Fetal development in pregnancy week 22:
Your baby weighs about 13 ounces now and measures about 9 inches long. They are very thin, but completely developed at this point! Fat will continue to accumulate from here on out as your baby packs on the pounds getting ready for birth.
The bones inside the ears are hardening and so their hearing becomes more clear. They can distinguish between different sounds such as your voice and heartbeat. Eyes are developed now, but there isn’t any pigment in the colored part. Teeth buds appear beneath the gum line and the lips are completely developed and distinct from the rest of the face.
Lungs are developing. Right now, the lungs cannot transfer oxygen to the bloodstream, but by birth the lungs will be ready. The senses continue to develop at this time and your baby may experiment with touch by stroking their own face. White blood cells are forming now so that your baby can help fight illness and infections.
The pancreas and liver are developing now. The pancreas produces hormones and the liver breaks down bilirubin, a substance produced by red blood cells. Hand strength is very good now and the skin is pink and wrinkly. As the baby gains more weight the skin will become less transparent and wrinkled.
During pregnancy week 22 some women begin developing stretch marks. Don’t panic if this is you. There are a variety of lotions and potions that can help limit their severity and help improve your skins elasticity. Some women find that their stretch marks fade into almost non existence a few short months after delivery.
When you get stretch marks and how bad they get is largely dependent on your genetics. Take a look at your mother. If she developed lots of stretch marks during pregnancy there is a good chance that you will too. Some women will get stretch marks on their tummy’s while others will develop them on their breasts, thighs and even waist as their pregnant belly expands. Most stretch marks vary from light pink to white to purpose or even dark brown. This largely depends on your natural skin color.
Keep in mind that you should wear your stretch marks with a sense of pride. Many women take great pride in knowing their stretch marks are a sign they accomplished the Herculean task of carrying a newborn baby around in their bellies for nine full months. There are even websites dedicated to showing off mothers stretch marks or ‘war wounds’ from pregnancy.
Whether or not you are trying to prevent stretch marks you should consider a rich moisturizer to keep your skin smooth and subtle. Itching is a common side effect of your growing belly that many women start experiencing after pregnancy week 22. Fortunately a good moisturizer applied twice per day can relieve severe itching associated with dry skin and your expanding belly.
Right about pregnancy week 22 you may have noticed your belly button has popped out. This is perfectly normal. Don’t fret, as most navels will pop back ‘in’ shortly after delivery.
If you haven’t already take a good look at yourself fin a mirror. Many women are blessed with a unique pregnancy glow during pregnancy. This often results form increasing levels of blood circulating to your skins surface. While you may suffer more frequent break outs during pregnancy you will probably still experience the infamous pregnancy glow. If nothing else it will alleviate the need for blush during your pregnancy and help you appear refreshed and invigorated. If you find your cheeks seem overly flushed take heart knowing that this side effect like most pregnancy side effects will also fade shortly after delivery.
Have you packed on a few pounds since the beginning of pregnancy? If so you are not alone. Many dads do put on some weight along with mom. You might also experience other symptoms of pregnancy, also known as couvade or sympathetic pregnancy syndrome.
Are you an active mom-to-be? Why not look great AND fit at the same time? Fortunately for active mothers, there are wealth of Active Collections at Destination Maternity that move with you and support you before, during, and even after your pregnancy.
When shopping Active Collections Dresses at Destination Maternity, keep in mind you will need to find clothes made of breathable and stretch fabric. These items will grow with you, move with you and more importantly, and breathe with you while you work out during your pregnancy. Rest assured, most active collections provide extra support particularly for a woman’s chest and belly, the two areas that require the most attention during pregnancy!
Pregnancy Health Tips
Low back pain is quite common during pregnancy particularly during 22 weeks pregnant and beyond. The causes of pregnancy related back pain are numerous and include your expanding uterus and postural changes that occur during pregnancy. Changes in weight and hormonal distribution can also influence back pain.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to alleviate back pain naturally when pregnant. First and foremost, you must pay attention to your posture. Pregnant women often have a tendency to adopt poor posture due to their expanding bellies. One thing you should avoid is slouching when sitting. If necessary, consider investing in a lumbar cushion to help support your lower back when sitting.
You can improve your posture by developing strong pelvic and abdominal muscles. Pelvic tilts are beneficial for eliminating or reducing back pain. To perform a pelvic tilt:
- Simply lie flat on your back with your knees bent in a 90-degree angle.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Slowly rock back and push your pelvis and lower back into the floor so that your back is pressed flat against the floor.
- Tighten your stomach and buttocks while doing so.
- Release the position after holding for 5 seconds.
- Repeat 10 times several times per day.
You can also reduce back pain by sleeping on your side and using a maternity pillow between your legs for support at night. Some women find a second pillow to hold on to is helpful during pregnancy.
A maternity support belt can also help eliminate or reduce back pain during pregnancy. A maternity support belt will help provide support for your abdomen and alleviate stress on your back when standing or walking for long periods of time.
Daily exercise can also improve back pain. Be sure to take your time and stretch out your muscles. Many pregnant women also find chiropractic care beneficial. Chiropractic care during pregnancy can help maintain the structure of the spinal column, discs, and related nerves. Your chiropractor can adjust your body to relieve pressure on the lower back. Chiropractic care can also help address an increased back curve and postural changes typically associated with pregnancy. Your chiropractor can help establish balance and alignment with the pelvis.
When seeking out chiropractic care, be sure to check out your chiropractor’s credentials and make sure they are board certified and have experience working with pregnant women. A chiropractor trained in pregnancy will teach you exercises and stretches that are beneficial for reducing back pain during pregnancy. Regular chiropractic care may also reduce the time you are in labor and delivery and help you return to your pre-pregnant shape more quickly after delivery.
The best thing you can do if you are experiencing low back pain during pregnancy is talk with your healthcare provider, who can offer suggestions for improving your pain, and may even be able to refer you to a chiropractor or physical therapist to assist you during your pregnancy.
Thinking about breastfeeding your multiples? It’s certainly possible. Your body will provide you as much milk as you need, whether feeding or pumping, with only a few exceptions. Learn about nursing your multiples from other moms who have been there. Look around your local twin club or contact a lactation consult or La Leche Group.