Your 23rd Week
Being pregnant can have
all kinds of unexpected effects. There will probably be days when you
just don’t feel in control of your emotions and they get the better of
you, making you cry for no reason. Or your body feels clumsy and
uncoordinated, and you keep walking into the furniture. Just talk to
some other moms-to-be and you’ll find that these side effects are all a
normal part of the pregnancy experience!
You could be feeling a little off-balance, both physically and emotionally
You are 22 Weeks and 1 Day 125 days to go…
If your emotions are all
over the place, try having a good cry, preferably on someone’s shoulder.
You’ll feel a whole lot better.
This is a landmark week for your baby’s senses: hearing and
balance, both controlled by the inner ear, start to mature now. As this
image shows, the ears are still not in their final position at the side
of the head.
Your baby today
It’s normal to feel a bit up and down emotionally.
The best way to manage is to give yourself some time out and the low
points will soon pass. If you find yourself crying at a commercial yet
again, try to see the funny side! Sharing this fact with someone else
may also help, especially a pregnant friend or new mom—she more than
anyone else will be able to relate to how you’re feeling and reassure
The good news is you
don’t need to worry about your baby—he won’t be affected by your
occasional mood swings. However, it might not be good for him if you get
too stressed since this causes your body to produce more cortisol, a
hormone which can have adverse effects on your baby (see You are 16 Weeks and 3 Days). So, when you’re feeling stressed, make adequate time to relax and take care of yourself, for your baby’s sake.
If you’re having twins,
now is the time to discuss your maternity leave with your employers.
Some women start their leave toward the end of their pregnancy, while
others wait for their babies to be born. Ask your doctor for advice.
You may also want to
take off as much time as possible after the babies are born, and your
partner will want to take the maximum amount of leave he’s eligible for .
Aside from help from family and friends, which will be essential,
consider what you can afford in terms of additional child care.
I think I may have food poisoning. Will this harm my baby?
Some food-borne illnesses, such as salmonella, campylobacter,
and E. coli will not directly harm your baby but can make you very ill,
causing profuse vomiting and diarrhea that could lead to extreme
dehydration. It’s important to keep your fluid intake up both to flush
out the offending pathogens, and to ensure you’re sufficiently hydrated.
If the vomiting is so serious that you can’t keep any fluid down, ask
for an emergency appointment with your doctor.
listeria bacteria is the most serious since it can infect the baby and
may cause a miscarriage or premature labor. It is, therefore, essential
that you contact your doctor if you believe that you’ve eaten a
contaminated food , so that the relevant checkup can be done and treatment given, if necessary.
especially careful when choosing food and follow hygiene rules when
preparing it. Avoid eating foods commonly associated with food poisoning .
You are 22 Weeks and 2 Days 124 days to go…
Now that your baby’s ears are sufficiently well developed to process sounds, his hearing will gradually improve.
The hands and fingers are clearly visible and the nail beds have
been laid down. The baby’s fingers will close if the palm of his hand
is touched. The tips of the two bones in the forearm, the radius and the
ulna, can just be seen in the lower part of this image.
Your baby today
Your baby’s external ears have been developed
for some time but for him to hear, the internal ear structures also
need to mature. In the middle ear, three bones—the malleus (“hammer”),
incus (“anvil”), and stapes (“stirrup”)—conduct sound into the inner
ear. These bones are formed initially from soft cartilage and embedded
within connective tissue. The bones begin to harden and the connective
tissue gradually dissolves. This allows the ear drum to vibrate onto the
hammer, which passes the movement on to the anvil, and then the
stirrup. The vibrations are then passed to the cochlea, a cavity of the
inner ear, where they are translated into nerve impulses to be sent to
At 22 weeks, your baby’s
inner ear has matured adequately for sound to be processed into neural
signals to the brain. The first part of the cochlea to develop is
responsible for receiving lower-sound frequencies. As your baby
develops, he will gradually be able to recognize and respond to higher
sound frequencies. Over the next three weeks, your baby’s responsiveness
to sounds will gradually increase. At first the responses are slow and
sluggish, but by 25 weeks he will react to a range of sounds by moving
In addition to
being responsible for your baby’s hearing, the inner ear also controls
his balance. Small fibers within three semicircular canals of the inner
ear are able to sense acceleration in any direction, providing the sense
of motion and balance. Floating in the amniotic fluid is similar to
weightlessness and, although your baby is very active, he has no sense
yet of moving up and down.
Men are faster than women at changing diapers.
Research shows that
the average time a woman takes is 2 minutes and 5 seconds, whereas the
average man takes 1 minute and 36 seconds! So that’s a job for him,
Raring to go
If, like many pregnant women at this stage, you feel incredibly energized, make the most of it. Here are some ways to direct that energy:
Get some exercise, including doing some gardening (see image).
Organize your paperwork and get your finances in order.
Clear out any clothes that you know you won’t wear again.
Learn to knit or, if you already can, get going on some baby clothes.
Make time to see all the friends you haven’t been in touch with for a while—you may not feel up to socializing in later months.
However good you’re feeling, always make time to relax and recharge your batteries.
Gardening is great exercise
and will also ensure you get some fresh air. Make sure you wear gloves
because the soil may contain toxoplasmosis parasites).