The 2nd trimester: Week 22
Week 22 of pregnancy

Your baby is entering her fifth month of existence and now looks like a miniature newborn. You're still fairly small though and probably not yet too uncomfortable.

Your baby

How your baby's growing:

Although your little one is now quite well developed, he cannot yet survive outside the womb. His lungs and digestive system are not fully formed and he is not capable yet of maintaining his own body heat.

Many of his baby teeth have already formed in his gums and he can distinguish sweet from bitter tastes. Primitive sperm have formed and a male foetus is producing testosterone.

During this week, your baby's skin will make the transformation from being translucent to opaque.

Your body

How you may be feeling:

Surprise, surprise: your waistline has most likely completely disappeared by this time and you may stumble across the odd stretch mark here and there. These are caused by the breakdown of proteins in the skin due to pregnancy hormones. To help reduce their appearance there are several creams and tissue oils available. Avoid creams containing vitamin A as too much of it can harm your baby.

You may find that you are sometimes a bit light-headed if you stand up quickly or move suddenly. This is common during pregnancy due to the excess blood centered in your uterus, and flowing slower through the rest of your body. Make sure you're drinking enough water, given how much your blood volume has increased over the past few months.

Tip of the week

This is a good time to have your iron levels checked. During pregnancy your baby uses some of the iron stores you have in your body. As many as 20 percent of pregnant women are anaemic, and anaemia can put you at serious risk if you haemorrhage during delivery.

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