Advertising
Advertising

Pregnancy At Week 22

Pregnancy At Week 22

As your pregnancy is progressing week by week, you constantly want to know what’s going on with your baby at all times. Plus, you also want to know what is happening with your body that week and how to relieve symptoms you experience. At week 22, you’re already halfway through your pregnancy which can already be considered as a significant accomplishment. Throughout this article, we’re going to discuss week 22 of pregnancy and what happens at this stage.

What’s going on with your baby?

As mentioned above, you are already halfway through your pregnancy. During week 22, you’re in the second trimester and the baby is entering the fifth month of its existence. At this point, your baby’s length is about 11 inches and your bundle of joy weighs just less than 1 pound.

The baby’s brain is already in a stage of rapid growth and their little fingernails are almost fully grown. Furthermore, the baby’s organs are becoming more functional and specialized. Your son or daughter even has defined lips and their first canines and molars are developing just below the gum line. The little human being in your belly even has formed eyelashes and eyebrows. Basically, at this stage, your baby already resembles a miniature newborn. As you can see, in week 22 pregnancy is very productive for your unborn child. The growth is promoted by blood that is traveling through the umbilical cord at 4 m/ph thus delivering oxygen and healthy nutrients to your child.

During this productive week, your baby’s grip becomes stronger and since there’s nothing to grab in the womb, your baby will grab and hold on tight to the umbilical cord. Don’t worry; the umbilical cord is tight and strong enough to handle their grip.

Furthermore, your child can also hear your voice better, heartbeat, and gentle sounds produced by blood circulating through your body.

Your body at week 22 of pregnancy

During the 22nd week of pregnancy, your uterus is about an inch above your belly button. However, your belly isn’t the only thing that’s increasing in size this week. Your feet start to change as well. Here’s why the size of your feet will change at this point:

  • Pregnancy swelling or edema – it affects about three quarters of pregnant women. Edema usually occurs between weeks 22 and 27 of pregnancy and it usually sticks around until childbirth.

  • Pregnancy hormone – this particular hormone is called relaxin and it’s produced by the ovaries and the placenta. During pregnancy, this hormone relaxes your ligaments in the pelvis, and it softens and widens your cervix. Basically, it prepares your body for childbirth. This hormone can also affect your feet. When feet and ligaments are loosened, the bones under them spread which results in an increase of half or a whole shoe size. Usually, when feet become larger due to relaxin, they rarely return to the pre-pregnancy size.

Here’s the good news about week 22 of pregnancy; you probably won’t feel irritable, moody, or exhausted at this point. Since you’re already in your second trimester, you probably don’t experience fatigue and other symptoms that you went through in the first trimester of your pregnancy. Most women feel their energy levels increased at this stage.

More good news for you, at this point you get that famous pregnancy glow. Your skin’s texture makes you look even younger and your hair will be shiny and smooth.

Symptoms at week 22

Throughout the course of pregnancy, women experience a wide array of symptoms but their intensity and severity varies from woman to woman. Below, you can see the most common symptoms associated with week 22:

  • Heartburn and indigestion

  • Increased vaginal discharge

  • Leg cramps

  • Protruding navel

  • Varicose veins

  • Constipation

  • Dizziness

  • Braxton-Hicks contractions (not dangerous)

  • Stretch marks.

Useful tips for week 22

There’s always a way to relieve symptoms of pregnancy and enjoy this special time and unique experience in all its glory. For example:

Advertising

  • Keep your feet up whenever you can to avoid relieve varicose veins

  • Stock your kitchen with healthy foods and snacks that won’t cause heartburn

  • Exercise regularly for improved mobility and bowel movements

  • Use panty liners to keep clean and dry when experiencing vaginal discharge

  • Stay hydrated to avoid dizziness

  • Use moisturizer, it won’t eliminate stretch marks but it will make them become less visible sooner

  • Buy comfortable and roomy shoes.

You can also:

  • Start decorating the nursery

  • Shop for maternity clothes

  • Think about baby names

  • Decide whether you want to know sex of the baby or you want to be surprised

  • Take power naps.

