Pop goes the belly button! At week 22 you may notice that your belly button that was so neatly tucked away has now popped out (commonly known as an ‘outie’). Rest assured it will go back to an ‘innie’ once the baby is born, but sadly it’s probably stretched a bit and unlikely that it will go back to its original size.
Your nugget is looking like a miniature newborn baby doll, covered in fine hair called lanugo, weighing in at 450 grams and is nearly 28cm long (size of an avocado). Their little eyelids and eyelashes are fully developed and even more hair is sprouting on the top of their pip. Your baby is also starting to make sense of the world as their senses develop further. They can distinguish between light and dark and their little grip is well developed too. They are also tuning into radio mom, so don’t feel embarrassed to chat or sing to your little one during your down time.
Your uterus is now above the belly button and growing before your very eyes. Your baby is starting to invade your space, which would explain your sudden shortness of breath and increased heartburn. You may however notice that your hair is looking thick and healthy (although more hair also results in new hair sprouting up in unexpected places), and your nails seem to be growing at a rapid rate and are much stronger than before. Now would be a great time to get a pedicure and manicure. But you may also find that your favourite pair of shoes are starting to squeeze your feet a bit – that’s because foot growth is taking place due to both swelling (edema) as well as that hormone relaxin. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that your feet will return to their original size.
- Healthy teeth and gums – make sure that you floss and brush your teeth regularly during pregnancy. You’re more susceptible to gingivitis while pregnant so look after those pearly whites.
- The human belly rub – whether you like it or not, it seems that when most people see a bump their hand automatically gravitates towards it. Some women don’t mind this at all, whilst others can’t stand it. If you feel it’s a massive invasion of your personal space, try coming up with a clever way of telling people you are uncomfortable with your tummy being touched. But remember, they’re doing it out of love and intrigue and not out of spite – so be gentle on them. We find humour always works best in awkward situations.