The following information -- and much more -- can also be found in the free weekly email Lamaze Pregnancy Week by Week. Sign up now to receive helpful information for your stage of pregnancy. Subscribers will be given the opportunity to complete a Lamaze Parent Satisfaction Survey after their pregnancy and receive a Lamaze Toys coupon. We want to hear about your birth experience and the impact that childbirth education may have had so that we can continue to make sure parents have the information they need for the safest, healthiest birth possible.
You're in week 22 of your pregnancy!
A baby means big changes to your daily routine. Although you are aware of this, any younger children or pets living with you are not. Take some time to prepare them now for the transitions ahead. Be sure to have a plan in place for introducing your baby to other family members.
What's New with Baby
Your little one is now about 27cm long and weighs about 450 grams— one pound – about the size of a papaya! Her little body is well-proportioned, but she has yet to build up her fat stores. For this reason, her skin appears very wrinkly. By the time she is born, she will have nice plump arms and legs thanks to a buildup of fat in the final weeks of pregnancy. This buildup is important for her transition to life outside the womb.
What's New with You
If you are caring for older children, you may find it hard to sneak in time to relax. It is important to allow yourself a few minutes every day to let your mind unwind. Your mind affects how tense or relaxed your body is. When you are anxious, your muscles will tighten up, but when you feel confident and positive, your muscles relax and you feel calm. Positive visualizations--imagining yourself in a positive situation--can strengthen your mind, help you figure out how to accomplish a task and motivate you. You can also use visualizations to help relax. Try this visualization to increase your awareness of your breath:
Get in a comfortable position in a quiet, calm atmosphere. Close your eyes. Take a couple deep breaths to clear your mind. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. As you breathe in, feel the breath going deep into your lungs. Let your diaphragm move down as you breathe in, allowing your lungs to expand. Visualize your breath moving down, the oxygen going out to your body and traveling to your baby through the placenta. Feel your body fill with oxygen, with the breath of life. See your breath invigorating your baby. Slowly breathe out through your mouth, letting your muscles relax. Feel the tension release from your neck, your shoulders, your chest. Feel calmness and peace all around you.
As you become more comfortable with this exercise, try it in a more active environment, such as with your older children around. Use this visualization to help you shut out the noise and only focus on within.
Story from a Mama who has been there
“The little girls surrounded their mother and the new baby, delighting in every detail—the little ears, the eyes, her hair, her tiny toes, long fingers and big feet, her sweet mouth. Claire was vigorously nursing three minutes after the birth and the big sisters moved in close to watch her. They felt the still pulsing cord and noted rather indifferently the placenta when it emerged 30 minutes later…Each of the little girls attended to their mother and their new sister in ways that were special and spontaneous.”
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