Pregnancy Weeks 20 to 22
Pregnancy weeks 20 to 22 shows big changes that have happened whilst the foetus continues to grow. Pregnancy weeks 20 to 22 is a refreshing time for mum to be and the foetal changes during it’s development is quite rapid. It is a truly exciting time when you reach pregnancy weeks 20 to 22 and the weekly pregnancy calendar is bringing you all of the details.
Pregnancy Week 20
During pregnancy Week 20 you are well into the second trimester of your pregnancy, passed the stage where a miscarriage would be likely and far passed the threat of an ectopic pregnancy. Happy times from now and in for new mum to be. Reclaimed energy is in abundance and the skin is looking marvellous. These hormones are levelling out and certainly adding to your well being in preparation for the pregnancy to develop.
The tell tale sign of pregnancy is the rounded bump of your belly and it continues to grow by a couple of centimetres in week 20 of the pregnancy. Weight gain is normal and each week will increase in small amounts. By week 20 of pregnancy though, you should have gained 10 extra pounds in weight.
The baby’s kicking can now be felt as the little one stretches and flexes in the womb most of the time. It has been described by some women as bumping, nudging or full on punching, but all is a sign that baby is awake and healthy.
Mild lower back ache can still be presenting problems for some women at this stage, but it is nothing to be concerned about because the foetal development is taking place to cause this, a minor inconvenience is all.
Some women may feel mild to moderate cramping in their tummy due to the body preparing for the growth of the foetus. Pregnancy-related Pelvic girdle pain, often referred to as PRGP can cause some women discomfort which is not serious, but can ache for lengthy periods. Relax whenever possible, breathing exercises can help with this pain.
Sleeping can be an issue for some pregnant women at this stage as the bump is still growing and rounding. Frequent needs to pass urine and just getting into a comfortable position can become stressful and disturb your sleeping patterns. Sleeping on your back can help with the comfort, but for me this didn’t work out too well and I put extra pillows in bed and leaned into them.
Relaxation for a healthy pregnancy is key and you should take time out from stressful situations as soon as they occur. Allow yourself little naps when you feel tired as the growing foetus can demand energy from you. Suitable clothing is really important too because you don’t want to feel restricted. Maternity clothing is a lot more accessible and affordable than when I was pregnant so I would definitely advise making a couple of little purchases to benefit your comfort. Good relaxation and posture should still be considered as dampening the dizzy and nausea spells must have a positive affect on mum.
Foetal Development at 133 Days Pregnant
The growing foetus has undergone another growth spurt this week and should now measure around a staggering 25cm. The weight has also increased and now the foetus should weigh roughly 300 grams.
The head of the foetus continues to reduce in size, but it is a lengthy process and although it remains larger than the rest of the body it is now less than half of the size of the rest of the body of compared to a few weeks ago when it was a third greater. The eyes sit in place at the front of the skull where the eyelids are now beginning to form and develop. Although the eyes still remain sealed closed their reactions to light sensitivity can still be observed.
The foetus is now able to sleep and wake up in their protective womb. They are noted to sleep for around 12 hours in the womb as they continue to develop and grow.
The fundus is still in that higher position to the navel meaning that on examination the midwife should be able to feel the fundus with confidence.
All major organs are continuing to develop and mature week by week. The heart is full functioning and is pumping blood around the body. The kidneys are still developing and the production of urine is increasing. The meconium production is also increasing and remains to be filtered into the bowel.
The brain is still undergoing major growth spurts and the nerves feeding the sensory organs are strengthening all of the time, feeding and aiding the development of the five senses. The five senses which are sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell are developing well as a result.
The developing layer of fat under the skin is building weekly and continues to alter the appearance of the transparency of the skin. The vernix caseosa coating is still being produced and continues to protect and cover the downy hairs on the skin.
The tiny hairs on the scalp are growing and continuing their protection of the head. This week the formation of tiny eyebrows are starting to appear in the correct position above the eye sockets.
