How Many Months Pregnant Are You At 22 Weeks?
How Big Is Your Baby At 22 Weeks?
Baby Development At 22 weeks
Here is how your baby develops during this week:
|Hair (3)||Head and body are covered with lanugo|
|Limbs||Lower limbs are fully developed. The baby’s slight movements can be felt, but the kicks are not strong|
|Nails||Toenails are developing|
|Genitals (4)||In boys, the testicles are descending into the scrotum. In girls, the vagina is fully developed|
|Intestine (5)||Meconium (the baby’s first poop) begins to form|
|Eyes||Eyebrows and eyelashes start to appear. The retina is fully developed (6)|
|Ears (7)||Begin to respond to sounds as the cochlea is almost developed and acquires adult size|
|Tongue (4)||Taste buds are formed|
|Brain||Developing, and the nerve endings are formed, making the baby feel when you touch the belly|
As the baby develops, you will also experience specific symptoms indicating the changes inside you.
What Symptoms Do You Experience In The 22nd Week Of Pregnancy?
Every pregnancy is different, and so not all women have the same symptoms. Some pregnancies go uneventful while others experience several changes both physically and psychologically. Here are some pregnancy symptoms you may experience during this week:
- Weight gain An average weight gain of one to two pounds per week during the second trimester of pregnancy is considered safe, as recommended by the American Pregnancy Association (APA) (10). However, in case of women who have BMI less than 18.5 and greater than 24.9, the recommended weight gain rates usually range in between 0.5 to one pound.
|BMI||Below 18.5||18.5 – 24.9||25 – 29.9||30 and above|
|Weight gain (pounds)||11-17||10-16||6-12||4-9|
- Heartburn is mostly due to progesterone, which causes relaxation of the valve between the esophagus and the stomach leading to acid regurgitation. It can also be due to the growing uterus, which pushes the gastric acid from the stomach to the esophagus.
- You may experience leg cramps due to the increased blood flow in the lower part of the body. A deficiency of calcium and magnesium can also lead to leg cramps (10).
- Hormonal fluctuations cause the release of whitish vaginal discharge, which prevents any bacteria from entering the uterus. Medical consultation may be needed if the discharge is foul smelling, excessive, and/ or causes itching in the private parts (12)
- The progesterone hormone relaxes the digestive tract, slowing down the intestinal motility and resulting in constipation.
- The expanding uterus puts pressure on the blood vessels, inhibiting proper flow of blood to the brain, which might cause dizziness in some women.
- Hormonal fluctuations can lead to sexual desires.
- Edema or water retention in the body can result in swollen hands and feet. Let your doctor know about it if it is excessive (13)
- The pressure put by the growing uterus and on the lower back causes backache.
- Hormonal changes can make your hair healthier and shinier in some women while in some it might lead to hairfall.
- The extra blood flow in the lower part of the body causes varicose veins or the swelling up of veins in the legs (14)
- The increased blood flow to the rectal area might cause hemorrhoids or the swelling of blood vessels, which are painful. These are generally reversible and only supportive care is needed (11)
- The pressure put by the growing uterus on the bladder increases the frequency of urination.All this will lead to specific changes in your body.
Changes In The Body At 22 Weeks
Here are some physical and emotional changes you may experience this week (12):
- Enlarged belly with a protruding navel
- Changing fingernails, as some women may experience faster growth of nails
- Discolored skin, as some dark patches develop due to increased melanin
- Bigger and darker nipples
- Mood swings
Can A Baby Survive If Born At 22 Weeks?
According to a cohort study done by the National Research Network, Japan, the babies born during the gestational age of 22 weeks have fewer chances of survival or are at a higher risk of having NDI (neurodevelopmental impairment) (13). Though with the advancement of technology in the medical field, the chances of survival have become better but there is still lack of enough evidence and data about the long-term prognosis and neurodevelopmental outcome of babies born at such early gestation.
When To Call The Doctor
If you experience the following symptoms, call the doctor right away (14):
- A contraction (hardening of stomach along with pain) once every 10 minutes (5 or more in an hour)
- Rupture of the amniotic sac causing the fluid leak from the vagina
- Menstrual-like cramps
- Pelvic pressure
- A low and dull backache
- Abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea
- A sudden increase in vaginal discharge
- Blood from vagina
Your OB/GYN Visit
During the antenatal visit, the doctor will check:
- Blood pressure
- Fetal heart rate with a fetoscope
Additionally, a few tests may be done to check how the pregnancy is progressing.
