A pregnancy reaches the halfway point at approximately 22 weeks of gestation. By now, your body has undergone a number of changes and continues to change. Weight gain picks up speed, the baby become more active in your uterus, and you probably need to start working on that nursery now. Understanding the 22nd week of pregnancy for both you and your baby can help you visualize the baby development process.
Physical Changes For Baby
At week 22, your baby is more than 10 inches long and weighs approximately 15 oz. His little digestive and reproductive systems are in the development stage; his eyelids and eyebrows are almost complete.
He will develop a fine layer of hair all over his body during this week. The hair will help protect him from becoming cold after he is born. In addition to the hair, he will begin building fat deposits just beneath his skin’s surface. The fat deposits will also serve to keep him warm when he enters the world.
Physical Changes for Mom
By the 22nd week of pregnancy, your body has undergone many changes. Your morning sickness has probably gone away; that extreme fatigue you experienced in the beginning should also start to dissipate. The increase in hormones will cause your breast glands to prepare for producing milk. You will also notice your breasts increasing inside as they store additional fat deposits.
At this point in your pregnancy, you are gaining about 4 lbs. a month. Your uterus has begun to practice contractions, called Braxton-Hicks contractions. These contractions are not as strong as the real contractions of labor, but they can feel intense when you first begin to experience them. Because of the rapid growth your body is now experiencing, you may develop stretch marks on your belly, legs, arms and back. These stretch marks will not usually disappear completely after the baby is born, but they can fade in color.
You may find that you become dizzy when standing or moving rapidly. This is because your blood vessels are enlarged, which can cause a drop in blood pressure until your body adjusts. Drinking a great deal of water can help reduce the dizziness by keeping your blood pressure elevated.
Exercise during the 22nd week of pregnancy should continue, as long as you have been exercising throughout your gestational period. If not, you can still lightly exercise by taking daily walks. At 22 weeks, you may experience constipation. Exercise can help alleviate this from happening, according to the What to Expect website.
Developing hemorrhoids during pregnancy typically begins in the 22nd week, according to the Pregnancy Hut website. You should be going to your ob-gyn on a regular basis and continuing to take your prenatal vitamins. Call your doctor if you experience any vaginal bleeding or severe stomach cramping.
Nesting can begin as early as the fifth month of pregnancy, but it gains intensity as you get closer to delivery. According to the Mayo Clinic, nesting is an uncontrollable urge to clean your house from top to bottom. It is believed that nesting is derived from a primal instinct to ready your house for the baby.
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