You’re starting to show much more and may receive loving attention from family, friends and even strangers as your pregnancy becomes more evident. Remember that each woman grows and shows at their own rate and you may even experience each of your pregnancies differently. Make sure to visit your healthcare practitioner to check that your baby’s development and growth is on track.
The most common 22 weeks pregnant symptoms have to do with the fact that your baby (or babies, if you’re 22 weeks pregnant with twins) is taking over so much territory in your bod. This includes:
- Stretch marks These scars are caused when your skin stretches so fast or so much that it actually tears below the surface. What’s not so cool is that the stretch marks may never go away completely, but they will fade in color after delivery, so they’ll be much less noticeable.
- Outtie belly button Your innie has basically gone inside out and you’ve suddenly got an outtie. This is another byproduct of an expanding belly. It can be a weird feeling, we know. Your outtie will go back to an innie, we promise!
- Increased sex drive Some moms-to-be actually find they have an increase in libido around 22 weeks. That’s because your hormones are pretty much raging at this point. (We hope you’re enjoying it!)
- Increased vaginal discharge You’ve got a water works situation down there—SO not fun, but don’t worry, it’s just the result of increased blood flow down there. This could be a reason not to feel the sex drive boost other moms-to-be get at this phase of the game, but we think you should try to get into the mood anyhow. We really doubt your partner will mind a little excess… um… lubrication.
- Swollen hands and/or feet Now that you’re pregnant, you have an increase in the amount of fluids in your body. So minor swelling is totally normal and will die down pretty much as soon as baby is born. Severe or sudden swelling, on the other hand, is not normal. It could be a sign of a dangerous pregnancy complication called preeclampsia, so tell your OB right away if you’re super swollen or swollen with sudden onset.
- Backaches Your back hurts due to extra pressure from baby and from carrying around the extra weight. A heating pad, a prenatal massage, and/or sleeping with a body pillow can help ease the pain.
- Hair growth This is a pretty great symptom when the hair is… Actually. On. Your. Head. When it’s not on your head, well, go ahead and curse those hormones for the umpteenth time. (And break out the tweezers if you want!)
- Trouble catching your breath Baby continues to crowd your lungs, making it tough to breathe at times. Remember not to take your workouts too far, and when you feel winded, take a break right away.
Development of Baby
At 22 weeks, baby is the size of a coconut. Average baby size at 22 weeks is 11 inches (28 cm) long (from the crown of the head to the heel of the foot) and 15.2 ounces (431 grams). His or her little features are now more distinct.
Your baby is still very thin due to the lack of fatty tissue, however in weeks to come, this will change. The skin is wrinkly and covered with lanugo. Internal organs are growing fast and the eyelids and eyebrows are becoming clearly defined and distinguishable. The eyes have formed as well, but its irises do not have any pigment yet.
Your baby is sleeping in cycles … about 12 to 14 hours per day. These are probably those times you were not feeling any kicks.
Stretch marks are common and at least 50% of pregnant women will develop these.
Moisturiser will help relieve the itching associated with stretch marks but there is no proof that lotions help prevent these marks from forming.
If you haven’t had your mid-pregnancy ultrasound yet, this is the week for you to have one. This 18- to 22-weeks pregnant ultrasound gives you a glimpse of all baby’s major organs and other body parts. You’ve probably wrapped up the rest of your genetic testing at this point.
A typical 22 weeks pregnant belly measures approximately 20 to 24 centimeters from pelvic bone to the top of the uterus … that’s called the fundal height. If you’re 22 weeks pregnant with twins, don’t even consider fundal height, since twin pregnancies are all so different, there’s no real typical.
At 22 weeks pregnant, weight gain is likely on your mind. Your OB is probably telling you to stick to a slow and steady weight gain—about a pound or slightly more or less per week, depending on your body type. To do that, many people advise eating about 300 extra calories per day. Don’t obsess over calorie counting or anything … it’s just a good guideline to keep in mind.
300 extra calories doesn’t mean you have to eat exactly three meals, plus one or two small snacks. In fact, you should consider switching it up and eating five or six small meals over the course of your day. That way, it might be easier to stick to a well-rounded diet (since, admit it, most of us make healthier choices with our meals than we do with our snacks). Plus, by eating smaller meals and more regularly, you’ll lower your chances of having drops in energy, or heartburn, indigestion, and other issues with that 22-week pregnant belly.