Week 22 is highly productive for your baby and the upcoming weeks are going to be just as productive as well. Since you’re feeling more energetic at this stage, you could use this energy outburst to exercise, shop for maternity clothes and overall enjoy the experience of preparing for the baby’s arrival

Advertising

More by this author

Delicious food Do You Believe Cereals Cause You Dull Skin? Here Are Other Healthier Breakfast Options! When Popping A Pimple Causes No Regret: Popping The Right Way! Pegan Diet: Is It Paleo or Vegan Diet? What Is It Actually? 10 High Protein Low Fat Foods That All Gym People Need In Their Diet If You Want To Lose Weight, Do It In The Right Way

Trending in Parenting

1 11 Smart Pieces of Advice to Help You Thrive as a Single Mother 2 12 Tips for Parenting the Strong Willed Child in a Compassionate Way 3 Coparenting 101: 17 Helpful Strategies for Divorced Parents 4 19 Youtube Children’s Videos That Will Help Make Your Kid Smarter 5 15 Insightful Parenting Books That Help Your Kids Start off a Healthy Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Published on September 21, 2018

11 Smart Pieces of Advice to Help You Thrive as a Single Mother

11 Smart Pieces of Advice to Help You Thrive as a Single Mother

Becoming a mother is one of the most difficult challenges a woman can take on in her life. Whether this happens the “natural” way, with the help of science, or through adoption, being in charge of nurturing another human being is a herculean task to take on.

Typically, when we think about parenthood, we imagine two parents sharing the responsibility and having each other to lean on. However, according to the 2016 U.S. Census Bureau, 1 in 4 children under the age of 18 are being raised by a single mother.[1] This is a significant portion of the population that often gets overlooked.

If you are one of these mothers raising your children on your own, you are undoubtedly aware of the additional challenges that motherhood has placed upon you, including the constant struggle to find sufficient time, energy, money, and support.

For single mothers who find themselves bogged down by their daily responsibilities and struggle to stay afloat, don’t be fooled by the belief that you have to do all. It is possible to thrive and live as a single mother if you take advantage of all available resources and adjust your priorities based on your situation.

1. Find your community and ask for help

As the sole caretaker of your kids, going through the successes and struggles of parenthood can feel isolating and lonely. You have probably developed a strong sense of independence because you’ve had to go at it alone.

Being self-reliant is necessary in many situations that you have to face, but do not fool yourself into thinking that you don’t need support from others. If you have family nearby, strengthen your relationship with them by visiting and talking more often. Find time to catch up with old friends or co-workers, and don’t assume they don’t want to hang out if they are not parents themselves.

Would you prefer finding mom friends[2] who have more in common with you? Use resources like apps, Facebook groups, and community events to meet local moms in your area.

After you have established a support group that you can depend on, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It is NOT a sign of weakness or incompetency to admit you can’t do it all, and others are probably more willing to lend a hand than you think.

If you feel uncomfortable burdening others, suggest trading favors such as taking turns babysitting. Because after all, helping is each other is what community is all about.

Advertising

2. Make peace with the past

Before you can move forward, you must make peace with your past and not let it define you or rule your life. Whether your journey to single motherhood was through divorce, death, or never having a relationship the father, it is crucial that you leave behind the feelings of abandonment or betrayal you may be struggling with.

You cannot change the past and the hurt you had to endure, but you can use the strength that you gained from overcoming those obstacles to work towards making the best life for yourself and your child. Learn from the past but live in the present and look towards the future.

3. Make plans and set goals

The daily repetition of trying to balance work and home life can make you feel like you are on operating on autopilot. However, it is imperative to set goals for yourself and to keep working towards self-improvement.

In your personal life, you can set a fitness goal (train for a 5k), a reading goal (read 20 books in a year), or a travel goal (take a trip to Europe). At your job, you can set career goals such as gain leadership experience, get a promotion, or earn a degree or certificate.

Spend time creating a realistic plan to on how you can go about achieving these goals. Not only will working towards these goals make you a more well-rounded and successful person, they will bring more purpose and fulfillment to your life.

4. Look for role models

A great way to jump start your plans for the future is to find a role model or mentor who is further along in their life or career experience. This person can be a great resource when you need guidance on what types of goals to set for yourself and how to achieve them.

It’s also important to have people to turn to for encouragement during difficult seasons of life. Someone who has been through it before can provide the most genuine reassurance that tough times will get better and that staying positive is best approach.

5. Rethink your priorities

Single parents have twice as many responsibilities to take care of, so priorities and expectations must be adjusted accordingly.

