22 Weeks Pregnant

image001When you are 22 weeks pregnant, you may find this is an enjoyable time of pregnancy as earlier symptoms such as nausea and fatigue are going away. But other more visible alterations to your body are now taking place. You are headed towards the end of your second trimester; your womb now grows more quickly and you may feel hungrier.

What Are the Pregnancy Symptoms at 22 Weeks?

You will notice changes in your body as you start gaining more weight and your appetite starts to grow. Try sticking to a healthy and balanced diet but don’t be hard on yourself for occasional indulgences. However, try finding sensible and healthy substitutes for junk food cravings and make sure you know what food needs to be avoided.

Your feet also start swelling around this time of pregnancy and you may go up a shoe size or a half. If you haven’t already put away your stilettos, now is the time to stash them away. You need to be more careful in maintaining your balance because your body’s center of gravity has changed.

Your breasts start producing colostrum which is a creamy-looking, concentrated, low-fat milk, rich in proteins and antibodies. The grandular tissues will increase in size twofold by the time your baby arrives.

You may find your vaginal discharge to be heavy and have to go to the toilet more frequently. This is a normal pregnancy symptom; however, this could also be a symptom for UTI (urinary tract infection). If you’re concerned, you should see your midwife or doctor. Remember to keep yourself clean and dry, which will also prevent the odor that sometimes comes with this symptom.

How Does Your Baby Grow When You're 22 Weeks Pregnant?

At this stage of pregnancy, your baby has finally broken the one pound mark. The eyebrows, eyelids and lips are well formed now. Tooth buds start developing beneath his/her gums. Though irises still lack pigment but the eyes have been formed. Your baby has also developed finger nails and toenails by now and can even scratch itself.

The baby is covered in a wax-like coating called vernix and very fine, soft hair called lanugo. This protects the forming skin beneath. Deep wrinkles appear on the skin which will smoothen when enough fat develops to fill them. The baby starts developing pancrease which helps in producing important hormones.

It is also reasonable to expect your baby to be able to hear you when you talk, read or sing to him/her.

You can watch this video and get more information about how your baby grows when you are 22 weeks pregnant:

How Does Your Life Change When You're 22 Weeks Pregnant?

As you near the end of your second trimester, you will notice people commenting on your physical appearance; how you look bigger or smaller than you should. You need to remember that not all women grow at a similar rate and a woman’s body changes at her own rate.

You need to visit your doctor regularly to make sure your baby is growing in a normal and expected manner. You may notice stretch marks on your body. While these marks may disappear after birth, you can apply moisturizer and stretch oils to help with itching and irritations.

How Does Your Body Change Beyond Your Belly?

Physical changes that take place during pregnancy are not limited to just your belly and breasts. You will experience many other physical alterations which may take you by surprise. These bodily changes occur because of the hormones that you produce.

Body Parts

Descriptions

Hair

Your hair becomes more thick and shiny. This is because during pregnancy your body doesn’t shed as much hair as it did before.

Body hair

During pregnancy you may notice increased hair growth on your body or new areas. The reason for this is hormone known as androgen. Androgens are sex hormones which temporarily increase your body hair growth during pregnancy. You can do away with this unwanted hair by tweezing, shaving and waxing.

Fingernails

Fingernails also grow at a relatively faster pace than they did pre-pregnancy. You may also notice a change in texture; they can be harder or more brittle. You can protect them by wearing rubber gloves when doing household work and moisturize them if they’re more fragile.

Skin

Your skin also experiences changes during pregnancy. While some women feel their skin is smoother and softer than before, others may face exacerbated skin conditions such as acne. You can protect yourself by washing twice a day with soap and keep your skin free of oily products.

Stretch marks

Stretch marks appear as your belly starts to expand. Tiny tears appear in the supportive tissues underneath your skin which result in thin lines of different colors. After about 6 to 12 of giving birth, these marks start to fade away. However, for some women these marks do not vanish completely. This is determined by your skin’s natural elasticity which is a hereditary factor.

Skin color

Pigmentation may start appearing on your skin and can be intensified by sun rays. To protect yourself use sun-block that provide UVA and UVB shields and try to avoid the sun especially during 10 am to 2 pm.

Nipples and areolas

Your breast size changes are accompanied by changes in your nipples and areolas (pigmented area around the nipples). They may become bigger and darker and you may also notice more visible veins in your breast. There isn’t anything you can do about these symptoms. They will disappear post-birth.

Feet

The pregnancy hormone relaxin loosens your ligaments which results in a half or a whole shoe size increase for most women. Your feet swell making your shoes feel tight and uncomfortable, so buy comfortable shoes to accommodate the swelling.

What About Diet at 22 Weeks Pregnancy?

Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet during pregnancy is of extreme importance. While there are certain foods you need to stay away from, but it is also essential to focus on nutrient rich foods.

1. Folate, Calcium, Iron, Zinc and Fiber: The Big 5 Nutrients

During pregnancy you should aim for a minimum of 400 micrograms of folate, 1,200 mg of calcium, 30 mg of iron, 15 mg of zinc and 25 mg to 35 mg of fiber per day. You can obtain these nutrients through different foods such as beans, legumes, citrus fruits, vegetables, milk, and poultry. You should also take prenatal vitamins and supplements for better absorption of these nutrients.

2. An Assortment of Foods

Eating a variety of foods during your pregnancy not only increases your chances of getting essential nutrients, it also introduces your baby to new and different tastes via the amniotic fluid.

3. Organic Foods

The immune system of the developing baby is much more vulnerable than that of adults. Thus, it is important for expecting mothers to eat organic and locally grown foods and try to reduce their exposure to pesticides. Pesticides can harm your baby in many ways; they can lead to premature birth, immune dysfunctions and birth defects.

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids help in the baby’s neurological and brain development prior to birth. The best source for the omega-3 fast is through consumption of fatty fish. However, you must avoid fish that have high amounts of mercury such as swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tile fish. The recommended fish are Alaskan salmon, Atlantic mackerel, sardine, herring and anchovies.

5. Double Duty Foods

Some foods offer multiple nutrients and help you in absorbing them better. Foods such as peanut butter, beef, yogurt, chicken, eggs and dairy products are rich in protein, calcium and iron. Similarly, whole grains are rich in fiber, magnesium, vitamin B and zinc.

What Can You Do When You're 22 Weeks Pregnant?

1. Take Light Exercises

Light exercises during pregnancy help not only you but also your baby. Rotate your ankles and wiggle your toes to keep your muscles active. Avoid cramps by stretching on a regular basis. Do not sit cross legged or stand for extend periods of time. Keep yourself hydrated and intake calcium by consuming green leafy vegetables.

2. Arrange Childbirth Education Classes

Childbirth classes help you prepare for what’s about to come once you go into labor. These classes give you the opportunity to meet other expecting couples. Labor coaches teach you relaxation techniques to help you be calm and unwind during labor. Childbirth classes are offered by hospitals, pregnancy and community centers. Enroll yourself early so you are done with the classes by the 37th week of pregnancy.

3. Be Prepared for Others Rubbing Your Tummy

Nearing the end of your second trimester, you start to look pregnant instead of just having put on weight. During this time, many people who come up to you will want to touch your belly or feel the baby. While some women don’t mind this, others might think of it as awkward and uncomfortable. It is perfectly okay to tell these people not to touch your belly if you find it uncomfortable and unwanted.