22 Weeks Pregnant – Everything You Need To Know

22 Weeks Pregnant - Everything You Need To Know

You’re 22 weeks pregnant!

Things are moving right along now.

Most pregnant women feel really comfortable at this stage of pregnancy.

But you might be feeling a little like you’ve got quite a lot to do!

You’re midway through pregnancy so you still have plenty of time.

But to make sure you get everything done before your due date it’s a good idea to start a list.

This might include:

  • Where is baby sleeping after birth?
  • Does your car need adjustments to safely carry a baby?
  • What season will baby be born in (for clothes, sleepwear, etc)?
  • What items can you borrow versus buy?

Many parents to be spend hours researching and shopping for baby items.

The huge variety of choice can leave you feeling overwhelmed.

Try asking for recommendations from other (experienced!) parents.

And don’t forget to look at the safety ratings of all items you buy, especially car seats, prams and cots.

22 Weeks Pregnant – Everything You Need To Know

Another thing to think about is  whether you plan to breastfeed or formula feed?

Breastfeeding is the best nutritional choice for your baby.

Leading health organisations such as WHO recommend breastmilk as the only food for your baby for the first 6 months after birth.

Breast milk contains a whole host of readily absorbable vitamins and minerals.

It’s also great for your baby’s immune system.

Antibodies in breast milk protect against viruses and bacteria which can make young babies very sick.

Breastfeeding also reduces a mother’s likelihood of getting breast cancer.

Check out What’s In Breast Milk and What’s In Formula? for a comparison of ingredients in breastmilk and formula.

Now is a good time to check out breastfeeding classes in your local area and sign up.

You and your partner can gain a lot of really useful information about breastfeeding.

In addition, you can find out where to access support if breastfeeding is a challenge.

If you plan to formula feed, you might like to see our article on how to get started on formula.

22 Weeks Pregnant – Your Body

At week 22 of pregnancy, your care provider has probably scheduled a glucose test for you.

This is usually to be given in the next two to three weeks – this test is for gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes affects up to 8% of pregnant women – many who have never had diabetic symptoms before.

Gestational diabetes increases the risk of pregnancy complications.

These include:

  • Large baby (macrosomia)
  • Preterm birth
  • Low blood sugar in baby after birth
  • Respiratory distress syndrome
  • Babies of mothers with gestational diabetes are more likely to have Type 2 diabetes later in life.

Read about the risk factors for gestational diabetes and how reduce your chances of being diagnosed in our article here.

This study found the biggest risk factor for gestational diabetes was being overweight or obese during pregnancy.

However, diet during pregnancy can contribute to gestational diabetes diagnosis, as you can read here.

A diagnosis of gestational diabetes means managing your diet and testing your blood sugar regularly.

To help with insulin resistance,  it’s important to get regular exercise, even a simple daily walk for 20-30 minutes. It doesn’t need to be strenuous.

Make sure you check with your care provider before beginning or increasing a physical activity routine.

Common Pregnancy Symptoms At 22 Weeks Pregnant

Common pregnancy symptoms you’re experiencing at 22 weeks:

  • Stretch marks and itchy skin. This is a result of your skin stretching to accomodate your growing baby and uterus.
  • Increased sex drive. It’s not uncommon around 22 weeks for pregnant women to notice their libido kicks off into the stratosphere! Thanks pregnancy hormones.
  • Hair growth. This is great when it’s on your head but you might start to notice hairs popping up in unlikely places.
  • Increased vaginal discharge. The extra blood flow heading towards your pelvis increases the need to have panty liners on hand at all times.
  • Breathlessness. You might realise you’re out of breath quicker, thanks to baby taking up more space and crowding your lungs.
  • Leg cramps. Still waking at night gripped by pain in the calves? Make sure you’re getting plenty of magnesium and potassium. Some women swear by eating a banana just before bed.
  • Belly button popping out. This doesn’t seem like too much of a big deal but having an ‘innie’ turning to an ‘outie’ can be a bit disconcerting. The skin inside your belly button might have never seen the outside world. Try using paw paw or a gentle cream to avoid the area being irritated. Avoid wearing clothes that rub on your belly button.
  • Braxton Hicks. These are often called ‘practice’ contractions and can be sensed as a tightening and hardening of your belly. Braxton Hicks are irregular and painless. If you have any regular painful contractions speak to your care provider immediately, especially if you have bleeding or spotting.

22 Weeks Pregnant – Your Baby

Your baby’s face is fully formed now.

Eyelashes and eyebrows are complete, giving your baby’s face more expression.

The nervous system is fully wired up and nerve cells are making connections.

This means our baby is now able to recognise light, warmth, sound and pain.

You might notice your baby jumps when a loud noise happens!

Try playing your baby different types of music to see which gets the strongest reaction.

Around this time, your baby develops the sense of touch and explores the inside of your uterus.

If you were to see inside you might catch your baby gripping the umbilical cord.

Don’t worry though, their grip isn’t strong enough to cut off blood flow.

Many babies at 21 weeks like to lie across the uterus.

This is called transverse lie.

It means their head is at one side of your belly and feet at the other.

Some women worry this means their baby will not engage head down.

It’s common for babies to move about well into the third trimester.

Most will assume a head down position then, when they run out of room to move.

This week, your baby probably weighs between 368 – 450 grams and is about 28-30 cm long. At 21 weeks your baby is around the size of a coconut.

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Last Updated: November 18, 2018

CONTRIBUTOR

BellyBelly.com.au


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