By now you are loving every minute of being pregnant. It is an exciting time in your life especially if this is your first born child. Now you are right in the middle of the second trimester. Most new moms to be have already started planning the baby names, getting things together for a baby shower and planning the nursery. You may have started to gain significant weight by now. Don’t be discouraged; the weight gain is for a good reason. The baby is growing at a much more steady pace. You can also start to feel the baby more and more as the weeks go by.
Though the risk of miscarriage has reduced greatly, there are some things that you should safeguard against. For example, stay away from smoking and try to avoid others that smoke too. Refrain from drinking alcohol. You want to be eating more healthy foods rather than junk foods or friend foods. Remember what you are putting into your body so is the baby. You are going to start hearing more stories from friends and family about their pregnancies. It is fun to compare pregnancies but remember that each pregnancy is different. You will not experience the same things as other moms did.
The baby is gaining weight during this period. The baby weighs approximately about 430 to 450 grams or one pound or 12.25 ounce. The crown to heel or rump length is about 27 cms or 11 inches approximately. The baby resembles a newborn child at this stage, only difference is that it is much thinner as there isn’t much development of baby fat yet. Though the baby is steadily gaining weight, the skin still has a wrinkled appearance. The baby’s body is undergoing continuous growth and development. All organs in the baby’s body are developing at a rapid rate.
The liver of the baby has started production of various enzymes that are required for breaking down of billirubin. The billirubin is produced as a result of the breaking down of red blood cells. The fetal red blood cells have a shorter life span and so there is more production of billirubin in a fetus. The billirubin from fetal blood goes into the placenta and then passes into mother’s blood. The mother’s liver gets rid of the fetal billirubin. The pancreas of the baby is developing and growing at a steady rate.
The baby shows distinct lips and eyes at 22 weeks pregnant stage. The iris or the colored part of the eye is still lacking pigment. The eyelids and eyebrows are well formed. The tooth buds are formed and can be seen lying under the gum line. At this stage of 22 weeks pregnancy, the baby’s brain is developing very rapidly. The sensory systems of the baby are also developing very fast during this period. The brain has developed a good network of neurons by now, and baby is learning about the sense of touch. The baby may start exploring its face by stroking and start moving legs and arms to touch and feel. In the case of a female fetus, the ovaries and primitive ova or egg cells have developed well. The female fetus will also have a completely formed uterus by now.
You will start noticing quite a few visible physical changes in your body at 22 weeks pregnant stage. The initial signs of pregnancy and symptoms of early pregnancy include increased hormone levels, tenderness and tingling of breasts, spotting, bleeding, abdominal cramps, pains, pelvic discomfort, morning sickness, nausea, vomiting, mood swings, irritability, sleepiness, dizziness, fainting, mild headaches, constipation, food cravings and aversions and so on. Every pregnancy is unique and different, so all women experience different symptoms. The experience of pregnancy is different for all women. Some women may have very severe symptoms and some women may experience absolutely no signs and symptoms.
The initial signs and symptoms of nausea and vomiting may decrease during the later stages of pregnancy. In cases of some women though, these may continue throughout the pregnancy period. At 22 weeks pregnant stage, the most visible changes are weight gain, increase in breast size and protrusion of the belly. The blood volume increases a lot at this stage to meet the pregnancy demands. There is increased flow of blood in the lower part of the body resulting in greater vaginal discharge. The expectant mother may experience an increased urge of frequenting the loo. Some women may develop hemorrhoids and have bleeding from the rectum or anus. The pregnant woman may feel the baby’s movements also.
Changes in Your Body
The most noticeable change is going to be your weight gain in this 22nd week. As your baby grows and your waistline expands, you can expect to gain close to a pound per week. If you weighed 15 lbs last week and you’ve stayed on a healthy well balanced diet, chances are you’ve gained about a pound. Talking with your doctor about weight gain and weight loss during pregnancy is crucial, as each woman is different and will fluctuate differently during her pregnancy term. Unfortunately for some women, the pregnancy symptoms have not and will not cease throughout the pregnancy term. For others, they’ve pretty much disappeared. Vaginal discharge is common for all women at this stage, and is due to the increase in blood flow. You’re probably able to feel your baby’s movements more frequently at this point, so enjoy this 22nd week.
