What’s going on?
As your pregnancy progresses and your baby grows bigger, you will find your bump becoming the centre of attention these days. Do not hesitate to let others know if you prefer them not to touch your bump. And if you are worried that your bump look bigger or smaller than it should at this point, remember that each woman grows and shows differently – and that is perfectly alright.
Baby at Week 22
Measuring around 27 cm from head to toe and weighing about 450g, your baby is about the size of a papaya and is growing rapidly. Apart from your baby’s facial features becoming more distinct, he/she has also started developing tiny tooth buds beneath the gums – a very important preparation before the first tooth pops a few months after birth.
Your baby’s eyes have also formed by now, but the irises (the coloured section of the eye) still lacks pigment. The colour of your little one’s eyes will be more apparent at birth, but it is also common for this to change a few months later.
Other notable highlights taking place this week: your baby’s sense of sight is becoming more fine-tuned and can now detect light and darkness, even with those closed eyelids. But unless you are shining a torchlight over your bump (it’s perfectly alright to do so), your baby will be nestled in darkness inside your cosy womb. This environment provides comfort to your little one as he/she can hear your voice, your heartbeat, the gurgling of your stomach and the whoosh of blood circulating through your body.
What is mum up to?
Your uterus may be growing rapidly these days but that is not the only thing that is expanding. Most pregnant mums will discover that at some point, their feet get bigger as well.
While an increase in feet size can be attributed to pregnancy swelling (edema), the hormone relaxin has a part to play in this as well. As relaxin loosens the ligaments and joints around your pelvis, the bones under them tend to spread slightly as well, which results in a half or full shoe size increase. This will call for a need to get new shoes, and in this case, it would be wise to opt for comfort (think, flats and sandals) rather than style – so do give those stilettos a miss for the time being as maintaining your balance is already a challenge in itself.
Top tips for Week 22
You may start noticing your uterus practicing for delivery through irregular, painless contractions in your abdomen which is termed Braxton Hicks contractions. There’s no need to worry too much at this point though, as Braxton Hicks contractions are not dangerous or harmful. However, there are some things you can do to ease the discomfort when these ‘false contractions’ occur:
- Drink plenty of water as these contractions can be triggered due to dehydration
- Shift your activity or position (i.e. walking or resting) to ease contractions. Real labour contractions will persist and progress no matter what you do.
- Take slow, deep breaths and do some simple relaxation exercises to cope with the discomfort.