Your Pregnancy: Week 22
Are you having short periods of light-headedness? Feeling dizzy when you stand up? Don’t panic – this is normal. If you stand or sit for a long period, your blood isn’t able to move through your system as quickly as it used to. Try sitting with your legs propped up to help with circulation. This way, when you do stand up, your circulation has a head start.
You also might be noticing that your hair is thicker and your nails stronger – after all, non-pregnant women have been known to take prenatal vitamins to mimic the beauty-enhancing effects of pregnancy hormones. Eyebrow hair that grows back in a day and chin hairs sprouting? These are the less desirable side effects. To get rid of unwanted hair, you can safely tweeze, wax and shave, but bleaches and depilatories are not suitable because their chemicals can be absorbed into the skin.
- Test your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors before you forget!
- If you now know the sex of your baby, go over the baby name list once again with your partner. If you’re keeping the sex a secret until the big day, reassess both boy and girl names once again. This time, add in middle name options as well.
- If you’re planning on returning to work, look into childcare options. You want to find the most suitable place, but many places have waiting lists.
- Find a non-DEET insect repellent (like this one from Burt’s Bees) if heading outdoors. Studies show that pregnant women are twice as likely to attract mosquitoes.
During this week, your baby’s skin will make the transformation from being translucent to opaque but will still look red until enough fat builds under the skin layers. The skin will also be very wrinkly under the thick coating of vernix until the fat fills it out.
Advice from Dr. Shari E. Brasner
Dizziness is a fairly common sensation during the second trimester, and is most likely caused by nothing more than the fact that your blood pressure has dropped and that you’re prone to a sudden drop when you change position quickly, as when you jump out of bed. Try to make movements slower and more deliberate. Standing still for a long period of time can also be a trigger, like a long line at the bank or a crowded subway train.”
Babble recommends Dr. Brasner’s pregnancy book, Advice from a Pregnant Obstetrician.
Mom-To-Mom Advice: The Pregnant Subconscious
At some point in pregnancy, you will probably start to notice that your dreams are getting weird. You may in fact be dreaming more or you may just be remembering more of your dreams than usual. Changes in your sleep cycle are the cause, but many people think the vivid dreams of pregnancy serve a very important purpose. As your body grows and changes, your dreams help your mind expand as well, preparing for the experience of parenthood.
You may be wondering just how imagining yourself scuba diving with your junior prom date while accidentally drunk might help you become a better mother, but there is a connection. Dreams in pregnancy help us reconcile our hopes and fears, using symbols that may seem bizarre at first glance, but often make more sense when examined. (You’re diving into an alien world, which demands a lot of focus and responsibility…)
Dreams are often nonsensical, but some pregnancy dreams are disturbing because they seem so unusually realistic. It’s common, for example, to dream of being blissfully happy with a different partner. Exes are known for making appearances, but your dream lover could also be someone you hardly know or someone you’d never be attracted to, or even a family member. Dreams like these can be understandably upsetting, but it’s important to realize that they are symbols, not signs to be taken literally. Chances are you aren’t dreaming of being with someone else because you want to be but because you and your real life partner have taken such a monumental step together, and your brain is processing this.
Another common dream subject is loss of control. Sometimes there’s a baby in the picture, sometimes not. Driving dreams are common. Past irresponsible behaviors can come back to haunt you in a new, scary context. Again, these dreams do not indicate anything about your future as a parent, except that being a good parent is obviously very important to you. Working out the things you are afraid of (on or under the surface) is a way of building your confidence going forward. There can also be fear dreams about the baby, such as giving birth to animals or monsters, or more realistic dreams about scary things happening to children. These are another kind of anxiety dream, recognizing that we do not have total control over the outcome of our pregnancies and our children’s eventual health and safety.
Don’t be surprised if your dreams are surprisingly sexually explicit. Hormones and increased blood flow can inspire your subconscious to go down some interesting roads. Some women even have orgasmic dreams during pregnancy.
Keeping a dream journal can help you work out what your dreams might be telling you about your subconscious. It might even be fun to read them with your kid later on, with a little editing!
Babble recommends From the Hips, by Rebecca Odes and Ceridwen Morris.
Read more about Week 22 at BabyZone’s Pregnancy Guide!