women and by this point in your second trimester you probably have a few griping aches and pains. Bump massage is a great way to relax and unwind; it boosts circulation and improves your sleep and mood. And the best bit? Your baby will love it too, learning to kick in response to sensation which deepens the growing bond between you. You can self-massage, or get your partner involved – shoulder and back massage (while seated of course) can also be great to ease tired body parts, and don’t forget legs and feet, as they are supporting a lot of extra weight at the moment.

Are there any symptoms you should be looking out for?

The widely-held view is that pregnancy should be a happy, exciting, positive time for the mum-to-be, building in excitement as the birth grows nearer. But for some women, this isn’t their reality.

Depression during pregnancy affects around one in 10 expectant mothers, so it’s a lot more common than people realise. There are many triggers for antenatal depression, especially if you are already predisposed. Some things you should be enjoying, like the change in your body shape and preparing to meet your baby, can be overwhelming; many women feel guilty about the negative thoughts which may be clouding their minds.

The truth is that pregnancy is a time of massive change, and a bit of uncertainty or worry about the challenges ahead is totally normal. There’s no definitive test for depression, but common symptoms include:

  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Low self-esteem or feelings of guilt
  • Little or no energy
  • Sleeping excessively or having trouble sleeping
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Lack of interest or pleasure in things that you used to enjoy

If you are experiencing any of the above and this has persisted for weeks or months, then it’s a good idea to have a chat with your midwife to find out if you need some extra support during your pregnancy.

Safety first

Cooking while pregnant may be becoming a real chore, so pizza makes a great easy option for dinner, especially for those days when you’re feeling particularly jaded after work. It goes without saying that the best pizza toppings are those packed with vegetables and protein, but while pizza is perfectly fine to eat, there are also some toppings you should avoid while pregnant. If you like adding mould-ripened cheeses such as brie or camembert to your pizza this is a no-no, and the same goes for blue-veined cheeses, such as stilton (okay, so it’s not the usual pizza cheese of choice, but when you’re pregnant who knows what will be appealing).. The reason behind the danger of such cheeses is because they carry a higher chance of carrying listeria bacteria which causes listeriosis. Whilst this means a fairly mild, fluey illness for most people, it can have severe consequences for pregnant women.

Likewise if you like shellfish such as prawns and scallops on your pizza. The golden rule of eating food like this is to ensure that it is thoroughly cooked all the way through. Once cooled bacteria can start to grow again so don’t reheat any leftover slices the next day.

Important issues this week

From week 22 of pregnancy you might notice that your baby’s movements fall into a pattern as he develops sleep and waking cycles. You don’t need to be monitoring them as such yet, because the baby is so small and the placenta can easily get in the way of his kicks, so you might go long periods without feeling anything, but it’s a good idea to get to know what your baby’s movements feel like in preparation for later on in the pregnancy.

Keeping fit, staying healthy

During pregnancy your immune system will be slightly suppressed and you are more likely to catch any colds and viruses flying about. If this happens to you, then visit your local pharmacist for over-the-counter advice about which medications are safe to take, and make sure you rest as much as possible; drink plenty of fluids and try to eat regularly to keep your energy levels up. Chicken soup when you’re ill might be a cliché, but actually this nutritious broth is exactly what your body needs.

Looking forward; planning ahead

It’s never too early to start thinking about baby names. Whether you know the gender of your baby, or you want a total surprise, discussing baby names early on is a good idea. Are you planning one, two or no middle names? Do you have a name that you’ve set your heart on but your partner can’t stand? Are you stuck between two names? Would you double-barrel your surname? Are you going to keep it a secret from friends and family until the birth? Do you have triplets to name?!

Deciding on a name for your baby is one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy – take the time to enjoy it and try not to feel pressured – many parents find that the name they settled on at week 22 of pregnancy just doesn’t feel right when the baby is born – there are no rules about when you need to decide, so for now, just play around with names to see how they fit.

Important – If you or your child are unwell you should seek medical advice from a professional – contact your GP or visit an A&E department in an emergency. While My BabyManual strives to provide dependable and trusted information on pregnancy and childcare 24/7 via our website pages, we cannot provide individual answers to specific healthcare questions.
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