pregnancy week 22

Your developing baby

Your baby’s facial features are now very well developed. If you could see him now you could make out tiny closed eyes (his eyelids are still fused together), a little button nose and mouth, eyelashes, eyebrows and hair on his head.

This week your baby is about 27cm long and now that he isn’t so curled up he is measured from his head to his heel, whilst in early pregnancy when his legs curled up he was measured from his head to his bottom, which is called crown to rump.

As your baby’s nervous system starts to mature so do his bones, which makes him wriggle and somersault repeatedly. From now on though, these moves are very deliberate as he practises stretching, thumb sucking, hiccups (which you may feel) and grasping his hands together or tugging on the umbilical cord. All these movements will help him to improve his coordination and fine motor skills once he is born.

Your developing body

As your body continues to grow, you may experience a bit of weight gain, but don’t let this be an excuse to eat badly. Follow our guide to healthy eating in pregnancy. It's also worth reading foods to avoid to ensure that your pregnancy is as safe as possible. With weight gain you may start to experience backache, especially in your lower back as the extra weight out front puts pressure on the back. For women whose bumps are big (you are expecting twins for example) there are special belts you can wear to support your bump and give your back a rest. Ask your midwife or GP for advice. Otherwise, try gentle excercise like swimming to feel the weightlessness of water, or pregnancy yoga to strengthen your back muscles. Walking gently everyday will help you to keep fit and healthy and will burn off any extra calories.

What's going to be happening at week 23? Find out...

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Tags: stage2