Week Twenty-two of Your Pregnancy

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Week 22 Info

WEEK 22

Your baby is 11 inches long "the length of a spaghetti squash" and almost 1 pound.  She's starting to look like a miniature newborn.  Her lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct.  Her eyes have formed, but her irises still lack pigment.  Her skin will be wrinkly due to the lack of fat and will begin to be covered by a fine layer of hair called lanugo.  Her senses are also starting to develop.  She can hear the sound of your heart along with your breathing.

You may start to notice stretch marks on your abdomen as it expands to accommodate your growing baby. At least half of all pregnant women will develop stretch marks by the time they give birth. These small streaks of differently textured skin can range from pink to dark brown "depending on your skin color". Although they most commonly appear on your tummy, stretch marks may also show up on your buttocks, thighs, hips, and breasts. There's no proof that lotion helps prevent stretch marks, but keeping your skin moisturized may help with any itching.  Stretch marks tend to run in the family so there's not much you can do to prevent them except to try to keep your weight gain within the recommended amounts.

The hormones of pregnancy can cause many body changes that may take your by surprise.  Your hair may be thicker and more lustrous.  This is because the individual hairs will be falling out more slowly during pregnancy.  These changes will resolve after baby is born.  Many women notice excess hair loss after pregnancy, often around 3 months after baby is born.  Other areas may develop darker hairs where none were present before, chin, upper lip, jaw.  Your fingernails may grow more quickly and feel different in texture, some harder, while others' get softer and more brittle.  Some women find their skin looks great during pregnancy and others find that their acne is worse.  Pregnancy hormones will also increase melanin in your skin which can result in splotchy patches of darkened skin you're your face.  Make sure to protect your face by using a sunblock that offers both UVA and UVB protection and an SPF of at least 30, where a hat with a brim, and avoid the sun during peak hours of 10am to 2pm.

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