Your babys progress - Week 22
You baby could be as long as 25cm by now and her tiny fingernails will be fully formed and starting to grow. Her brain is advanced enough to sense touch and taste and if you could look inside your womb, you might see her enjoying sucking her thumb and stroking her face. She will be able to tell sweet tastes from bitter, and if you put pressure on your tummy she may just squiggle and squirm in response.
Her heartbeat is getting stronger and is now loud enough to be heard with a normal stethoscope. Her digestive system is getting better every day, and she’s now absorbing water from the amniotic fluid that she swallows and her kidneys are beginning to function.
The vital link between baby’s brain and her spinal cord is maturing and all those nerve cells make vigorous connections, making baby capable of recognising warmth, light, sound and pain. While primitive brain waves have been detected in unborn babies as early as 7 weeks, it is not until 22 weeks that sustained patterns like these can definitely be recorded.
Baby probably likes to be in what’s called the ‘transverse position’ as she grows bigger – she probably lies crossways with her feet and bottom on one side of your belly and head on the other side. Baby’s placenta is now processing about 1 litre of blood per hour and by 40 weeks this will increase to about 12 litres per hour.
Just like adults, all babies are different and develop at varying rates in the womb. This information gives a general idea of your baby's development and progress.
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This article was written by Alex Brooks for Kidspot, New Zealand's best pregnancy resource.
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