Pregnancy Week 22

Howbig is your baby?
The head to heel measurement is now at around 10.94 inches (27.8cm) and your babyis now weighing approximately 15.17 ounces (430g). By the end of this week yourbaby will be about the size of a Barbie doll.

How big are you?
Your uterus should now be about 0.78 inches (2cm) above your bellybutton and about8.66 inches (22cm) above your pubic symphysis this week.

You may be feeling comfortably pregnant now as most women tend to enjoy the second trimester of their pregnancy, as most of the early pregnancy symptoms would have left them and they are not yet too bigto be uncomfortable all the time.

How is your baby developing and growing
Your babys brain will start with some rapid development this week – and this rapiddevelopment will continue until your baby is 5 years old. Your baby may also beroused from his/her sleeping pattern by external sounds and your movements. Eventhough your babys eye lids are fussed shut, he/she will still be making blinkingmovements.

If your baby is a boy then towards the end of this week his testes will have starteddescending into the scrotum. If your baby is a girl then the ovaries – which aremade from the same tissue as the testes – will remain in place and by the end ofthis week her uterus would be completely formed.

Your baby’s organ systems are becoming specialized for their particular function.The function of the fetal liver is much different from that of an adult. One ofthe functions of the adult liver is to breakdown bilirubin, which is produced whenblood cells are broken down. As the life span of fetal blood cells is less thanthose of an adult, the fetal liver will produce more bilirubin.

The bilirubin is then removed from your baby via the placenta and your own liverwill then rid the bilirubin from it’s blood. Should a baby be born with a high bilirubincount they may get what is called Jaundice. This is typically caused by your baby’sliver not being able to deal with the high bilirubin count.

A baby with Jaundice may have a yellowish tint to his/her skin and it is usuallytreated with the aid of phototherapy.


This Week with Dr Miriam Stoppard

Your Nutrition
It is not uncommon to experience dizziness during pregnancy – and this is usually caused by the increasingdemand being placed on your body by your rapidly developing baby. It is not uncommonto feel light headed if you lie on your back for too long or if you stand up tofast. It could however also be a sign of anemia, hypertension or hypotension. If you do experiencedizziness on a regular basis, then you should mention this to your health care provider.

It is vitally important that you keep your fluid intake up during pregnancy. Fluidswill help your body process nutrients, develop new cells, keep up your blood volumeand help regulate your body temperature. every 15 calories your body burns you shouldtake in 1 tablespoon of water. Because your calorie needs increase during pregnancy,so do your water needs. You should be aiming to drink 6-8 glasses of water a dayduring your pregnancy. Drinking water may also aid with other common pregnancy problemssuch as headaches,uterine cramping and bladder infections.

Pregnancy Week 22