22 weeks pregnant – Braxton Hicks contractions have started

22 weeks pregnant
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I have been having some rude dreams lately, so hubby and I broke the drought, that’s all I’m saying!

I have started to get itchy skin on my belly, so I have been rubbing loads of Cocoa Butter on my skin to try and ease the scratching. Still, no stretch marks yet, so fingers crossed it stays like that. My bump is definitely growing and I can feel our boy more and more now, which is nice because it creates a bond between the baby and I. I also find myself rubbing my bump as I’m walking down the street and I wonder whether that’s because I am subconciously protecting my bump from hazards in the real world…

I walked to the post office this week, which was a 20-minute walk away and I had to stop mid-way as I started to feel cramps in my belly, which felt a bit like mini stitches. I called up a friend who was at week 26 of her pregnancy and she told me not to worry. “They sound like Braxton Hicks contractions,” she said. I spoke to my midwife as well and asked her whether they felt like labour pains and she replied saying that I will 100% know when I’m in labour. That statement scared me a bit… I also mentioned that I seem to be developing ptyalism (lots of saliva) and I wake up in the morning with loads of drool on the pillow, which is really annoying as I have to change my pillow covers every day. The midwife said that was perfectly normal during pregnancy due to the hormones.

I also talked to my friend about birth plans and she said that she wants as many drugs as she can get as she’s a wimp with pain. But my mum had four kids with no pain relief, so I’m going to try and have as natural a birth as possible. Obviously, I won’t rule it out but I reckon I can take it (I can hear you mums laughing at me right now). I have a phobia of needles and an epidural does not sound appealing to me at all.

Hubby and I have got into a routine of going to bed early and reading our baby book. We’re at the breastfeeding chapter at the moment and it sounds quite daunting, having to get up every two hours to feed the baby. I’m rubbish without sleep, so I don’t know how I’m going to do it. But, I suppose it’s all for the baby and it’s healthier to breastfeed apparently, so I’m going to give it my best shot. I want to give our boy the best start in life and if that means sleep deprivation for two years then so be it!

A fun fact – The baby is 11 inches long – the length of a spaghetti squash!

Your baby at 22 weeks

  • Your baby’s irises are to start to get pigmentation. However, they still remain closed for now.
  • Your baby is developing his/her senses now – touch, taste, sight and hearing. They can hear your heartbeat, your voice and even loud noises which are further away, outside of the womb.
  • Your baby’s head, body and limbs are now more in proportion to each other. S/he is looking more like a newborn now!
  • Over the next few months your baby will gain lots of fat to keep them warm as the lung and organs continue to develop

Your signs and symptoms

  • Your back is under increased strain as your bump grows bigger. Try standing as straight as you can and place a small cushion behind your back when you’re sitting.
  • You may be gaining some weight now. Many women worry about whether they’re gaining too much or too little weight. This is understandable, but generally, you shouldn’t worry too much. If you’re worried about your weight, speak to your GP or midwife who can provide you with more information on healthy weight gain during pregnancy.
  • You may experience high energy levels in bursts
  • Have you noticed how fast your nails are growing?
  • Your eyesight might even be changing and your feet may be growing! This is because the pregnancy hormone Relaxin is loosening ligaments and joints and the bones in your feet are spreading.
  • Exercise is good for pregnancy, as long as you don’t overdo it. Look at exercises like pregnancy yoga, pilates or walking.
  • If you are still suffering from heartburn, avoid spicy foods, citrus food and drink, chocolate and coffee. Take small mouthfuls and chew well. Try not to lie down after a meal too. And when you go to sleep, prop yourself up on pillows to help with the digestion.

Your next steps

  • Have you looked into your maternity rights? Do you know about the terms of your maternity leave or maternity allowance?
  • Prevent or limit stretch marks by making sure you’re moisturising your belly night and day
  • Learn more about labour and birth and start preparing
  • Have you looked into your birth plan yet?
  • Have you thought about your baby essentials yet?

Note:  These are just general ideas of how you and your baby are getting on. Don’t forget that every baby develops differently. If you are concerned about your baby’s development, please consult your doctor or midwife.

*Illustrations by Charlotte Watkins. 

If you have any questions about her work, please contact Charlotte via her website, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn*

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Leyla Preston (595 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 7. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/