Pregnancy Week 22
You are only weeks away from your third trimester. Here is a list of pointers for this part of your pregnancy.
You can now feel the top of your uterus about ¾ of an inch (2 cm) above your belly button. As mentioned last week, many women describe this as the most comfortable trimester.
Your baby is almost 10 inches (25 cm) long and weighs a whole 14 ounces (.4 kg).
Your baby looks like a newborn but much smaller. Much development will continue to occur over the next 18 weeks. Your baby’s skin appears wrinkly, but this is because your baby has not yet gained enough weight to fill the skin out.
The lips are also becoming more distinct. The eyes have completely formed, but the iris (the colored portion of the eye) still lacks pigment. The eyelids and eyebrows are in place, and the pancreas is continuing to mature.
If you have not already arranged childbirth education classes, it is time to do so. Childbirth education classes provide accurate information on what to expect during labor and birth, teach relaxation techniques to use during labor, help labor coaches understand their role, and provide opportunities to talk with other couples who are expecting.
Try to complete your class by the end of your 37th week, to ensure you can finish it before labor begins. Hospitals, community centers, and pregnancy centers normally offer classes.
If you need assistance in locating classes, the following organizations can be used to locate a class near you:
Many women begin worrying about preterm labor, especially if they begin to develop lower abdominal pain, dull backaches, pressure in the pelvic area, cramping, and a change in vaginal discharge. These symptoms can either be normal or indicate preterm labor.
There is now a test that can be done to determine what exactly is going on. Fetal fibronectin (fFN) is found in the amniotic sac and fetal membranes. However, this protein disappears after 22 weeks and is not present again until 38 weeks.
If this protein is found in the vaginal secretions of a woman who is more than 22 weeks pregnant but less than 38 weeks, then there is an increased risk of preterm labor. If the protein is absent, then the woman has a low risk and will not deliver in the next two weeks. The test is performed like a Pap smear, and results are returned within 24 hours.
Suggest that the two of you do something now that might be harder to do once the baby has arrived. You may want to see a movie, go hiking, or enjoy a day at the beach. Just make sure that it is an activity that you both enjoy, and have fun!
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