At 22 weeks pregnant, you’re moving quickly along through your life’s one true “labor of love”. Although your size is growing and your body is changing, your energy and lifestyle have probably remained pretty normal. As you get closer to the third trimester of your pregnancy, the excitement of your baby’s arrival is mounting, and the nervousness you felt about the pregnancy has most likely switched to concern about parenting. Books, classes, and pediatricians can do a great deal of good service in putting an expectant mommy’s head at ease… just don’t read too much! With the enormous growth and changes that lie ahead in the next 18 weeks, your best bet as an expectant mom is to remain focused on the wonderful parts of pregnancy and learn as much as you can about parenting.
Your baby is growing more rapidly than you can imagine! At almost 11” and just shy of an entire pound (comparable to a papaya), the 22nd week of your pregnancy is more of the same for your baby: growth, growth, and more growth! In the early weeks of her existence, she looked like a tadpole and was busy forming and developing everything necessary to become a baby, and her weeks now are being spent honing all of the wonderful attributes she already has in place. Her brain, lungs, digestive system, and even reproductive system are in place but still immature. The time and energy she used to spend on developing these important systems is now being spent maturing them for her birth and young life. Her eyelids, teeth, and fingernails are being perfected, and her eyes, nose, ears, and lips are in place. At 22 weeks pregnant, if you could see your baby, she looks like herself. Only smaller!
At 22 weeks pregnant, your body and brain are focused on one main thing right now: your baby! This is as it should be. Your uterus is about an inch above your navel now, and you’re probably feeling your baby move often throughout the day. Even though your size is expanding rapidly, you’re probably still able to function like before without too much of a challenge. Although your energy levels are higher than they have been, your nausea and disgust with your favorite foods has passed, and you’re more comfortable in your own skin, be aware of your “baby brain” tendencies. “Baby brain” is the cute title given to the not-so-cute distracted and forgetful tendencies that have a more common occurrence in the second and third trimesters. Whether you’re trying to decorate the nursery, plan the shower, or just run to the grocery store, lists, reminder alarms, and friends who can handle delegated responsibilities can reduce unnecessary stress and bring about a wonderful feeling of peace. Just remember to go easy on yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
All in all, 22 weeks pregnant is a great place to be! Your baby is growing and changing, your body is able to handle the load of baby-making while still allowing you to perform your pre-pregnant tasks without much help, and your life is going to change dramatically… 18 weeks from now! Feeding your body what it needs, staying hydrated, educating yourself, and avoiding the overwhelmed feeling of “baby brain” can do a wonder each and every day in maintaining a pregnancy glow and avoiding a maternity meltdown. Enjoy the 18 weeks you have to plan and daydream… and gear up for your new life!