Pregnancy Week 22



By now your baby has a definite sleep-wake cycle, with the periods of being active and awake and period of sleep and rest. You may have already felt some movements, and with time you will be able to differentiate between your baby being asleep and awake by feeling the movements. If he’s is asleep he can be woken by your movement or loud noises.

Your uterus is nearly an inch above your navel. You'll probably be gaining weight more steadily now as your baby continues to fill out. The extra weight may begin to take its toll on your back. Wear low heeled shoes (flat shoes can strain your back as much as high heeled shoes) and avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. When you sit, use a footstool to raise your knees higher than your hips.

Indigestion and gastro-oesophageal reflex (or heartburn) are extremely common in the later stages of pregnancy. As your uterus expands to accommodate your growing baby there is less room in your abdomen for the rest of your organs. Your stomach is literally squashed by your womb so it has less capacity to hold food. This is why you need to eat little and often late in pregnancy.

Reflux or heartburns is also due to the effects of your hormones and physiological changes taking place to accommodate your pregnancy. There is a sphincter between the top of your stomach and the bottom of your oesophagus, which stops food and stomach juices and acids going back up your oesophagus, irritating your oesophagus and resulting in a burning pain in your chest.

Changing your diet and the way that you eat may help relieve symptoms of indigestion and reflux. Firstly, eat upright and not lounging against your sofa, after you have eaten, try to avoid lying down for at least an hour.

You may start to notice stretch marks on your abdomen as it expands to accommodate your growing baby. At least half of pregnant women develop stretch marks by the time they give birth. These small streaks of differently textured skin can range from pink to dark brown (depending on your skin color). Although they most commonly appear on your tummy, stretch marks may also show up on your buttocks, thighs, hips, and breasts. There's no proof that lotion helps prevent stretch marks, but keeping your skin moisturized may help with any itching.

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