The limbs are developing well still keeping in proportion to the rest of the body. The toe and finger pads are almost finished developing and the toe and fingerprints are much more defined. Splaying of the developing fingers and stretching out of the toes is happening more frequently. The foetus can now turn fully in the womb and can perform somersaults which can send a whooshing sensation to mummy along with the previous fluttering sensations.
The sexual organs are still maturing and the female foetus has began to develop the vaginal canal. She has started to produce staggering amounts of eggs in her ovaries. These eggs are produced in their millions, but will reduce in amount each week nearer to birth. The male foetus has begun to produce his testicles and scrotum in his abdomen.
Ultrasound at 20 Weeks Pregnant
Ultrasound Scans taken at week 20 of pregnancy are phenominal. The foetus when measured crown to rump will be around 16 to 17cm.
The Doppler device will have no problems now picking up and monitoring the heartbeat of the foetus and at around 160 beats per minute, the sound and rhythm is wonderful for mum to hear.
Pregnancy Week 21
Week 21 of pregnancy is developing well and time seems to slow down for mum at this stage of her pregnancy. Tiredness will start to increase slightly making mum feel heavy and exhausted. it can be hard work carrying a pregnancy. The once soaring energy levels are dipping slightly and it can be noticeable with mood swings and fatigue.
The rounded belly bump has increased again adding another couple of centimetres to the waistline and a little weight increase of only a couple of pounds can add to that feeling of being heavy and tired.
The first appearance of stretch marks are now evident as the tummy grows a little more each week. The stretch marks are not always forced to be on the tummy though, they can be seen on the upper thighs and bottom too.
Maternity style clothing is still strongly recommended and can be very important to ease your mobility and comfort at this stage. Short naps and relaxation is a must now as the developing pregnancy can affect sleeping patterns, causing even more irritability and tiredness when you are awake. Short naps can help mum to regain some energy and sleep, so I would strongly advise taking the time to relax and allow dozing off when you can.
The continuing mild to moderate lower back aches can increase from the 21st week of pregnancy and become more persistent. Hot water bottles can be used to sooth the aching back muscles and when accompanied by resting in a good position this can be heavenly for some women.
Tummy cramping can fluctuate in severity now, but the frequency of these cramps should start to decrease over time and become less frequent. This is little comfort as they can take you aback, but again resting and relaxing will help a lot. Choose a good book and have a cup of tea with your feet up, you deserve it.
Foetal Development at 140 Days Pregnant
The foetus is developing greatly each week of pregnancy and at week 21 you can see the growth spurts. The foetus will now measure roughly 27cm in length. the foetus will now weigh around 360 grams.
The head of the foetus is now proportionate to the rest of the body as the size and shape has reduced down. The eyes remain at the correct position at the front of the skull, but there are changes happening here now. The eye lids are fully formed and the foetus is able to blink their sealed eyes. Blinking is in it’s early stages, but has been recorded during some ultrasound scans at 21 weeks of pregnancy.
The fundus is now well established in the upper navel area and any midwife should be able to feel the fundus.
The development of all major organs including the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys is still on going. The meconium is being produced and filtered through the bowel with precision and the urine being produced in the kidneys is functioning properly.
The development of the brain is continuing with the nerves that supply the five sensory organs continuing to be tweaked and developed further. Touch is fully established as the foetus is constantly exploring through touch. Sight is changing slightly now that the foetus can blink their sealed eyes. Hearing is still evident to observe from the reactions caused by sound and communication. Tiny taste buds are starting to develop on the tongue which is developing the taste sense and when the foetus consumes the amniotic fluid there are remnants of tastes available from mums diet consumption. Smell is still going through the developmental processes.
The layer of fat underneath the skin flourishes and enhances the transparent appearance of the skin. The vernix caseosa coating remains to be recycled and reproduced to maintain that protection and covering of the downy hair growth on the skin.
The tiny scalp hairs continue to grow and offer small protection of the head. The eyebrows have now formed properly in the correct position above the eyes, but will continue growing weekly.
The arm and leg limbs remain in the correct proportions and continue to develop and grow weekly. The toe and fingerprints that are very distinct and unique to the foetus have now fully formed. The movements of hands, feet, fingers and toes are on going from now and throughout the pregnancy. The movements and turning of the foetus has increased in frequency as the foetus becomes more competent.
