Friday, June 09, 2006

Week 22

How your baby's growing: Your baby now looks like a miniature newborn, checking in at 10.9 inches and almost 1 pound. Her skin will continue to appear wrinkled until she gains enough weight to fill it out, and the fine hair (lanugo) that covers her head and body is now visible. Her lips are becoming more distinct, and the first signs of teeth are appearing as buds beneath her gum line. Her eyes are developed, though the iris (the colored part of the eye) still lacks pigment. Eyelids and eyebrows are in place, and her pancreas, essential for hormone production, is developing steadily.
• Note: Experts say every baby develops differently — even in the womb. This developmental information is designed to give you a general idea of how your baby is growing.How your life's changing: You may start to notice stretch marks on your skin as your abdomen expands to accommodate your growing baby. Some pregnant women never get stretch marks, but at least half do. These small streaks of differently textured skin can range from pink to dark brown (depending on your skin color), and they become more apparent as pregnancy progresses. They can appear not only on your tummy, but also on your buttocks, thighs, hips, and breasts. Lotions won't prevent or eliminate them, but they help with any itching. Also, you may no longer be an "innie" — your navel is flat and may soon pop out. It will revert to its usual shape after birth.Another interesting skin quirk you may notice during pregnancy is something called vascular spiders. These are little areas of raised, reddish skin, with tiny branches. Commonly found on the face, neck, upper chest, and arms, they're caused by the higher levels of estrogen in pregnancy, and they usually disappear after delivery.Pregnancy Tip: Write it down "I kept a journal for my son while I was pregnant, and I brought it to the hospital with me so I could write in it as soon as I was up to it. It really helped to share all the feelings I was having." — Anonymous

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