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Week by week pregnancy guide – Week 22 of your pregnancy

Written by Debjani Arora |Updated : December 14, 2014 5:20 PM IST

Week 22 of your pregnancy

You have now crossed the midway point of your pregnancy and you are also nearing the end of your second trimester. There are a lot of changes happening within you. Although, at the surface it might seem like there has not been much change in your life compared to the previous week.

Changes that happen in your body

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Here are a few of the noticeable changes that happen during this week:

You gain weight: This is no news for you now. You should probably feel happy about your weight gain as this indicates a healthy pregnancy and a smooth progression towards labour, ensuring proper growth and development of your baby. Healthy weight gain is considered a 0.5 kg increase in your total weight every subsequent week from now onwards. There's no other time in your life when you would embrace weight gain wholeheartedly, so rejoice!

You may notice vaginal discharge: Not all women in their 22nd week of pregnancy experience this change happening down there. However, remember that this isn't an uncommon occurrence. With excessive blood flow even in the vaginal area and elevated levels of estrogen such a problem is expected. In case you suffer from the same, remember that this would continue till the end of your labour and is a normal phenomenon during pregnancy. Read what could excessive vaginal discharge mean?

Your foot might change in shape: Edema or swollen feet during pregnancy is common due to water retention and is often harmless. Your feet will shrink back to its normal shape soon after your delivery. However, your feet might have to bear the brunt of your pregnancy. The hormone relaxin that is secreted during pregnancy loosens the joints in the body and it doesn't spare your feet as well. When this happens, and the ligaments in your feet also loosen their grip, it makes the bones in the feet stretch a bit. That being said, there isn't much to worry about it. You will probably have to buy yourself some new pairs of shoes. Read tips to deal with edema during pregnancy.

Skin discolouration and acne: Skin problems during pregnancy are the last thing you would want to deal with, but there is no turning your back on it. Blame it on pregnancy hormones, melanin in this case can lead to pregnancy pigmentation that would show up as dark patches on your face. They can be intensified if you spend too much time out in the sun. So always lather sunscreen on your face and neck to protect it from further damage. Acne can also be very annoying if you spot it all over your face now. However, never try to self treat acne with OTC medications as that could lead to adverse consequences in the fetus. Read home remedies to treat skin problems during pregnancy.

Breast changes: After skin, pigmentation problems can take hold on your breasts too. You may notice your nipples turn dark and appear bigger. They can also leak at times as they are gearing up for lactation. To counter leaky nipples, use breast pads if you need them.

Apart from this you many also experience some of the other pregnancy symptoms like constipation, nausea, heartburn, stretch marks, etc.

Development in your baby:

While you experience all of the symptoms mentioned above, this is what is happening to your baby within you:

Your baby looks more human: If you could look straight through your belly, you would notice that your baby looks more human-like now with eyebrows and eyelashes being distinguishably developed. The eyes are fully formed with the ears moved to its position. Even hands and limbs have grown in proportion to the entire body. Read eight reasons why talking to your baby-bump is a good idea.

Your baby's senses keep developing: Last week your baby's sense of taste got a jolt, this week it would be touch. So now if you touch your belly, you might get some responses in terms of movements or probably light kicks. Apart from this, your baby's sense of vision, hearing and smell are also developing.

Your baby's liver secretes enzymes: Apart from brain development and functioning of the other internal organs, your baby's liver secretes enzymes, from this week onwards. These enzymes help break down fetal red blood cells into bilirubin. This bilirubin then enters the mother's blood stream through the placenta and is removed from the system through urine.

Your baby's scalp has more hair: Apart from the lanugo or a thin film of hair that keeps your baby covered, your baby's scalp sprouts more hair this week; it lacks pigmentation and might look white in colour now, but it certainly would be quite a sight.

This week your baby weighsapproximately somewhere between 400 to 500 gm and measures approximately 300 mm crown-to-bump.

What you should be doing

  • If you haven't planned for a babymoon and wish to go for one, do it soon. Once you cross your second trimester, travelling can pose a problem to both you and your growing baby.
  • Be sure about your second trimester blood tests and sonography. You might be due for your anomaly scan soon and will have to undergo a series of tests. The second trimester tests will be indicative enough about your health status and any underlying condition that can come in the way of fetal well being and labour. Find out why second trimester tests are so important and which ones really are.
  • Maintain high levels of hygiene. With a suppressed immune system there is always a higher risk of infection. Make it a point to always wash your hands before you eat and even after meals. Keep yourself hydrated and take precautions to avoid catching a cold and cough.
  • Apply moisturiser on your belly, breast and buttocks, as stretch marks can start showing up. Maintaining a slower pace of weight gain and keeping yourself well hydrated can help keep stretch marks at bay. Remember, stretch marks are a common occurrence during pregnancy and although they do fade and become less noticeable after delivery, they will not disappear.
  • Eat smart and eat healthy. Remember, excessive eating is just going to harm you the way it could, sans the baby within. Weight gain during pregnancy is good, but if you go overboard it could also lead to other complications with your pregnancy.
  • Start exercising if you haven't been doing so yet. Exercise will not only be beneficial for you and your baby's health but will also help you fight pregnancy fatigue. Keep in mind to do more of Kegal exercises now as they will help you to ease the labour process as well. Read about the 9 pregnancy dos and don'ts you should follow while exercising.
  • Get enough rest. You are going to do yourself and your growing baby a whole lot of good if you listen to your body and give it some much needed rest.

Image source: Getty images

If you wish to know what happened to your body while you reached week 21 of your pregnancy, you could read:

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