Know that you are not superwoman and striving for a perfectly clean home, no dirty laundry, and home-cooked meals for your kids every day is not a reasonable expectation. It’s okay to take shortcuts sometimes, like serving your kids cereal for dinner or waiting until the next day to wash the dishes.

Advertising

Don’t compare yourself to anyone else and let go of the guilt that you feel for being the only parent that your kids can count on. Give yourself a break and don’t sweat the small stuff.

6. Make time for me time

Even though it can be difficult to find, making time for yourself is critical to maintaining your sanity and well-being. Without a built-in partner to take over, finding time to be away from the kids must be done intentionally and planned in advance.

If you are sharing custody, use the time away from your kids not only doing productive things but also making sure you are taking care of yourself. Sleep, exercise, and balanced diet are not things that can get pushed to the bottom of the priority list. Also make time for fun activities, such as hobbies and creative outlets.

Even though being a mother is the most important job you have, don’t let it be the only thing that defines you. Time for yourself is more difficult to find if you are the sole caretaker of your kids.

Use the resources that you have to devote time to self-care, and you and your kids will thank you for it in the long run.

7. Stay organized

With so many things to juggle, great organizational skills are an absolute must in order to keep everything moving smoothly. Use apps such as Mint for your finances, Mealime for meal planning, and Cozi as a family organizer for everything from appointments and shopping lists to after school activities.

Maintain constant contact if you are sharing custody so that it is clearly communicated who will be responsible for what when it comes to your kids. Follow consistent routines in the morning and nighttime so that your kids also know what to expect on a daily basis.

8. Be flexible (Don’t be a control freak)

Although it is important to be prepared and stay organized, things don’t always go according to plan.

When kids get sick and have to stay home or babysitters cancel at the last minute, allow for flexibility by having a contingency plan for childcare and with your employer.

Advertising

For example, make a list of people you can call when you need last minute childcare, or talk to your boss in advance about working from home when emergencies come up.

Most of all, don’t let unexpected changes stress you out and ruin your day.

9. Learn to say no (Don’t feel guilty)

Single mothers have limitations in time, energy and resources that families with two parents wouldn’t be able to understand. Because of these circumstances, it’s important you let go of feelings of guilt and stop trying to do everything and be everywhere.

You don’t have to say yes to every single birthday party your child is invited to. Your kids don’t have to be involved in sports and extracurricular activities every night of the week.

Limit the things you do to only the ones that are the most enjoyable and meaningful for you and your family. Doing more things does not make you a better mother; simply a more tired one.

10. Live within your means

When you have to raise your family on a single income, budgeting and spending within your means becomes more important than ever.

If you have outstanding debt that is accruing interest, make it a priority to pay those off as soon as possible. Outlining a budget is the best way to visualize how much money is being spent every month on various things and what is left over.

Find ways to save money on the necessities by looking for sales at the grocery store, buying some things secondhand, planning out meals.

After the necessary bills are paid, determine how much can be spent on luxury items such as eating out, vacations, and going to the movies.

Advertising

Don’t let finances be a source of anxiety for you and your family. Keep your bank account in good shape while teaching your kids how to spend money responsibly at the same time.

11. Spend quality time with your kids

The time you spend with your kids is so precious and much more limited as a single mother. Make the time that you spend with your kids count.

Rather than sitting in front of the TV, take them on fun and budget-friendly outings to the park, the playground, or a museum. Use meal times as the perfect excuse to ask them about what they are learning in school and the friends they spend time with.

When your kids ask you to play with them, look at it as a privilege and an opportunity to bond with them, rather than a distraction or waste of time. Be present when you are with them, with no work or multitasking on your mind. Your relationship with your kids will absolutely reap the benefits.

Final thoughts

Being a single mother is not an easy job. That’s why it’s important to use all the resources available to you in order to make this job a little bit easier.

Using technology, an organization system and a supportive community are just a few examples of things you should utilize to your benefit. It’s also important to shift your mindset and be more practical when it comes to things like priorities and finances.

Most of all, don’t forget about your own self care. Only when you take care of yourself can you best take care of the people you love.

Single mothers are some of the most hard-working people out there, and you deserve to have a happy and fulfilling life.

Featured photo credit: Alvaro Reyes via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next