At 22 weeks pregnant, a woman is well into her second trimester and has reached an exciting milestone in her pregnancy journey. As the fetus continues to grow and develop, she may experience various physical and emotional changes that are a normal part of pregnancy. It is important for expectant mothers to stay informed about these symptoms and seek the advice of their healthcare provider if they experience any concerning symptoms. By staying active, eating a balanced diet, and practicing self-care, women can help ensure a healthy and happy pregnancy.
Your Baby is the Size of a Baseball Mitt
Head to Toe
Highlights of the Week
- The uterus is about the size of a basketball and the baby is growing rapidly, reaching around 11.4 inches in length and weighing around 1 pound.
- The baby’s hearing and sense of touch are becoming more advanced and the baby is developing its own sleep patterns.
- Women may begin to feel their baby moving and kicking more frequently.
- The risk of certain birth defects and complications decreases as the baby continues to mature.
- Women should continue to take care of their bodies, maintain good posture, engage in gentle exercise, and stay hydrated.
- The belly is growing rapidly and can cause discomfort, so women should use gentle, unscented lotions or oils to keep it moisturized and avoid exposing it to the sun.
Pregnancy Symptoms in Week 22
As you enter the 22nd week of pregnancy, you may experience a variety of symptoms. These can include:
Abdominal Growth and Discomfort:
At 22 weeks, the uterus is growing and expanding to accommodate the growing fetus, leading to abdominal growth and discomfort. Women may feel tightness or pressure in the lower abdomen and may need to adjust their posture and activities to accommodate the growing uterus.
Women are expected to gain about 1-2 pounds per week during pregnancy, with a total average weight gain of around 25-35 pounds by the end of pregnancy. The weight gain is due to the growth of the fetus, placenta, amniotic fluid, and an increase in body fat.
Due to the growing demands on the body, fatigue is common during pregnancy and is most noticeable during the second and third trimesters. Women may feel more tired than usual and may need to take naps or adjust their daily routines to accommodate their increased need for rest.
Heartburn, constipation, and bloating are common during pregnancy due to the uterus putting pressure on the intestines. Eating small, frequent meals, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding foods that cause discomfort can help alleviate these symptoms.
Braxton Hicks Contractions:
Braxton Hicks contractions are mild, irregular contractions that feel like a tightening of the uterus. They are a normal part of pregnancy and usually don’t cause any harm to the fetus.
Varicose veins are swollen veins that can develop in the legs during pregnancy due to increased blood flow to the pelvic area. Wearing compression stockings, keeping the legs elevated, and engaging in regular physical activity can help prevent or reduce the symptoms of varicose veins.
Stretch marks are a common occurrence during pregnancy due to skin stretching as the abdomen expands. Using moisturizing creams, keeping the skin hydrated, and avoiding rapid weight gain can help minimize the appearance of stretch marks.
Decreased Bladder Capacity:
As the uterus presses on the bladder, women may experience decreased bladder capacity and increased urgency to urinate during pregnancy. Drinking plenty of water and avoiding caffeine can help alleviate these symptoms.
Spider veins are small, red, blue or purple veins that can develop on the legs, face, and chest during pregnancy. They are caused by increased blood flow to the pelvic area and can be prevented or reduced by keeping the legs elevated and engaging in regular physical activity.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to acne breakouts in some women. Maintaining good hygiene, using gentle skincare products, and avoiding harsh chemicals can help minimize the appearance of acne.
Leg cramps are common during pregnancy, especially during the second and third trimesters. Stretching, massaging the affected area, and maintaining hydration can help prevent and alleviate leg cramps.
22 Week Pregnancy Checklist
Get Plenty of Iron:
Iron is an important nutrient for both the expectant mother and the growing fetus, as it helps to build red blood cells and prevent anemia. Expectant mothers should aim to consume at least 27 milligrams of iron per day, which can be found in foods like leafy greens, lean red meat, poultry, and fortified cereals. Women may also need to take an iron supplement as directed by their healthcare provider.
Think About Your Baby Shower:
A baby shower is a traditional celebration for expectant mothers, and can be a great way to prepare for the arrival of the baby and gather support from friends and family. Women can consider starting to plan the shower around this time, and think about the theme, location, guest list, and registry.
