The baby is continuing to practise for extrauterine life. Your baby has developed eyebrows, weighs about 15 ounces (425 grams) and is 27.5cm long. The baby is basically a tinier version of a newborn.
It sounds unbelievable but babies have been born at 22 weeks and survived, even though some key functions still have to develop – such as those in the brain.
An anomaly scan around this time, if you haven’t yet had one, is a way of checking for any under- development of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). This scan can also detect multiples (twins or more) if your doctor or midwife hasn’t already made this discovery.
First-timers may be confused about how they are feeling. You may have aches, pains and tiredness – but what is normal? Should you feel this way or are you a little too run down? Generally, if you feel healthy and happy you shouldn’t worry but if you have any doubts about the way you are feeling, speak to your midwife or GP for assurance and, if necessary, a check-up.
Some women experienced heightened sexual arousal, thanks to the increased secretions and blood flow in the vagina and clitoris. Mr Dad-to-be may not feel like having sex, though – their fear of harming the baby is not uncommon.
Chat about sex with your partner if there is a difference between the way you are both feeling and behaving. You don’t need relationship stress on top of emotional stress at this time. The fact is, sex IS safe during pregnancy, and you may just feel more comfortable trying some different positions.
You may have heard of pre-eclampsia – it occurs in 1 in 14 pregnancies and usually after 20 weeks. Very sudden swelling in your hands and face may be a symptom of this, but don’t panic unduly because general swelling is normal as your body retains fluids.