Reaching the 6th month of pregnancy, a lot of excruciating at the same time exciting feelings between a mother and her baby can be experienced. But first, congratulate yourself for getting this far, which means you have surpassed the more sensitive and complicated journey that is the first trimester.
The 22 weeks old baby
An infant inside a womb develops differently among other mothers-to-be but generally, here’s a look at what to expect when you are 22 weeks pregnant. Remember also that the size of an expectant mother’s tummy also varies.
When 22 weeks pregnant, your baby will be about 11 inches long (this may differ depending on the nationality) and weigh a pound. You could already tell its gender by the use of an ultrasound. By this time his/her hands have grown bigger, able to do other things such as playfully touching some parts of his body like the umbilical cord or his face. Maintaining a C position, he could be kicking, stretching, clapping his hands and thumbsucking already that you could be able to feel these movements. This shows that muscles and fat are beginning to form.
His brain, taste buds, are starting to develop while his hair is also starting to grow as well as fine hair in the body. As seen in the ultrasound, the baby’s eyes, eyelids, eyebrows, eyelashes and lips have formed and are starting to look defined though his eyes are still shut as he sleeps about 12 to 14 hours a day. His teeth are also starting to grow by this time while his genitalia slowly develops. He can hear your heartbeat, stomach or voice so try reading, talking or singing to him. These and other senses are also beginning to progress.
At this time, your morning sickness may have ended and you have your appetite back although for some cases, morning sickness is experienced during the entire pregnancy. As your stomach expands, waistline widens, and your navel gets bigger becoming more obvious that you are pregnant, you may have stretch marks not just on your tummy but more likely even in your thighs, breasts, hips and buttocks because you have put on weight. There will be occasional body pains such as in the pelvic, hips, pubic bone and back tough these are less aching compared to the previous weeks. You will also feel a little breathless and forgetful.
In addition, as your uterus gets bigger and reaches above your belly button, you may find it hard to reach up or bend over.
Expect to undergo a glucose test. This is to determine if an infancipating woman has increased levels of sugar in her blood that could lead to gestational diabetes, a kind of diabetes that affects women who have never had diabetes before. This is usual especially that frequent food cravings come with pregnancy. Some women do not watch a balanced diet so it is important to cut down on sweets and look for other alternatives for your sweet tooth desires.
It is also helpful to do light exercises such as walking as this will help open your pelvis, making it easier to give birth. Swimming, yoga, pilates and aerobics are also recommended to strengthen your back and improve blood circulation as long as they are done lightly. Exercising regularly also minimizes constipation, one of the symptoms accompanied by pregnancy.
Meanwhile, you may already have the results of your amniocentesis test which examines if your baby has developed normally.
Don’t be alarmed if your hair thickens and you excess hair grows on your belly, legs, arms and back. This is because of increased hormones. Your fingernails will also grows faster and they may be either hard or brittle. Expect to have larger or swelling feet and fingers too. Also because of raging hormones, a rise in libido is possible. In fact, a lot of women confess to having experienced more pleasurable love-making at this time. It is either that or preggy women may not be interested in sex at all. Worry not because a little sex won’t hurt as advised by medical experts. Your uterus though will become hard for awhile which again, is normal.
Having urine leaks especially when sneezing or laughing is also normal. Kegel exercises are known to keep the bladder muscles strong reducing the possibility of urine leaks. This exercise can be done by opening and closing your pelvis on your own repeating for about 40 times.
Aside from urine leaks, also expect a breast leak which is a sign that your are getting ready for breastfeeding.
Some women during their second trimester acquire acne and have dark spots in some areas of the skin such as the armpits, nape, elbows and in the bikini area.
Furthermore, after sitting for long periods, you might feel dizzy when standing. It will be helpful to put your feet up when sitting so as to improve blood circulation. Being anemic is likely because your baby will be using up your iron. Vaginal discharge and headaches are also common due to the increased blood flow. It has been also studied that blood clots may occur especially if you’ve had a serious infection, caesarean operation, a traumatic accident, or any of your family members had it. Gum bleeding is also one of the signs that occur when 22 weeks pregnant.
You might also get sick (colds or flu) but remember not to drink medicine unless prescribed by your doctor.
Moreover, it is natural to get bigger nipples and darker areolas while some may have more prominent veins in their breasts.
Other symptoms felt during the previous months may still be felt such as being sensitive to odors and having leg cramps.
Having to go through all these changes may take a lot of adjustments especially for first timers but everything will be all worth it soon. It is also important to consult with your ob-gyne whenever you experience unusual changes. Make sure to stick with regular check-ups to ensure that you are conceiving healthily and that you and your baby are on the right track.