Pregnancy Week 22

July 9, 2009

Baby's Growth

Week after week, your baby is growing and developing. By now, he is more than 7.5 inches long and weighs over 12 ounces-that is ¾ of a pound! His organs are continuing to develop and mature and operating in their specific functions now. His digestive and reproductive systems are also up and running. It is truly an ongoing and amazing process.

Now, your baby will have fingernails and you may find he will be ready for a nail trimming as soon as he is born. His eyelids and eyebrows have formed and developed and the first hint of teeth and full lips are beginning to appear. He is clearly taking on his own identity these days.

Swelling Veins

You will still be feeling energetic with few side effects of your pregnancy interfering with life. As you have probably begun to notice, your legs may be achy and swollen, so you are reminded that support stockings are a helpful tool in controlling the swelling and helping with any leg discomfort you may be having. Support stockings also help to avert varicose veins, which many women develop during pregnancy. If you put them on first thing in the morning, before you even get out of bed, you will find your legs feel stronger and are less likely to be affected with swelling or vein eruptions.

Yikes! Stretch Marks!

At 22 weeks pregnancy, your belly is growing and even though it is not yet an obstruction, your center of gravity has definitely begun to shift. Another sign that is typical in most pregnancies, and which you may begin to experience at this point is stretch marks. Some women develop them early in their pregnancy, some not until the third trimester, and a lucky few don't get them at all. Normally, they begin to appear around week 22, may show up on your breasts, belly, thighs, or waist, and are the result of your skin stretching to accommodate your growing baby. They come in a variety of colors, too-purple, or pink, white or dark brown-depending upon your skin color. The current wisdom dictates that liberal amounts of Vitamin E oil, or creams and potions will help stave off stretch marks. While oils and creams are lovely to put on, feel great, and keep the skin moisturized, your genetics will play a larger part in whether you get stretch marks than moisturizing will. If your mother had them, chances are you will too.

Pregnancy Glow: You're Looking Lovely These Days...

Another change that will occur around this time is that your belly button is starting to protrude. Don't worry, it's not long term and will go back to where it belongs very soon after the birth of your baby. Some women break out in acne because of the drastic hormonal changes in their bodies. This, too, will disappear after the baby is born. A very positive effect of being pregnant is the lovely glow you will have about you. Mostly, this is due to the increase in blood flow in your body. It generates a rosy glow to your face, which often confirms the adage, "there's nothing more beautiful than a pregnant woman."

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