What to expect at 22 weeks pregnant. Everything you need to know about your body and your baby at week 22 of your pregnancy.
Now that you’re 22 weeks pregnant, your baby looks more like a newborn than ever before. Your little one now has distinct lips, eyelids and eyebrows, and even tiny tooth buds.
There are also more changes happening to your body and physical appearance. Your bump is growing, and as you head further into your second trimester (and towards your third!) you may notice some new pregnancy symptoms taking hold.
Read on to find out more about you and your baby’s development at 22 weeks.
Your Baby at 22 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby now weighs just over a pound and is around 11 inches long, which is about the size of a coconut.
This week, your baby is making more sense of the world as they develop their senses.
Their sight is becoming more fine-tuned. Your little one can now perceive light and dark much better than before, even with fused eyelids. They can also hear your voice, your heartbeat, your gurgling stomach and blood circulating through your body.
Over the next few weeks, your baby’s taste buds will continue to grow. They will be busy practicing swallowing – ready for life outside the womb. What you eat now could affect the flavours your baby prefers after they’re born, so be sure to eat plenty of healthy food.
Your Body at 22 Weeks Pregnant
At 22 weeks pregnant, your uterus now sits about an inch above your belly button. And it’s not just your tummy that’s growing in size. If you take a look down at your feet you may discover that these are getting bigger too. This can be attributed to pregnancy swelling (known as edema). Those pesky pregnancy hormones may also have something to do with it. The hormone relaxin (responsible for loosening your ligaments), can often get to work on your feet. This then causes the bones in your feet to spread and sometimes your shoe size to increase.
22 Weeks Pregnant Baby Bump
By now, your bump is most likely quite visible which means you might start to attract some ‘tummy touchers’ out and about. While many of you might welcome the extra attention, you’re also entitled to kindly tell them to back off! Just because you are sharing your body on the inside, doesn’t mean you have to share it on the oustide too.
22 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
Heartburn and Indigestion
It is perfectly normal to find yourself wanting to devour the contents of the kitchen (you have a growing baby to feed!) Try to control and treat your discomfort by eating plenty of healthy snacks such as fruit, vegetables, nuts and whole-wheat crackers.
Your growing uterus is also putting pressure on your bowels, making it harder to move waste out of your system. Try to exercise regularly and drink plenty of water throughout the day. It is also important to consume high-fibre foods such as wholemeal bread, fruit and vegetables.
These painful spasms that radiate through the calves and up the legs are very common among expectant mothers. Although they can be felt during the day, they’re usually more noticeable at night. When you get a cramp try to straighten your leg and gently flex your ankle and toes back toward your shins several times. To prevent cramps and their severity alternate between periods of rest and activity. Be sure to eat a well-balanced diet that includes lots of calcium and magnesium. Ask your doctor if you should add a magnesium supplement to your diet.
Many women find they suddenly have a “popped out” belly button during pregnancy, but it’s a short-term change.There is nothing you can do to prevent changes to your navel during pregnancy: Just about every belly button pops at some point during pregnancy. Like so many other pregnancy symptoms, a popped-out belly button is harmless. However, if your navel is irritated from rubbing against your clothes, you can use a specially-designed belly button cover to smooth and protect it. Pregnancy support products like tummy sleeves or tummy shapers can also protect a popped-out navel. In relatively rare cases, a popped navel can be a sign of an umbilical hernia
Swollen hands and feet
If rings on your fingers or your shoes feel a bit tight, this may be because of more fluid in your body, known as oedema. This is normal during pregnancy, but get medical advice if you experience swelling on your face or headaches. These symptoms can be signs of pre-eclampsia.
22 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound
If you are at risk for preterm labour, at 22 weeks pregnant, your doctor may do fetal fibronectin (fFN) screening. For most expectant mothers you have probably completed the rest of your genetic testing at this point. Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy.
Remember to ask your midwife or doctor about antenatal classes in your area. You could also contact your local branch of the National Childbirth Trust. Why not ask your partner to go with you? Even if you’ve had children before, they are still worth going to, as you can meet other parents-to-be.
For more information on development and milestones at every stage of your pregnancy, visit our pregnancy week by week page.
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