If an anomaly scan has been done at 18-20 weeks, ultrasound is not required at this gestation. However, if it is not done, then you might need one now. An ultrasound is for a comprehensive study of the fetal anatomy. However, it may not give details about all the organs. It helps in detecting any congenital defects or abnormalities in the fetus (15).
Tips For Mom-to-be
Here are some tips that you should follow to stay healthy and happy at this stage of pregnancy.
- Stay hydrated; drink at least eight glasses of water.
- Give your body eight hours of sleep in the night and two hours in the day.
- Add beans, vegetables, fruits, milk and dairy products, and meat in your diet.
- Eat home-cooked food and have small meals at regular intervals.
- Continue the prenatal vitamin supplements including vitamin C and folic acid among others.
- Exercise daily if there is no contraindication. Enroll in prenatal exercise groups.
- Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and drugs.
- Keep stress away and stay calm.
- Maintain oral hygiene by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth.
- Wear loose, breathable clothes.
- Avoid deep-fried and fatty foods. Add more fiber to your diet to reduce constipation.
- Avoid taking any medicines without the doctor’s permission.
- Avoid sitting crossed legged, as it can cause a backache.
- Wear comfortable footwear.
- Avoid sitting for long hours and walk around frequently.
- Enroll in childbirth classes.
- Spend time with family and friends.
- Use a heating pad or sleep with a body pillow to ease the back pain.
Your partner can also help you feel better by helping you out a little.
Tips For The Dad-to-be
Here are a few pointers for daddy dearest.
- Sharing the responsibilities of household chores.
- Creating a pleasant environment at home.
- Accompanying you to prenatal visits.
- Taking you for shopping.
- Planning an outing for you.
- Giving you a good neck and foot massage for relaxation.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the baby’s position at 22 weeks?
At 22 weeks, most babies lie transverse across mothers’ tummies. They can change position during this time to up and down and sideways (16).
2. How long do babies sleep in the womb at 22 weeks?
Unborn babies can sleep even when the mother is awake. They may sleep for long hours, around 12 to 14 hours daily from 21 to 24 weeks. However, you may not feel like the baby is sleeping (17).
3. Why is my belly hard at 22 weeks pregnant?
The uterus can be at the belly button around 20 weeks of pregnancy. This is when the week of gestation matches with fundal height. By the time you reach 20 weeks, occasionally, you can feel the uterus for a few seconds since it begins contracting (18).
4. Can my baby feel when I rub my belly at 22 weeks?
Babies may not be able to feel belly rubs at 22 weeks of pregnancy. They can feel and respond to belly rubs around the 26th week of pregnancy. Fetuses can only feel pain at 22 weeks (19).
5. What is the earliest a baby can be born and survive?
Neonatal unit care can enhance survival rates for prematurely born babies. Babies born beyond 24 weeks of gestation have a better chance of survival than those born earlier. Lungs and other vital organs are not developed enough before 24 weeks (20).
Pregnancy is not an easy journey though it is rewarding. In the 22nd week of pregnancy, you may undergo various physical changes and experience heartburn, leg cramps, constipation, backache, dizziness, etc. You may also experience emotional changes such as mood swings and anxiety. However, consult a doctor if you experience a contraction, pelvic pressure, menstrual-like cramps, or sudden increase in vaginal discharge. In addition, stay hydrated, ensure you get eight hours of sleep, eat a balanced diet with plenty of veggies, fruits, milk, and dairy products, and stay relaxed.
- Week by Week Fetus Size Demonstrated by Fruits.
- Fetal Development.
- Fetal Growth And Development.
- Week 22.
- Fetal development.
- 22 weeks pregnant.
- Prenatal Summary
- Pregnancy calendar – Week 22
- Pregnancy Weight Gain
- Calcium Vitamin D and Magnesium.
- Pregnancy at week 22.
- Week 22 – your 2nd trimester
- Nozomi Ishii et al.; (2013); Outcomes of Infants Born at 22 and 23 Weeks’ Gestation.
- Premature Labor.
- Monitoring of Pregnancy and Medical Examinations During Pregnancy.
- 22 Weeks Pregnant.
- Your Pregnancy: Week 21 to 24.
- Fundal Height.
- Bonding with your baby during pregnancy.
- You And Your Baby At 24 Weeks Pregnant.