Sign Up for Birth Classes:
Birth classes are an excellent way for expectant mothers to prepare for labor and delivery and to learn about the different stages of childbirth, breathing and relaxation techniques, and pain management options. Many hospitals and birthing centers offer birth classes, and women should consider signing up early to secure a spot.
Watch for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition during pregnancy that can cause numbness, tingling, or weakness in the hands and fingers. Women can reduce their risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome by avoiding repetitive motions, taking regular breaks, and wearing a wrist splint when sleeping or performing tasks.
Regular physical activity can help expectant mothers maintain their physical and mental well-being during pregnancy. Women should consult with their healthcare provider about safe and appropriate types of exercise for their individual pregnancy, such as walking, prenatal yoga, and swimming.
Pack a Hospital Bag:
Around this time, women may want to start preparing a hospital bag in case they need to go to the hospital unexpectedly. The bag should include items like comfortable clothing, toiletries, snacks, and any important documents or items needed for the baby.
Staying hydrated is essential for a healthy pregnancy, as it helps to keep the expectant mother and the fetus well-nourished. Women should aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, and avoid drinks that are high in caffeine or sugar.
Your 22 Week Pregnant Belly
At 22 weeks pregnant, the belly is growing rapidly, and the expectant mother may start to notice significant changes in the size and shape of her abdomen. As the uterus expands, the abdominal muscles are stretched, which can cause discomfort and back pain. During this time, the uterus is usually about the size of a basketball, and the baby is growing rapidly, reaching around 14 inches in length and weighing around 2 pounds.
As the belly continues to grow, it can place additional strain on the lower back and legs, making it important for expectant mothers to take care of their bodies and maintain good posture. Women may find it helpful to engage in gentle exercise, such as prenatal yoga or stretching, to maintain flexibility and strength. Wearing supportive clothing, such as maternity pants or a belly band, can also help to alleviate discomfort.
To help keep the belly moisturized and prevent itching, women may want to use a gentle, unscented lotion or oil. It is also important to keep the belly clean and avoid using harsh or fragranced products, as the skin may be more sensitive during pregnancy. Women should also avoid exposing the belly to the sun, as skin can be more susceptible to sunburn and damage during pregnancy.
It is also important to remember that every pregnancy is different, and the size and shape of the belly can vary greatly from woman to woman. Women who are concerned about their belly size or any other physical symptoms should consult with their healthcare provider for guidance and support.
Baby Development at 22 Weeks
At 22 weeks pregnant, the fetus continues to grow and develop, reaching a length of approximately 11.4 inches and a weight of approximately 1 pound. During this time, the baby is growing rapidly, and the bones and muscles are continuing to strengthen and mature.
The fetus’s hearing and sense of touch are also becoming more advanced, allowing it to respond to sounds and touch from the outside world. The baby is also developing its own sleep patterns, which may involve periods of rest and periods of activity. Women may begin to feel their baby moving and kicking more frequently as the baby grows and becomes more active.
One special consideration for the fetus at 22 weeks is that the risk of certain birth defects and complications decreases as the baby continues to mature. However, women should still be mindful of their own health and seek the advice of their healthcare provider if they experience any concerning symptoms or changes.
It is important to remember that every pregnancy is different, and the development of each fetus can vary. Women who have any concerns or questions about their baby’s development should consult with their healthcare provider for guidance and support.
How Many Months is 22 Weeks Pregnant?
22 weeks of pregnancy is equivalent to approximately 5 months pregnant.
It is important to note that pregnancy is typically measured in weeks, rather than months. This is because the exact length of a month can vary and can be difficult to determine. Using weeks as a measure of pregnancy allows for a more precise estimate of gestational age.
Katie Reed is a passionate writer and mother of four vivacious boys from Salt Lake City, Utah. Drawing from her own journey through TTC, pregnancy, and the joys of raising children, she offers a wealth of insight into the world of motherhood. Beyond her heartfelt tales, Katie delights her readers with family-friendly recipes, engaging crafts, and a curated library of printables for both kids and adults. When she’s not penning her experiences, you’ll find her crafting memories with her husband and sons—Dexter, Daniel, Chester, and Wilder.