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Your Body at Week 22 Foot Growth At 22 weeks pregnant, your uterus is now about an inch above your belly button — growing by leaps and bounds. But your tummy's not the only thing that's growing these days. Have you looked down at your feet? Quick, look now — before you can't see them anymore.

If you're like many expectant women, you'll discover that feet get bigger too. Good news if you're looking to revamp your entire shoe collection, not so good if you've just indulged in a pricey pair of Manolos. While some foot growth can be attributed to pregnancy swelling edema , there's another reason that feet increase in size during pregnancy and usually don't shrink back after. Remember relaxin — that pregnancy hormone that loosens the ligaments and joints around your pelvis so your baby can fit through and the hormone that's also likely to make you especially clumsy during pregnancy?

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  • Well, it doesn't discriminate between the ligaments you'd want loosened up like those pelvic ones and those you'd rather it would just leave alone like the ones in your feet. When the ligaments in the feet are loosened, the bones under them tend to spread slightly, resulting in a half or whole shoe size increase for many women and tootsies that feel suddenly uncomfortably tight.

    If you do find yourself running to the mall for a new pair of shoes, buy ones that are comfortable and roomy, with no more than a sensible, chunky two-inch heel skip the stilettos — you'll have trouble enough keeping your balance as your belly balloons forward.

    Coping With Tummy Touchers By now, you may have encountered at least a couple of well-wishing tummy touchers who just can't resist reaching out and rubbing your belly and it could be anyone — a friend, co-worker, the guy who sells you your morning paper, a perfect stranger on the deli line. And who can blame them?

    After all, pregnant tummies — so round and cute and housing something even cuter — practically beg to be touched. You may not mind being treated like an exhibit at a children's museum and, if you're a touchy-feely person yourself, you may even welcome the public display of affection for your baby bump. But if you do mind, there are a couple of approaches you can take.

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    One, you can gently but firmly tell them how you feel "I know it's tempting, but I really would rather you didn't touch my stomach". Two, you can back off — literally — and dodge their advances. And three, you can turn the tables by teasingly giving them a belly rub in return which can be especially effective with middle-aged men sporting paunches.

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    Remember, you're sharing your body on the inside — you don't need to share it on the outside too. Just so you know, What to Expect may earn commissions from the shopping links included on this page. Tips for You This Week Is your uterus practicing for delivery? If you feel irregular, painless, squeezing sensations in your abdomen, it is.

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  • At risk for preterm labor? Your doctor may do a fetal fibronectin fFN screening. FFN is the glue your body makes that holds the baby in your uterus. If the results are negative, you're not at risk, but if they're positive, your odds of going into labor soon are much higher, so your practitioner may take steps to prolong your pregnancy and prepare your baby's lungs for an early delivery.

    It also creates a barrier against dust mites. For most parents, a foam mattress will be just fine. There are safety standards in place for all mattresses sold in the USA, and that, of course, includes crib mattresses.

    If you have leg cramps or restless legs, you may be low in magnesium. Add a magnesium supplement to your diet. So try to stock your home with healthy snacks such as fruit, cut-up veggies, nuts and whole-wheat crackers.

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