By the time you've reached pregnancy week 22, you and your baby are most likely on intimate speaking terms. You most likely have been awakened by him or her in the middle of the night, have had mild to some pretty aggressive cases of heartburn, and even some late night food cravings that simply can't be explained through medical science. However, you're five months into your pregnancy and your baby is starting to develop into the tiny little member of your family that you can't wait to meet!
One of the most intriguing facts about the development of you and your baby by pregnancy week 22 is that you both have endured quite a journey. However, did you know that by week 22 your baby has two distinct sides of their brain? That their gastrointestinal tract has developed and is about ready to start working? Your baby also has the ability to process rapid eye movement (or REM) which allows them to dream? This tiny 'you' inside your womb is truly developing into a person – with whom over the next few months will cause you joy and to sometimes question your sanity!
As your baby has entered his or her 22nd week of development, he or she measures about 27 centimeters long and is roughly the size of a papaya – (all these fruit references might make you hungry – and eating fruit is very good for you and your baby – FYI). As the baby continues to grow, so will your placenta and that beautiful baby bump. Your baby also has fully developed gums that are quickly sprouting tooth buds that will eventually grow after they are born.
The baby's eyes have also formed – however, the lack of pigment in the iris right now means they haven't developed their color. In fact, it's very common that babies will be born with one color of eyes and have that color change in the first few months of life on our little planet.
During week 22 it's common for many mommies-to-be to notice some response from their babies when they talk to them. This can be noticed by a rapid movement the baby makes when they hear a loud sound or unique tone that is different than normal. Sometimes you can even predict when the baby will move based on music you might listen to that 'gets them motivated to start dancing in your belly'.
As fun as this might be – another reality of pregnancy by week 22 is that you might be starting to develop other pregnancy symptoms as you enter the third trimester. Swollen feet and puffy ankles are very common; which can be easily remedied through foot rubs by your partner or a quick visit to your favorite pedicure-shop.
A great subject to start thinking about during pregnancy week 22 is baby-proofing your home. Although it's quite unlikely that your baby will be born with the ability to stroll around your house once you bring them home, the reality exists that finding time to add safety devices like baby gates, electrical outlet plugs, and other items once the baby is born can be difficult. Talk with your partner and family members about ways they can help you add some basic baby safety features to your home, or make changes to the layout of your home to ensure your baby is as protected against accidents as possible.