It’s Week 22! Your belly’s swelling and the pounds are piling. This week your little one’s face gets more defined. Your baby is now almost 500 grams in weight and about 28 cms is length, and is beginning to have defined features. Eyelids, eyebrows and lips will have a more distinct shape. Now, only the finishing touches and detailing on the developing masterpiece remain.
While eyelids are still closed, but your baby is more responsive to light shone on the belly. There are deep wrinkles all over the body which will smoothen out as your baby’s body gets padded with more layers of fat.
BODY CHANGES: What to expect
You must have noticed, as you progress in your pregnancy your skin is glowing, your hair is more lustrous and your nails seem to grow faster and stronger. Its okay to treat yourself to a makeover and experiment with different looks and hairstyles.
On the other hand, some of you might observe pigmentation develop, not to forget stretch marks. Stretch marks are in most cases hereditary, and there is very little that can be done about them. They may appear as early as the second trimester or could even make an appearance in the last couple of weeks of pregnancy. There could be some difficulty in making them disappear completely, but they do fade.
Massaging your abdomen, breast and buttocks with a little vitamin E-based oil or lotion twice a day could help keep your skin soft and supple.
You might also find your breasts leaking a whitish yellow liquid. This is called colostrum and is completely normal. It is a sign that your body is preparing to make breast milk.
BEYOND THE BELLY: Physical Development
Some women might still be able to hide their pregnancy claiming that they’ve just gained some weight. But for most others, it might be difficult to hide the baby bump now.
The growing belly will make you prone to backaches so, make sure you take care of your pregnancy posture. Sit erect with back support and consciously keep your shoulders straight.
MIND MATTERS: Emotional Development
You might be getting strange and wild dreams that might surprise you. And be assured that it’s very normal to have vivid pregnancy dreams as you have so many emotions going through you. If you find yourself waking up often to unpleasant dreams, try to listen to some soothing music or read a good book before you sleep.
WATCH OUT FOR: Excess weight and Fluid Retention
Prenatal weight gain or pregnancy weight is a topic of concern for most moms-to-be. And just because you are pregnant doesn’t mean you can get away with eating anything and everything. Prenatal weight can be very difficult to lose later, so while you do enjoying relishing the gooey chocolate cake or savouring fried chicken, do keep an eye on what you’re eating.
A good way to check on weight is to ensure that your finger rings fit you all through. If your rings feel tighter, then make a note to watch what you’re eating.
Another concern that you could face in Week 22 is of fluid retention, which should be reported to your doctor. Since you might be meeting your doctor once in four weeks, little self checks like these ensure that all is well with you and the baby.
You must also make a note to avoid any kind of nipple stimulation. Excessive nipple stimulation could release the hormone oxytocin, which could lead to preterm contractions.
OLD WIVES’ TALES: Just for fun
A very popular old wives’ tale is predicting the gender of the baby using a gold chain and a diamond ring. It is said that when a chain passed through a diamond ring is held over the baby bump, it moves either in circles or back and forth. Circles indicate a darling daughter (DD) on the way and the back and forth motion indicate a darling son (SO)!
Play this game for fun, but be assured that the chain’s movement has nothing to do with your baby’s gender.
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