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How Big is Your Baby?
It's week 22 and month five of your pregnancy. At this stage, the growing fetus in your womb measures around 10.5 to 11.8 inches and weighs around 12.7 to 20.8 ounces.
Baby’s growth and development
The baby in week 22 has more developed eyes and lips, which makes it look more like a newborn. It now sleeps in cycles, nearly around 12 to 14 hours per day.
Changes You Experience
The uterus has now risen about an inch above the belly button. Normally, the mother gains around half a pound each week at this stage. Lower abdominal pain, cramps and dull backache are a regular feature by now. However if they are intense, one must consult a doctor as they may be signs of premature delivery.
With the steadily increasing weight, stretch marks start forming on the belly. They are also accompanied with itching and irritation as a side-effect. Many women start feeling energetic and describe this week as the comfortable period of pregnancy, which is most often due to the effect of hormones. Increasing blood flow may be the reason for nosebleeds, dizziness and bleeding gums in some mothers.
As mentioned earlier, some symptoms can indicate preterm labor. To confirm this, a test can be conducted. Foetal fibronectin (fFN) is a protein that is present in amniotic sac till week 22 and after it, disappears till the 38th week. So the secretion of the mother can be examined to find if there is presence of fFN, which shows that there is an increased possibility of preterm labor. Babies born at this stage have chances of survival if given optimum care under a medical aid. One must also consult the doctor if the baby’s movements have not begun by now, or if the baby has stopped moving.
As the baby is developing rapidly, care must be taken to provide adequate nourishment. This directly implies that the mother’s appetite increases now. You must have a balanced diet and consume iron-rich foods as they are beneficial for the development of the baby.
Avoid consuming foods that contain raw eggs. Also undercooked meat, unpasteurized cheese and some varieties of fish including swordfish must not be consumed at all. Some fish contain high level of mercury that can harm the baby’s brain.
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