By week 22 you should definitely be feeling your baby move. If you pat your tummy or talk to him/her, they may kick in response. Studies suggest that this kind of interaction may even help neurological stimulation.
Your baby weighs approximately 450g and measures around 28cm from head to heel. The baby is growing rapidly, and the brain is developing fast.
If you baby is a boy, the testes have begun to descend from the pelvis into the scrotum. The pancreas is now further developed and they've also started producing their own hormones. The inner ear is now developed to the point that the baby now has it's own sense of balance.
By week 22 your breasts will begin to leak colostrum. By now you should start to feel the baby move if you have not already.
As the baby continues to develop and gain weight, you may be noticing that you are also hungrier. Do you need to be "Eating for Two?" It is important to find out more about your own caloric intake during the second trimester. In general, you should be adding about 300 additional calories to your daily diet.
Experts say that you should gain between 25 and 35 pounds throughout the whole pregnancy. The weight can be roughly broken down as follows: Baby - 7.5 pounds, Placenta - 1 pound, Uterus - 2 pounds, Amniotic Fluid - 2 pounds, Breasts - 1 pound, Blood Volume - 2.5 pounds, Fat - 5 pounds, Tissue Fluid - 6 pounds, Total - 27 pounds
Make sure you don't get dehydrated because the extra blood your body is producing needs lots of water. Keep a bottle handy and sip throughout the day even if you think you're constantly rushing to the loo.
You may have heard of pre-eclampsia, it occurs in 1 in 14 pregnancies and usually after 20 weeks. Very sudden swelling in your hands and face may be a symptom of this, but don't panic unduly because general swelling is normal as your body retains fluids.
Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy-induced condition, which can occur in the second half of pregnancy. It is characterised by high blood pressure, swelling that happens suddenly along with rapid weight gain due to fluid retention, and protein in the urine. Routine checks with the midwife will highlight if this is a condition that you have.
Pre-eclampsia can range from mild to severe. Although there is no treatment that will stop it completely during pregnancy, pre-eclampsia can be managed.
Since it reduces the flow of blood to the placenta, pre-eclampsia can be quite dangerous for your unborn baby. It can restrict your baby's growth because not enough oxygen or nutrients are getting through.
My Experience at 22 weeks
I definitely started to feel the weight gain at this stage and had to give in to buying proper maternity clothes. I had gone from a size 8 to a size 12 but unfortunately even wearing larger sizes did not do as your shape is not just bigger it is a different shape to what you would be if it was only weight gain.
We bought our first item for our first born this week, a pram, a bugaboo (it is a pram and it converts into a pushchair for the baby from 6 months). It was quite expensive but well worth it as we have had our second child since and used it for both children. The pushchair we even used for our second child at about 3 months not the recommended 6 months. The pushchair can be put into a sleeping position and with padding it is just as good as the pram. You can buy a board that clips onto the back of the pushchair for another child to stand on which we did for our toddler as opposed to getting a double buggy. The pram also works well in the snow.