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22 WEEKS, 1 DAY

125 days to go...

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ultrasound of human fetus at 22 weeks and 1 day

Your baby today

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 manage is to give yourself some time out and the low points will soon pass. If you find yourself crying at a commercial yet again, try to see the funny side! Sharing this fact with someone else may also help, especially a pregnant friend or new mom-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 since this causes your body to produce more cortisol, a hormone which can have adverse effects on your baby (see You are 16 Weeks and 3 Days). So, when you're feeling stressed, make adequate time to relax and take care of yourself, for your baby's sake.

Ask A... Doctor

I think I may have food poisoning. Will this harm my baby?

Some food-borne illnesses, such as salmonella, campylobacter, and E. coli will not directly harm your baby but can make you very ill, causing profuse vomiting and diarrhea that could lead to extreme dehydration. It's important to keep your fluid intake up 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 since it can infect the baby and may cause a miscarriage or premature labor. It is, therefore, essential that you contact your doctor if you believe that you've eaten a contaminated food (see Dietary precautions), so that the relevant checkup can be done and treatment given, if necessary.

Always be especially careful when choosing food and follow hygiene rules when preparing it. Avoid eating foods commonly associated with food poisoning (see Dietary precautions).

Focus On... Twins

Maternity matters

If you're having twins, now is the time to discuss your maternity leave with your employers. Some women start their leave toward the end of their pregnancy, while others wait for their babies to be born. Ask your doctor for advice.

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 leave he's eligible for (see Going back to work). Aside from help from family and friends, which will be essential, consider what you can afford in terms of additional child care.

pregnant professional woman
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Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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