Choosing The Right Car Seat
All car seats in the United States are required by the federal government to meet very strict safety guidelines. There are many brands and models of car seats with different features available. When deciding which car seat you would like to use for your baby you will want to shop around and look at the features that are most important to you. Some are easier to adjust, get your baby in and out of, or move from car to car
Infant Only Car Seats
Infant only car seats are really convenient. They are small and easy to carry around. Many of them come with a base that you can leave in the car. The seat just snaps in place which saves time because you don’t have to install the car seat each time you use it. Infant seats can not be used on older kids. They are designed to be rear facing and used for infants from birth to around 20-30 pounds depending on the model.
Convertible Car Seats
Some parents prefer convertible car seats. Convertible car seats can be used as an infant seat and then later converted to a toddler car seat. Convertible car seats have higher weight limits than standard infant seats so they may be a better choice for bigger babies. There are three types of harnesses for convertible car seats, the five point harness, overhead shield, and the t-shield. All are safe harnesses but you may be more comfortable using one type of harness over another.
Other Types of Car Seats
There are other types of car seats such as booster seats and front facing only car seats, however, these are generally designed for older children.
How To Decide
The best way to decide which car seat to purchase is to look at them and try them out. Snap and unsnap the buckles, adjust the straps, pick the seat up out of the base and snap it back in place. You may find that one is easier to adjust or assemble. Ask your friends for their opinions and why they like the car seat they are using. Price shouldn’t be the only factor in deciding which car seat to buy. As mentioned earlier, all car seats sold in the US meet strict safety standards. Purchase a car seat that is easy to use, assemble and one that you like.
Low Back Pain During Pregnancy
As your belly continues to expand you may notice you develop low back pain at some point during pregnancy. This is more common from 22 weeks pregnant on as your uterus continues to grow and shift your center of gravity. Hormonal changes and extra weight gain can also contribute to lower back pain.
One of the simplest and least expensive ways to relieve some of your back pain is supporting your lower back. Your growing abdomen naturally forces postural shifts that can result in uncomfortable lower (and even upper) back pain. Pregnancy support pillows including Snoozer Full Body Pregnancy Pillows help support the head, legs, knees and low back throughout pregnancy and after. These handy pillows also claim to bolster circulation. When your blood is flowing, you are more likely to feel healthy and vibrant even if you do experience some discomfort in your back.
A pregnancy pillow may also alleviate neck and shoulder pain after you have your baby, if you use your pregnancy pillow as a nursing pillow. Our European Natural Goose Down pregnancy pillows easily conform to the contours of your body, allowing you to rest your baby comfortably on them while nursing. Why not try one today?
There are many steps you can take to help alleviate low back pain during pregnancy. Most importantly you should pay attention to your posture during pregnancy. Many women adopt poor posture during pregnancy to accommodate their shift in gravity.
You can work with a chiropractor or other allied health professional to help adjust your posture and help alleviate your back pain in many cases. Other things you can do include wearing maternity support belts, avoiding lifting heavy objects and slouching when you are sitting. Some women find using a lumbar support cushion very helpful, especially if they have to spend many hours at the office or in front of a computer each and every day.
There are also exercises you can perform including pelvic tilts to help strengthen your abdominal muscles and relieve back pain during pregnancy. If you aren’t sure how to do these ask your healthcare provider or get a referral to a physical therapist that can help you exercise and support your back during pregnancy in a safe and appropriate manner.
- Always use a car seat when traveling with your baby.
- Make sure that car seat is secured tightly. Pull on the seat to make sure that it is secure.
- Make sure that the harness straps are secured snugly.
- Never place a rear facing car seat in the front seat of a car with a passenger air bag.
- The back seat of the car is the safest place for a baby or child in a car seat.
- All babies should be placed in a rear facing car seat until they are one year old (and over 20 lbs). If they turn one and are under 20 lbs they should remain in a rear facing seat until they are over 20 lbs. This is sometimes confused. If your baby weighs 20 lbs before he or she turns one year old, he should still remain in a rear facing car seat. You may need to switch to a convertible seat or one that has a higher weight limit.
- To verify that your car seat is safe and is installed correctly have your car seat inspected by a certified inspector.