You are 22 Weeks and 3 Days 123 days to go…

During your pregnancy you’ll probably make some new friends, but you may find that some old friendships are affected.

Your baby today

The baby’s mouth and nose are well developed. The nervous and muscular systems are now mature enough for the baby to suck in amniotic fluid, which the kidneys slowly process. Waste is eliminated via the placenta.

One thing you may not have anticipated before you were pregnant is how your friendships might change. It’s normal to be drawn to other women who are pregnant or who have recently had a baby, and common to make friends at prenatal classes . It’s natural to want to surround yourself with people who are going through or who have been through the same experience as you, not least because you will have so many questions they can answer. You might also feel closer to female relatives, especially your mother .

You may find that friends who are not pregnant or who don’t have children may not be as interested in all the details of your pregnancy. It may be difficult for them to comprehend how all-encompassing pregnancy and then having a child is; it may be literally all you can think about. If these are friendships you value, make an effort to have some “nonpregnancy” chats. It will be good for you not to be 100 percent focused on the pregnancy.

If you find you drift apart from these friends for a while, don’t worry. Good friends will always remain just that, whether or not your lives temporarily go in different directions.

By spending time with women who are also expecting a baby, you can share the ups and downs of your pregnancy experiences. It can also be fun to do activities together, such as going swimming or to water aerobics classes.

… Doctor
Q: My fingers are tingling and I’ve been told I have carpal tunnel syndrome. What is it?
A: This condition occurs when swollen tissues in the wrist compress the nerves and cause pins and needles and numbness in your fingers. There may also be difficulty grasping and a weakness in the hands. In pregnancy, it’s caused by an increase in blood volume and fluid, especially in the second and third trimesters. There are ways to reduce the symptoms, such as circling and stretching exercises to improve circulation and increase wrist mobility. Your doctor will be able to demonstrate these exercises. Wearing wrist splints and elevating your hands on a pillow at night can also help.

Carpal tunnel syndrome disappears after the birth, once there is no longer excess fluid.

The number of women over 40 becoming pregnant is at its highest level ever.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the birth rate for women 40–44 more than doubled since 1981 and rose 65 percent since 1990. Birth rates for women 45–49 and 50 and over have also risen. The mean age for first-time moms giving birth is 25.2.

You are 22 Weeks and 4 Days 122 days to go…

Now that he can hear, your amazing baby is starting to develop the ability to remember things, too.

Your baby today

Seeing your baby on a 3D or 4D scan gives you a better view, but most of the information that enables doctors to plan your care comes from looking inside your baby using 2D ultrasound, which provides the clearest images of internal structures.

As your baby’s nervous system develops, and especially once his sense of hearing evolves, he has the opportunity to learn and remember from experience. How this process develops is not fully understood, but experts believe that the first signs of learning coincide with the unborn baby’s ability to hear, at around this mid-stage of pregnancy.

In later months, more sound will reach your baby as the walls of the uterus become thinner. Although babies have been seen to be startled by a noise at this stage, they seem to learn not to react to the sound if it is repeated again and again, gradually adapting to it as it’s repeated over time, and eventually ignoring it.

This simple test demonstrates that a fetus can adapt to a repeated stimulus. If, however, the sound pattern is not repeated for some time, your baby will have forgotten it and become startled by it if it occurs again.

Retaining a memory for events is a much more complex function and relies on pathways in the gray matter of the brain. It will be weeks before learning and memory are linked in the last stages of your pregnancy.

Your baby is likely to be increasingly more active and predictable in his movements.

At around this time you’re likely to start feeling regular, more definite movements, and become accustomed to your baby’s activities.

Up close and personal

State-of-the-art technology means it’s possible to see what your baby will look like before you give birth. Some ultrasound scans enable parents to see their unborn baby close up either in 3D, as a still image, or 4D as a moving picture.

Clear scans of the facial features can be seen from around this week. However, the optimum time to have one of these scans is between 26 and 34 weeks, when your baby still has room to move around easily. You will be able to see an amazing level of detail that won’t be visible on a standard prenatal scan. Remember to inform the sonographer if you don’t want to discover the sex of your baby.

The US FDA cautions against keepsake ultrasound images, since the ultrasonography may be done by someone not well-trained, using higher levels of energy for a longer time which could be harmful.

Be aware that it’s expensive to have these scans and if your baby is in the wrong position, you may not get a great result. The position of the placenta, amount of amniotic fluid, and your size can also affect the quality of the picture.

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