YOUR CHANGING LIFE
Try two pillows and looser shoes
Welcome to week 22 of your pregnancy. You’re beyond the halfway point and are easing into the second half of your pregnancy by now, probably feeling better in the process. While some moms might still be experiencing nausea, fatigue and morning sickness (it can happen through all three trimesters, unfortunately), many feel great this week. If you’re not in the latter category – don’t worry. It’ll be over before you know it! So what’s going on with your body this week?
Some things that you may be experiencing that aren’t so great might include heartburn and indigestion, especially at night when you’re lying down. Try eating smaller meals not too close to bedtime and sleep with your head propped up on two pillows instead of one. This can help prevent stomach acid from backing up into your esophagus.
You might also have noticed that your shoes are feeling a little tighter these days and your feet are often sore. Blame it on the relaxin hormone, which loosens up your ligaments and pelvic muscles to prepare for delivery. While it does this, it also has the unfortunate effect of relaxing other joints and tendons in your body – including those in your feet. Wear more comfortable shoes and prop your legs up when you can. Maybe even ask your partner for a foot rub!
YOUR BABY THIS WEEK
From carrot to spaghetti squash
This week, your baby likely weighs almost a pound and is roughly the length of a spaghetti squash, but probably a lot better looking! He or she has eyelashes, eyebrows and maybe some hair on that tiny head, but the fuzz is free of pigment right now and appears white. Your little one is also pretty wrinkly right now, which sounds kind of strange, but it’s completely normal. His or her skin is simply making room for the weight that he or she will gain in the coming weeks.
The pancreas has also started to produce hormones, while his or her first teeth are starting to develop from the hard tissue underneath the gum line. Of course, they won’t break the surface for several months. Your little one’s brain is also fine-tuning and the senses are kicking in. Touch, sound and taste can all be experienced now, so your baby is doing a lot of exploring in there, which you might be feeling.
Maintain intimacy with your partner
You know what else might be awesome about this week? You could be feeling a boost in libido. It’s about time, right? Larger breasts, glowing skin, thicker hair and a baby bump that’s not too big may be making you feel pretty hot – and your partner likely agrees. This might be a nice change of pace from last trimester, when you were too sick or tired to do much of anything.
In addition to the physical changes that are making you feel sexier, your pregnancy hormones might also have something to do with it. They have a lot of impact on your mood, which includes the mood to get intimate with your partner.
Also, you might be feeling a lot better about sex now if you had been trying to conceive for a while. When you’re having sex on a regular basis with such a big goal in mind, things can seem a bit monotonous or like too much of a task to be really sexy. Now that your efforts have paid off, that performance stress is no more!
But what if you’re not feeling that libido boost just yet? Lots of women continue to feel sick or fatigued throughout their entire pregnancies, which can be a total bummer. Sex might also be a bit of a turn off if your breasts and belly feel really tender, not to mention your sore back and aching feet. The thought of getting it on might make you uncomfortable just thinking about it.
Of course, gaining pregnancy weight might also make you feel a little frumpy, but it shouldn’t! Every woman has to gain weight for the health of her baby, so why not feel good about making that sacrifice? Your little one’s health is worth putting on a couple pounds, and your partner totally understands.
If you’re not feeling super sexy, it’s still important to maintain intimacy with your partner, even if it’s not by taking action in between the sheets. Kissing, hugging and cuddling are all ways to remain close and strengthen your bond. Knowing that you’re there for each other can help ease the stresses of pregnancy and bring the two of you even closer. Take advantage of it!