Things are really starting to get exciting in Week 22 of your pregnancy. Hopefully you’ve moved beyond any initial morning sickness and your appetite has kicked into high gear. Have you woken up in the wee hours feeling completely starved? Making a baby is serious business, so don’t even think about dieting. Eat when you’re hungry, and try to make healthy food choices. But let’s be honest, pregnancy is the one time you can eat anything you like and not have to justify the jelly donut or daily ice-cream ritual.
Your Baby’s Development
Have you felt your baby move yet? First-time moms might not feel the baby kick until about this time, but seasoned moms could have felt the “quickening” as early as 16 weeks. Your baby is now about 7.5 inches long from crown to rump and weighs almost a pound. His facial features are becoming more distinct, and tiny tooth buds are developing in his mouth. His body is covered with a soft, furry layer called lanugo. Most of it will be gone by the time he is born, but don’t be surprised if you see fuzzy backs and cheeks when he enters the world.
Bellies and Breasts
People are probably starting to make comments about your baby bump, but first-time moms might still be hiding their little bellies. Sometimes stretch marks will appear on your belly as it grows bigger. Speaking of bigger, have you had to purchase a larger bra yet? Your breasts will take on a life of their own as they prepare to make milk. You’ll notice that they feel heavy or dense, and your areolas may become darker or enlarged.
What’s Up With My Skin and Hair?
Maybe that “pregnancy glow” hasn’t been as flattering as you’d hoped. Dark patches of skin may appear on your face. This condition is called melasma. It’s harmless and it should fade away after your baby is born. Your hair might be extraordinary, though. During pregnancy, hair follicles don’t shed the way they normally do, so your hair may seem more luxurious than ever. Some women even report having stronger fingernails during their pregnancies.
You might start feeling the burn—heartburn. The pressure upward on your stomach may cause heartburn and indigestion. Don’t take any indigestion relief without first consulting your doctor, though.
With the changes your body is going through, you might feel uncomfortable or awkward. Even though weight gain is normal and healthy, it’s hard to accept that you will be putting on weight and you have no control over it. Keep yourself healthy and optimistic by taking daily walks. Walking is easy on your pregnant body and it releases endorphins that ease stress.