At 22 weeks
You’re well on your way through the second trimester and as your waistline has gone completely I bet you can hardly remember what life was like without stretch trousers! I hope my special set of blogs is continuing to be useful – I’ve so much still to talk to you about.
How are you feeling just now?
Usually you feel great during the second trimester and you get heavier! You’ll put on about 6 kilos in total – that’s more than at any other period in pregnancy – although only about 1 kilo is the baby. The rest is:
- amniotic fluid
- placenta – about the size of a teaplate
- extra blood volume
- larger breasts
- fat stores around your thighs and upper arms for you to make milk for the baby
You’re probably a bit constipated. Progesterone relaxes the muscles in your intestines, so they don’t push your food along quite so well. Drink lots of water and eat lots of fruit, vegetables and fibre. A good dose of figs and prunes will definitely work! Don’t take any laxative without consulting your doctor first.
You may leak small amounts of colostrum (thin, yellowish pre-milk) from your breasts this early. Mop up with an absorbent breast pad slipped into your bra.
You should feel some movements every day now, for instance when the baby hiccups. And there’ll be distinct periods of sleeping (no kicks) and waking (lots of activity). He’s able to hear quite a lot of what’s going on outside – he’ll respond to your voice and your partner’s by moving in rhythm with your speech, and he’ll begin to shimmy if he hears vigorous drum beats! So dance to the music.
You and your partner can bond really strongly to your unborn baby by massaging him together and having quiet sessions, just the three of you, with chilled music both of you singing and talking to him.
…and your partner…
Some more topics for you to chat through together about the Birth Plan –
- whether you mind student doctors or midwives being present during your labour and birth, if it’s in a teaching hospital
- what position you want to adopt to deliver your baby
- whether you prefer not to have a episiotomy if the delivery is normal
- whether you mind if the delivery of the placenta is speeded up with syntometrine or whether you prefer it to be delivered naturally
…and your baby…
She’s still quite thin and wrinkly, though more in proportion, and is now concentrating on building up fat. By week 22 she’ll weight about half a kilo (one pound) and be around 18 to 19 centimetres from the top of her head to her bottom (crown-to-rump). Close to a kilo in weight, he’ll measure around 23-25 centimetres by week 24. If born after 24 weeks he may survive in intensive care, though it’ll be touch-and-go. Let’s hope he stays put!
What causes them?
Well pregnancy hormones break down proteins in your skin and making it less elastic. Don’t worry, though – you’re not alone. Around 9 in 10 women get stretchmarks in pregnancy, usually as reddish streaks across the abdomen, perhaps also on the thighs, breasts, hips and upper arms. But –
If you gain weight gradually it will allow the skin to stretch without those red marks appearing. Massaging with a massage gel will help keep the skin supple, but won’t remove the marks or stop them appearing. And that’s about it! Nothing else you do or eat will help. Fortunately, after the birth stretchmarks gradually fade to faint silvery streaks you’ll barely notice.
You may notice some other skin changes. Pregnancy may make your skin:
- drier than normal and
- more deeply pigmented
- tiny red spidery marks – all normal
…so you may need to alter your make-up and skincare routines to suit.
Bye for now!
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Copyright Miriam Stoppard 2012