22nd Week of Pregnancy: Changes, Symptoms, Food & Care Tips

By week 22 things will start to feel a lot crowded with the uterus and baby bump expanding rapidly to make way for your baby. A lot of changes will continue to take place in both your body and your little one.

What can you expect in week 22?

  • Be prepared for those crazy cravings.
  • You will start experiencing labor like contractions also known as “False contractions”.
  • Those baby flutters are now going to transform into jabs and kicks.
  • Your body will feel overcrowded.

22nd Week of Pregnancy: Changes, Symptoms, Food & Care Tips

Common pregnancy symptoms in week 22

The symptoms this week are all related to your ever-expanding uterus and your baby taking up a lot of the space in your body. It is true that few of the symptoms remain the same right from the Fifth Week of Pregnancy, nevertheless, it is important to know whether they will persist this week. 

Belly button protrudes outward- 

If this hasn’t to you yet, then this could be the week when your little inner belly button protrudes out and becomes an outie. As your uterus is expanding, it causes your navel to push forward. Worry not as you navel will go back to its previous form after delivery.

Increased discharge- 

The thin and milky vaginal discharge is also called Leukorrhea. This discharge will continue this week. This vaginal discharge helps to prevent vaginal infection, so don’t wash it away. Immediately consult your doctor in case this discharge is tinged, bloody, or has a bad odor.

Swelling of hands or feet-

Most pregnant women experience this swelling, so don’t worry if this swelling isn’t sudden, severe, or downright unbearable. However, if it is a sudden change after headaches then consult your doctor right away. Also if you notice the swelling to have moved to your torso, seek medical attention right away.  Keep your feet elevated whenever you can and wear comfortable shoes.

Heartburn- 

This pesky symptom is very common during pregnancy. If you feel every bite is setting your guts on fire, then try the simple home remedies of eating slowly and chewing thoroughly, sitting up straight after meals, eating smaller and frequent servings than one big meal, and sleeping with your head propped up, etc.

Braxton Hicks contractions- 

Braxton Hicks contractions (also known as “false contractions”) are common during this period of your pregnancy. They are supposed to be weaker than actual contractions. They sometimes tend to start strong but then they grow weaker. These contractions are usually irregular and they feel like a tightening of your lower abdomen. This tightening begins in the upper portion of the uterine muscles and then radiates downwards.

Constipation- 

The high levels of progesterone during this week could trigger this symptom. As your uterus is now rapidly expanding, it is going to put a lot of pressure on all the other organs including your intestines. This pressure could lead to constipation and indigestion or gassiness. Including fiber-rich food in your diet and hydrating with lots of glass of water will improve the situation.

Round ligament pain- 

You are probably familiar with this pain from the earlier phase of your pregnancy. Now that your baby is growing at a faster rate and causing your uterus to further stretch those abdominal ligaments, this pain is likely to come back.

Varicose veins- 

This symptom may start now or it may have even started earlier in your pregnancy. To provide some relief to your already overburdened circulatory system and to assuage your varicose veins; avoid standing or sitting up for a long time, get enough exercise, wear comfortable clothing and keep your legs up whenever possible. Compression stockings are known to be an effective way to ease varicose veins.

Stretch marks- 

These marks appear because your skin is now stretching a lot at a rapid pace and that is causing your skin to tear below the surface. These marks may never vanish completely but will fade a lot after delivery.

Some other symptoms that may persist are dizziness, indigestion and bloating backaches and leg cramps, heavy breathing, snoring, higher sex drive, etc.

Your Baby’s Development in Week 22

During this week, your baby will continue to grow bigger and he/she is finally starting to resemble a human baby. Your baby will continue to develop, mature, and gain more weight.

Your baby can now move its hands independently and it will try to grasp anything it finds. Your baby will start to grasp the umbilical cord. 

The eyes are still shut but they are going to move under the shut eyelids. Other visual parts like tear ducts are also developing. Your little one has also started to furrow his tiny eyebrows.

Your baby is also more responsive to stimuli now. Your baby’s brain is developing rapidly and the nerve endings are also forming. Your baby is now beginning to develop layers of brown fat that will help to keep him warm. Maybe, you can start selecting a perfect Name for Baby from now itself. 

Size of your baby

Your 20 weeks old baby is now approximately 20 to 24 cm long from the crown of its head to the toe. Your baby weighs approximately 0.47 kg and is about the size of a coconut. During this 5th month of your pregnancy, your baby will continue to grow by approximately 1 cm per week.

Body of the mother at week 22

You are probably starting to feel uncomfortable now that it is getting crowded inside you. This will continue as your baby continues to grow. However, you will soon get used to this feeling.

Pregnant belly at week 22

The 22 weeks pregnant baby bump is approximately 20 to 22 cm from the pelvic bone to the top of your uterus. This is your fundal height in week 22.

Also during this week you are slowly and gradually gaining weight. You probably have gained over 10 pounds buy now. Keep an eye on your weight gain. Your doctor will provide you with the recommended weight gain according to your BMI. Stick to a gradual and slow weight gain plan. Don’t stress too much by counting your calories. Just eat around 300 additional calories per day. Keep your meals small and eat small but well balanced and healthy meals 5-6 times a day.

22 weeks ultrasound

The second ultrasound generally takes place between week 18 and week 22. So if you still haven’t had your ultrasound then it is going to be the big week. During this ultrasound, you will get a glimpse of baby frowning or even sucking its thumb. You will also find out the sex of your little one if you are interested in knowing that is. 

Tips and reminders for week 22

  • You must not give in to your cravings all the time. A little bit of indulgence is alright but you have to keep eating healthy in order to provide both your body and your baby all the required nutrients. Try to follow a diet rich in fiber, iron, and vitamins. Try eating smaller meals and plenty of water to reduce heartburn. 
  • You can also start doing some pelvic floor exercises. Including them, your existing moderate exercise routine will prepare your pelvic floor for the upcoming delivery.
  • A lot of expectant mothers wish to commemorate their pregnancy by doing a maternity photo-shoot. You should schedule a photo-shoot with a photographer and make a memorable day out of it. Also, it would be a good way to make your partner feel more involved in the pregnancy.
  • If you find out the sex of your baby this week, tart preparing the nursery and start finalizing the baby name.
  • If you want childcare then now would be a good time to start looking for it.
  • Soon that you have already completed half of your term, from this week onwards you and you’re your partner should start honing your diapering skills.
  • Now would be high time to schedule your 24-week prenatal check-up, if you haven’t done that yet.

Here are Some Important Frequently Asked Questions for 22nd Week

How many months is week 22?

In week 22, you are now 5 months and 2 weeks into your pregnancy. You are in your second trimester now.

How many weeks to go?

Only 18 weeks to go.

Can I hear my baby’s heartbeat?

Yes, you will hear very fast heartbeats of your little one if you get an ultrasound in week 22.

Can I feel the baby’s movement at week 22?

By week 22, you have likely started to feel your little one jerking and moving in your womb. If you get an ultrasound in week 22, you will also see your baby moving around and probably sucking on its tiny fingers. 

When to call the doctor?

If you feeling overwhelmed by your pregnancy or suffering from anxiety, remember that you are alone. Seek medical help as therapists can help you deal with such feelings. Consult your doctor about any sudden symptoms. Remember, if you start to feel your baby moving every day and then notice no movement for consecutive 12 hours, it will be best to get a check-up to ensure that your baby is doing fine in there.

If you have started experiencing the false contractions, talk to your doctor to understand the difference between the false and real contractions. You should also monitor the intensity and the duration of such contractions and inform the same to your doctor.

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