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22 WEEKS, 5 DAYS

121 days to go...

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ultrasound of human fetus at 22 weeks and 5 days

Your baby today

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 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 anemia. 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 supplements. In addition to dizziness, symptoms of anemia include fatigue and shortness of breath. Low blood-sugar levels (see Get carb loading) 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 doctor 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.

As A Matter Of Fact

Not all pregnant women toe the good health line.

Healthy-eating messages abound so pregnant women are well informed, especially about calcium-rich foods needed for strong bones among other things. A recent study found that pregnant women who rarely drank milk gave birth to smaller babies than those who drank the recommended three 8-oz glasses per day.

Ask A... Mom

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 maintain friendships.

I chose my activities carefully, opting for early evening or weekend get togethers, and went to cafés rather than bars. I also had friends over for lunch and dinner but asked everyone to bring a dish. I realized I might not get to the movies or theater 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.

pregnant women spending time with friend

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.

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