22 Weeks Pregnant
22 Weeks Pregnant
At 22 weeks pregnant, you’ve been pregnant for 5 months and are around halfway through your second trimester. Your body has changed dramatically since the beginning of your pregnancy, and others around will likely know of your news, too.
You’ve probably experienced some of the early signs of pregnancy, but most of these symptoms have eased off during the second trimester. Now that you’re getting closer to third week of pregnancy, you should prepare for a challenging, yet exciting, period of time, as the birth of your child grows ever nearer. This article aims to address any concerns or queries that you may have about being 22 weeks pregnant.
22 Weeks Pregnancy Symptoms
The “honeymoon phase” of pregnancy is nearing an end, and you will likely start to feel some signs of pregnancy more severely again soon. Here are the most common pregnancy symptoms at week 22:
- Increased bodily fluids
The pregnancy hormones coursing through your system, coupled with a drastic increase in blood flow, will lead to more bodily fluids being produced, particularly vaginal discharge, mucus and sweat.
- Increase in libido
All throughout the pregnancy cycle it is common to have differing levels of sex drive. Some weeks you’ll want it, others you won’t. It really depends on how your body reacts to the fluctuating hormones. At 22 weeks pregnant, it could be a good time to take advantage of any increase in libido, as it will be less likely as you move into the third trimester.
False contractions, or Braxton Hicks contractions, are a normal symptom of pregnancy at 22 weeks. When they happen, your abdomen will feel tighter in the lower region. They are normally quite weak but occasionally can be quite strong. If you are worried that you are having too many Braxton Hicks contractions, speak to your medical practitioner for advice.
- Baby movements
The fetus at 22 weeks old is big and strong. It grows everyday starts to test out its newfound muscles by stretching around inside your womb. This can lead to some visible movements from the outside of your belly, and others around you may also be able to feel the activities of your baby by placing a hand on your stomach.
- Belly button changes
If you usually have an “innie” belly button, it will slowly start becoming an “outie”, as your expanding uterus stretches the skin and affects your body in different ways.
- Shortness of breath
There is an increased pressure on the lungs during pregnancy, due to the expansion of the uterus. This will leave you feeling short on breath and could likely continue until the day of delivery.
Your Body at Week 22
In the past month, your baby has grown a great deal. Along with the expected weight gain, this will have left your body larger than at the start of the pregnancy. At week 22, though, the changes in your body are more likely to be attributed to the baby bump that weight gain. The people around you will be able to tell from the outside that you are pregnant, and your baby bump is probably getting quite large and round.
One of the other common changes to your body at this stage is an increase in varicose veins and spider veins. These blue or dark purple veins are a side-effect of faulty valves in the vein network and occur due to the heightened intravascular pressure that occurs during pregnancy.
A surprising symptom of pregnancy at week 22, or around this period, is foot growth. This is attributable to edema, the swelling or inflammation of different parts of tissue that can affect the feet and ankles during pregnancy.
Baby Size at Week 22
Your baby is now the same size as a coconut. At 22 weeks pregnant, it weighs almost half a kilogram and measures around 19 to 21 centimetres in length. This weight gain is not nothing, and many women start to feel leg cramps as a result of the heavier load fatiguing their muscles.
Some more changes are happening behind the scenes, and development of your 22-weeks old fetus is steadily coming along. The baby’s eyes can now perceive light and dark, despite the eyelids being fused shut still. Your baby’s ears will be able to process sounds more clearly, recognising voices and responding to loud noises.
Week 22 Pregnant Ultrasound
The mid-pregnancy ultrasound is normally scheduled between weeks 18 and 22, so this is the last week that one will be typically scheduled for. If you are having your mid-pregnancy scan this week, you could be about to receive some big news – the sex of your baby. This ultrasound is also called the dating scan due to the more accurate due date it provides. During the scan, the technician will check the health of your baby’s organs and you will be able to see the progress that your once seed sized embryo has made.
If you are one of the unlucky ones who still has severe 22 weeks pregnancy symptoms, you may feel nauseated, gassy, and constipated. Heartburn and indigestion are also possible signs of pregnancy at week 22.
At 22 weeks pregnant, you can expect to start feeling the weight of your baby inside the womb. At almost half a kilogram, this extra weight is noticeable.
It’s common for “pregnancy brain” to affect women at this stage, meaning that you could feel discombobulated, dizzy, and light-headed at times.
Your abdomen area will look visibly bigger now that it is accommodating a baby the size of a coconut. It will appear rounder and you may have stretch marks appearing on it.
Tips for Week 22 of Pregnancy
- Document the progress
Many mothers express regret at having not taken more photos to document the progress of their baby’s development. If you think you’d like to look back on this experience one day, remember to take more photos.
- Indulge healthy cravings
Eating healthy food is as vital now as it was in the first trimester. Make sure your diet is balanced and varied to ensure a wide range of nutrient intake.
The extra weight burden may leave you feeling tired and lethargic. Try and take regular rest breaks throughout the day, and get plenty of sleep at night.