Pregnancy Calendar Week 22 – You May Feel Irregular and Painless Contractions

Pregnancy Calendar Week 22 – You May Feel Irregular and Painless Contractions

You are feeling pretty good at this point of time as there is no longer the feeling of blue. You are already into the second trimester and this shows your level of commitment towards your upcoming child. This week your baby now looks more like a newborn and your body is changing as well. Take a look at what is happening this week.

Week 22

Things are turning steadily in your favor. The majority of pregnancy discomforts which have been troubling you for a long time are gradually diminishing. However, as you are in your second trimester there are different challenges you have to face during this period.

Your body this week

Pregnant belly and bodyweight

By the time you must be feeling those first baby flutters inside. If yes, then it will definitely improve your mood further. The uterus is steadily edging higher and higher up your abdomen growing leaps and bounds. It continues to grows and stretch itself to accommodate the baby. In fact, many pregnant women will start feeling their uterus. This feeling is nothing but early, infrequent, and painless contractions known as Braxton Hicks.

But there is nothing to worry as it is simply the uterus practicing of delivery. However, if the intensity of these contractions increases, the doctor should be informed without delay. You have also added a good 6-7 kgs of weight to your body which means you are right on the track.

Typical symptoms

If you are like many of the pregnant women, you will notice that your foot is getting bigger. While this can be attributed to the swelling (edema) during pregnancy, it may be also due to relaxin hormone which loosens the joints and ligaments. This loosening around the pelvis allows you baby to fit in properly.

There is a hope that this week would be an easy one in terms of symptoms. However, there will be some inconvenient symptoms that you might experience this week.

Some new symptoms this week will include:

  • Bigger and darker nipples
  • Discolored skin
  • Difficulty breathing

Complications at 22nd week

While Braxton Hicks contractions might be painless, but the frequency and intensity need to checked to differentiate between the false and real labor contractions. If you are unsure, check with your doctor about this. Also, as this is the time when you would feel swelling in hands and feet, severe and sudden swelling must be reported to the doctor immediately.

It might be a signal of one of the dangerous complications of pregnancy known as preeclampsia.

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Your baby this week

Your little one has now started to perceive more and more of this world as it enters the fifth month of its existence. What this means is that his senses of hearing and sight are improving every week. His strength of the grip is also improving that will let him or her hang on to the umbilical cord. But this is normal and nothing to fear about.

Brain and nervous systems

The baby’s brain which is still big in size is maturing day by day and the growth of the nerves is making her feel the touch.

Eyes, vision and hearing

The tear ducts of the baby have started to form and while the eyelids are still shut, the eyes are likely moving inside. However, the coloured portion of the eye known as pigment has not formed yet. The baby is also able to hear your voice, heartbeat and even the sound of your circulating blood.

Lips and tooth buds

As the baby has started to look more like a newborn, her distinct pair lips have now formed. Besides, the tiny tooth buds has started to appear under the gums.

Size and appearance

By the week’s end, the length of the baby would be around 11 inches. This is approximately the size of a coconut. This also means the weight has been substantially increased over the past week which would be now around 400 grams.

Healthy eating

Nutrition is an important aspect of the pregnancy and should not be ignored even for a day. Besides foods high in magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc and vitamin B-complex, you should:

  1. Include foods containing omega-3 fatty acids for appropriate mental development of the baby
  2. Avoid fish such as swordfish (tega) as it contains high mercury content
  3. Include whole grains and nuts in your diet
  4. Avoid street foods as they may be contaminated

Expecting dads

Many to-be-parents feel that they should know and in fact, don’t know what to do or how to take care of a new baby. So, this is the best time to look out for newborn care or parenting classes to get an idea of being a father and the mother. Take your wife with you as these classes will be dealing with the basics such as feeding, diapering and bathing.

Most importantly, it empowers your wife and helps her cope with stress or in some cases, postpartum depression.

Screening

If you underwent through genetic testing for neural tube defects and Down Syndrome, this week will you will be wrapping up the final part. The procedure involves ultrasound scanning at around 12 weeks of pregnancy, followed by blood tests during the first and second trimesters.

Secondly, this would be the last week when your doctor can offer you percutaneous umbilical blood sampling or cordocentesis. This procedure which involves blood test extracted from the umbilical will check for Down Syndrome. But this test as compared to chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis is risky in terms of miscarriage. So, it is only suggested when both the mentioned tests fail to give conclusive results.

Tips of the week

Taking proper care of yourself will continue until you deliver the child safely. The reminders for this week include:

  1. Start searching for women who are professionally trained to assist a woman during and after childbirth.
  2. You can plan babymoon with your partner as getting around is not difficult yet
  3. Increase you magnesium supplement to restless legs or leg cramps

FAQs at 22nd week of pregnancy

I am a regular driver, can I continue wearing seat belts?

Yes, but with precautions. First move the seat belt as far as possible, 10-inch distance is good. Wear the belts correctly; it should lie between the breasts and away from the neck. Moreover, secure the lap belt below the belly and across the hip and pelvic bone.

I am experiencing itchiness and redness in the vagina, what is it?

Changes in the hormones level can cause vaginal itching during pregnancy. It could be because of excessive sweat and even due to yeast infections. You should call your doctor and get yourself checked up.

Sources

1. March of Dimes. Down Syndrome. read more
2. The Nemours Foundation. Kidshealth.org. Pregnancy Calendar, Week 22 read more
3. National Women's Health Resource Center. Healthywomen.org. Pregnancy & Parenting Second Trimester of Pregnancy: 22 Weeks 
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