22 weeks and 5 days pregnant
Extremely fine hairs called lanugo hairs cover your baby’s entire skin surface. These are constantly shed and replaced but, during the final few weeks of pregnancy, will be replaced by thicker, permanent hairs. Lanugo cells help to insulate the skin.
The occasional dizzy spell is common in pregnancy and not a sign that anything is wrong.
As your body works hard to nourish your baby, you may find yourself feeling dizzy from time to time. It’s common to feel dizzy when you stand up suddenly; this is because, although your blood supply has increased during pregnancy, getting up quickly causes the blood to rush into your legs. This reduces the supply of blood to your brain, making you feel light-headed.
Dizziness can also be a symptom of anaemia. Although you produce more red blood cells in pregnancy than before, your volume of blood also increases. This means that proportionally there are fewer red blood cells and your blood count will drop. You may also become short of iron and, if this is the case, you will be prescribed iron tablets. As well as dizziness, symptoms of anaemia include tiredness and shortness of breath. Low blood-sugar levels can also cause dizziness and can be prevented by eating snacks regularly.
If you’re feeling dizzy, although it’s likely to be due to the physiological changes in pregnancy, inform your midwife so you can be examined and any relevant blood tests taken. If you feel dizzy when you’re out and about, or if you need a seat on a bus or train, always tell someone – the majority of people will be understanding.
I don’t feel up to socializing but should I force myself to go out?
I remember that feeling well! When you’re pregnant, it’s normal to feel like battening down the hatches sometimes because you’re too tired to socialize. It’s worth, however, trying to make the most of your leisure time before the baby arrives. You may not feel like getting out and about, but once you do you’ll probably be glad you made the effort and it will help you to maintain friendships.
I chose my activities carefully, opting for early evening or weekend meet-ups, and went to cafés rather than bars. I also had friends round for lunch and dinner but asked everyone to bring a course. I realized I might not get to the cinema or theatre for a while once the baby was born, so planned lots of great trips. You can always go to weekend matinées if you’re too tired in the evening. When I was really too tired to go out, I’d catch up with a friend on the phone.
If you can’t face crowds, see one friend at a time in a home environment. Be selective and prioritize those people who really matter to you, rather than trying to fit everyone in.
Not all pregnant women toe the good health line.
We’re constantly bombarded by healthy eating messages so pregnant women are well informed about eating well. But in a recent UK research study, 5 per cent of women were found not to be including any calcium-rich foods in their diet at all. Only 4 per cent were trying to eat more omega-3 foods.