You are in the second half of your pregnancy journey. Everything is going according to plan. You’ve experienced every second and every minute of your baby’s development from week 1. Right now, you can’t wait to hold him/her in your arms a couple of weeks down the line. Motherhood beckons and there is nothing that gives you greater joy at this moment. This week marks the start of your 22nd week of pregnancy!
At 22 weeks pregnant, your baby has grown so much and is now the size of a doll. Besides, he/she has also broken the one-pound mark. Can you imagine how heavy one pound is? Pop into your kitchen and pick a package of butter (with four sticks). That is exactly one pound! And this is not all. The baby has also increased in length to hit 11 inches.
This week, the baby is very busy trying to sample what you eat. Believe it or not, the tastes you like are also likely to become your baby’s preference. So, if you love white wine, the baby will also fancy it in his/her life. Here are more interesting things at 22 weeks pregnant that you should know.
Your Baby at 22 Weeks Pregnant
At 22 weeks pregnant, the baby’s eyes continue developing and can perceive the light. Though the eyelids still remain fused shut, the eyes keep moving and can still perceive the light if you shine a spotlight on the baby bump. Otherwise, they are in total darkness. The optic nerve and eyebrows are also developing and the baby can make tiny brows.
Your baby’s brain is developing rapidly and a mesh of nerve endings are forming in different parts of the body. The sense of touch is already developed and the baby might experiment by sucking the thumb or stroking some parts of the body. The movements of the muscles are also coordinated by the brain as opposed to reflex.
The baby hearing system is now developed and is busy listening to what is happening around. He/she is listening to the sounds such as your breathing, heartbeat, and rumbling of your stomach. Therefore, go ahead and talk to the baby and he/she will enjoy every sweet word you utter.
Around this time, the baby’s bones are developing fast and have already accumulated some bone marrow. Now, the process of creating blood cells shifts from the liver and spleen to the bones. As the blood cells are generated, the blood keeps increasing in the baby’s circulatory system.
Your Body at 22 Weeks Pregnant
At 22 weeks pregnant, the uterus is growing fast and has now hit an inch above the belly button. However, it is not just your tummy that is growing. Check your feet closely. Can you notice anything? As the body releases the hormone relaxin, it is not just the pelvic joints and ligaments that loosen to allow the growing baby to fit; your legs are also getting bigger. This means that you might need new pairs of shoes. Well, go ahead and look for something comfortable. And, make sure to stay away from stilettos because you will struggle to get balance as your belly grows.
Your growing belly is likely to become an attraction. Everyone, from your colleagues at the workplace to strangers in the street will want to touch it. Well, the round belly is cute and some find it irresistible. If you do not mind the touchers, it is okay. But if you do not feel comfortable, pregnancy is a personal thing and you need to tell them to back off and avoid their advances.
22 Weeks Pregnant is How Many Months?
At 22 weeks pregnant, you are in the last week of the fifth month. It is amazing how time flies! Now, you have only four months remaining. And believe it or not, the remaining 18 weeks will be even more exciting because the baby and your body are working towards finishing the race.
22 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound
If you are to have an ultrasound scan at 22 weeks pregnant, the baby would be seen in its favorite C-shape position (legs tucked towards the chest and head pulled towards the knees). You might also notice occasional stretches from this position as the baby practices different muscles and organs such as hands and legs.
If you make some sound, you might also note the baby responding with some movements on the legs and hands.
22 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
At 22 weeks pregnant, your heart is pumping about 40% more blood compared to the period before conception. This is great news because more oxygen and nutrients are being delivered to the developing baby via the placenta. However, if you experience extended shortness of breath, make sure to discuss it with your doctor.
As pregnancy hormones, especially relaxin, buildup, the muscles and ligaments start becoming more flexible. This flexibility may result in some hip and pelvic pain.
Braxton Hick’s Practice Contractions
If you thought that your due date is too far, you are probably wrong. Your body is already getting ready for labor through Braxton Hick’s contractions. These are mild uterine cramps and pains that help the body to prepare for delivery. However, you should seek help from your doctor if the contractions get severe.
This is a burning sensation on the chest. Despite the name, note that it does not have anything to do with the heart. Heartburn happens when the stomach acids get back to esophagus because of pressure from the growing uterus. Though this is common, consider seeking assistance from your doctor if it gets severe.
As the uterus keeps growing at a fast rate, your navel will protrude and become easily visible. Well, don’t you like it? Relax because it will revert back to the original position after delivery.
Stretch Marks all Over
Have you noticed stretch marks on the thighs, butt, and breasts? The marks result from the growing baby bump that is stretching the skin to provide additional space for the baby. They also arise from the additional layer of fat and nutrients that the body is stocking in preparation for baby nourishment after delivery. Grab and apply some moisturizer to ease the itchiness and dryness.
Things to Do at 22 Weeks Pregnant
- Discuss with the doctor about the fetal fibronectin (fFN) test. This is a special type of glue that is generated by the body to help hold the baby in utero. If the result of this test is positive, the chances of getting into labor earlier than the due date are high.
- Start doing the Kegel exercises. These are special exercises that help to practice the pelvic floor muscles. If you want to find it easy to push the baby out, well, go for more Kegel exercises. You should also continue with the exercises for faster recovery after delivery.
- Continue buying your child’s accessories. As you shop for the baby’s clothes, you need to also stock other accessories for feeding, listening, and playing equipment.
- Get intimate with your partner. The high levels of pregnancy hormones often push libido to high levels around this time. Because of the high supply of blood in the pelvic area, it becomes more sensitive, and you might find sexual intercourse more enjoyable than any other time. Go ahead and enjoy multiple orgasms with your partner. However, make sure to only use comfortable sex positions.
22 Weeks Pregnant Checklist
- Start thinking about the people you would want to be present during labor and delivery. This can be your partner, a relative or an experienced person. This should be a person you trust and that can help you with issues happening during pregnancy.
- Find out more about pain relieving methods used during labor and delivery. What options are available?
- Check for lactation classes in your area or signup for one online.
- Decide where you want the baby shower to be held.
- Finish designing the baby shower invitation cards and start dispatching them.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor at 22 Weeks Pregnant
- Am I doing right on weight gain? If not, what foods do I need to take and in what quantities?
- Should I get a flu shot? What other vaccines do I need now or later?
- For a lady pregnant with twins: “What is my due date?”
- What is the risk of tearing my vagina during delivery?
At 22 weeks pregnant, your baby is growing rapidly and senses such as taste and touch becoming more effective. But the most notable thing is that your body has started practicing for labor and delivery through Braxton Hick’s practice contractions. This implies that the end of the journey is now in sight! Therefore, get prepared by ensuring plans about delivery are complete. Besides, you need to get every question or concern about delivery addressed by your healthcare provider.
Go back to week 21.
Go forward to week 23.