22 weeks and 1 day pregnant
This is a landmark week for your baby’s senses: hearing and balance, both controlled by the inner ear, start to mature now. As this image shows, the ears are still not in their final position at the side of the head.
If your emotions are all over the place, try having a good cry, preferably on someone’s shoulder. You’ll feel a whole lot better.
It’s normal to feel a bit up and down emotionally.The best way to cope is to give yourself some time out and the low points will soon pass. If you find yourself crying at an advert yet again, try to see the funny side! Sharing this fact with someone else may also help, especially a pregnant friend or new mum – she more than anyone else will be able to relate to how you’re feeling and reassure you.
The good news is you don’t need to worry about your baby – he won’t be affected by your occasional mood swings. However, it might not be good for him if you get too stressed as this causes your body to produce more cortisol, a hormone which can have adverse effects on your baby. So, when you’re feeling stressed, make adequate time to relax and take care of yourself, for your baby’s sake.
If you’re having twins, now is the time to discuss your maternity leave with your employers. In the UK, most women expecting multiples take maternity leave from around 29 weeks, unless they still feel up to carrying on or they’re advised to finish earlier for health reasons.
You may also want to take off as much time as possible after the babies are born, and your partner will want to take the maximum amount of paternity leave. Aside from help from family and friends, which will be essential, consider what you can afford in terms of additional childcare.
I think I may have food poisoning. Will this harm my baby?
Some food-borne pathogens, such as salmonella, campylobacter, and E. coli will not directly harm your baby but can make you very unwell, causing profuse vomiting and diarrhoea that could lead to extreme dehydration. It’s important to keep up your fluid intake both to flush out the offending pathogens, and to ensure you’re sufficiently hydrated. If the vomiting is so serious that you can’t keep any fluid down, ask for an emergency appointment with your doctor.
Infection with listeria bacteria is the most serious as it can infect the baby and may cause a miscarriage or premature labour. It is, therefore, essential that you contact your doctor if you believe that you’ve eaten a contaminated food, so that the relevant checks can be carried out and treatment given, if necessary.
Always take special care when choosing food and follow hygiene rules when preparing it. Avoid eating foods commonly associated with food poisoning.