The development of the sexual organs continues and this week the female foetus continues her egg production and growth of the vaginal canal is becoming more defined. The male foetus will begin the journey of the testicles moving from the abdomen into the scrotum which has developed and formed remarkably over the last week.
Ultrasound at 21 Weeks Pregnant
The ultrasound at week 21 of pregnancy will continue to display a fascinating view of the foetus.
The measurement of crown to rump length ceases from week 21 of pregnancy and the foetus is from now on measured as a crown to heel length.
The crown to heel length of the foetus should be around 26 to 27cm.
The heartbeat should be strong and steady with a rhythm of around 120 to 160 beats per minute. The Doppler device is an amazing creation that allows us to listen to that heartbeat.
Pregnancy Week 22
During pregnancy Week 22 of your pregnancy sees little changes with tiredness, fatigue and mood swings. That heavy and bloated feeling continues as again the waistline has increased by another 3 or 4cm this week. Weight has increased again with an extra 2 or 3 pounds gained by mum.
The stretch marks that started to appear on the tummy, upper thighs and bottom are growing and stretching more and they may even be starting to appear on the hips or even the breasts as they are starting to increase in size and shape during week 22 of pregnancy.
By now you should have worked out that comfortable clothing, good posture and relaxation techniques do ease tension and create positive energy. the short naps should be helping mum to catch up on missed sleep or simply just recharge her batteries.
The mild to moderate back pains will be on going for a while into the pregnancy, but relaxing and napping will ease some of this discomfort. The cramping sensations in the tummy will become less frequent and milder from now on, it’s just a case of waiting it out.
I cannot stress enough to expectant mums the importance of resting and relaxing. Your body is telling you what you need to do. Listen! and if you feel tired, get yourself comfortable and make time for a snooze.
It has been said that some women notice swelling of the feet and ankles around this stage of pregnancy, which is perfectly normal. However some women have reported growth of their feet at this stage of pregnancy that remains so permanently. So if you are a size 8 or 9 before pregnancy then I hope that this doesn’t happen to you, but be prepared that it can.
Foetal Development at 147 Days Pregnant
At 22 weeks of pregnancy the foetus is developing and maturing quite rapidly. The measurement of the foetus at this stage is around 28cm, but the weigh has increased dramatically and is now around 430 grams.
The head of the foetus is continuing it’s development with the facial features becoming more apparent. The eyes remain sealed closed and will do for a while yet, around the 28 to 30 week stage is when they begin to open. Blinking is being refined and developed underneath the sealed eyelids. The lips are starting to take shape and within the mouth the tiniest of tooth buds are beginning to develop.
Upon examination by a midwife the fundus, having increased in size is now in an even higher position, yet still above the naval area.
The pancreas has started to be developed during this week with an increase in hormone levels within the foetus, all other major organs are continuing to grow, develop and mature. They continue to function and provide vital support for the life of the foetus. Urine and meconium will continue to be produced and reproduced from now on.
The brain will remain to grow and strengthen the nerves feeding the sensory glands. Hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell are the senses continuing to develop and mature.
The skin remains transparent, but will undergo pigmentation later into the pregnancy. The fat layer underneath the skin remains to develop and enhance the appearance.
This week the foetus has started the development of the follicles that will hold the tiny eyelashes when they form. The hair follicles on the scalp are increasing in volume and the hair is growing each week. The eyebrow hair continues to grow alongside the growing scalp hair.
The foetus will continue to move, turn and wriggle around in the womb during their waking hours. They are in the earliest stages of having a sleeping pattern, even though they have not been born yet.
The on going development of the sexual organs continues over the up and coming weeks.
Ultrasound Scan at 22 Weeks Pregnant
The ultrasound scans at 22 weeks pregnant should show a vibrant image of the growing foetus, you may even witness movements if the baby is awake.
The ultrasound at the 22nd week of pregnancy will measure the foetus at roughly 28cm crown to heel length.
The heartbeat should remain consistently strong and rhythmic and with the Doppler device allowing all to hear.