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Week 22

Week 22

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Now in your fifth month of pregnancy, your baby is nearing 7.6 inches and is almost 13.5 ounces. Your baby is awake and sleeping the same amount he or she will as a newborn. The body is quite thin, but the legs have grown close to the size they'll be at birth. If you're having a boy, the testes are starting to descend to the scrotum. The head is no longer disproportionate to the rest of the body. Now, the brain is rapidly growing, and the baby can easily distinguish your voice. You may notice your baby starts kicking or moving more if you play loud music, while softer sounds soothe and relax.

Leg cramps are common at this stage of pregnancy, so massage your muscles and try to stretch as much as possible. Leg cramps come from a shortage of calcium, so eat more low fat dairy products and foods rich in potassium to reduce cramping. Make sure you're getting around 2500 calories each day to provide the nutrients you and your baby need.

As the baby starts to push on your uterus, you might suffer from more backaches, so don't stand for long periods of time. When you're sitting, put your feet up to alleviate aches and pains. While you're starting to gain more weight towards the end of your second trimester, you aren't likely feeling too uncomfortable yet. However, constipation and hemorrhoids can cause you some grief, as pregnancy hormones cause your muscles to relax. You're likely feeling good emotionally and no longer suffer from bouts of morning sickness, but fatigue increases as your body becomes more strained by the pregnancy.

The second and third trimester is also when you may experience skin problems. Many women get the mask of pregnancy, red marks on the face, and itchy, dry skin on the arms and legs. Although annoying, these are all temporary conditions, so don't worry if you wake up and find your face has become blotchy, or that you have developed a rash. These are all normal pregnancy symptoms, and will quickly fade after your baby's birth.

You'll be starting childbirth classes soon, and it's wise to start looking into different styles of labor and delivery. Some women want a medicated childbirth, while others choose to have their baby at home or with the help of a midwife or doula. There are various books and videos that can educate you on the type of childbirth experience that's right for you.


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