You’re 22 weeks pregnant!
Things are moving right along now.
Most pregnant women feel really comfortable at this stage of pregnancy.
You might be feeling you’ve got quite a lot to do!
22 Weeks Pregnant – Everything You Need To Know
You’re only midway through pregnancy, though, so you still have plenty of time.
How many months is 22 weeks pregnant? You’re officially in your 6th month of pregnancy now.
To make sure you get everything done before your due date it’s a good idea to start a list.
You might want to work out things like:
- Where is baby sleeping after birth?
- Does your car need adjustments to carry a baby safely?
- What season will baby be born in (so you can organise clothes, sleepwear, etc)?
- What items can you borrow rather than buy?
Many parents-to-be spend hours researching and shopping for baby items.
The huge range 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.
Deciding How To Feed Your Baby
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 that 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 between the ingredients in breastmilk and formula.
Now is the time to check out breastfeeding classes in your local area and sign up.
It’s a good way for you and your partner to gain a lot of really useful information about breastfeeding.
You can also find out where to access support if breastfeeding becomes a challenge.
If you plan to formula feed, you might like to read our article on How To get Started With Baby Formula.
22 Weeks Pregnant: Your Body
Now you have reached week 22 of pregnancy, your care provider has probably scheduled a glucose test for you.
It’s a test for gestational diabetes, which will usually be given in the next two to three weeks.
Gestational diabetes affects up to 8% of pregnant women – many of whom have never had diabetic symptoms before.
Gestational diabetes increases the risk of pregnancy complications.
- Large baby (macrosomia)
- Preterm birth
- Low blood sugar in baby after birth
- Respiratory distress syndrome
Babies of mothers with gestational diabetes are also more likely to have Type 2 diabetes later in life.
Read about the risk factors and how reduce your chances of being diagnosed, in our article Gestational Diabetes.
This study found the biggest risk factor for gestational diabetes was being overweight or obese during pregnancy.
However, diet during pregnancy can contribute to the risk of gestational diabetes, as you can read here.
If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you need to manage your diet and test your blood sugar regularly.
To help with insulin resistance, it’s important to get regular exercise. It doesn’t need to be strenuous. Even a simple daily walk for 20-30 minutes will help.
Make sure you check with your care provider before beginning or increasing your 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 accommodate your growing baby and uterus.
- Increased sex drive. Around 22 weeks, it’s not uncommon for pregnant women to notice their libido kicks off into the stratosphere. Thanks, pregnancy hormones.
- Hair growth. This is great when it’s only 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 means you’ll probably need to have panty liners with you at all times.
- Breathlessness. You might notice you get out of breath more quickly, 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’ turn into 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 other gentle cream to prevent the area becoming irritated. Avoid wearing clothes that rub on your belly button.
- Braxton Hicks. These are often called ‘practice’ contractions. You’ll feel them 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 Belly
Many babies at 21 weeks like to lie across the uterus.
This is called a transverse lie.
It means the baby’s head is at one side of your belly and the 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 eventually assume a head down position, when they run out of room to move.
22 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby
Your baby’s face is now fully formed.
The 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 your baby is now able to recognise light, warmth, sound and pain.
You might notice your baby jumping when there’s a loud noise.
Try playing different types of music to see which gets the strongest reaction.
Around this time, your baby is developing the sense of touch and will explore the inside of your uterus.
If you were to see inside, you might catch your baby gripping the umbilical cord.
Don’t worry though, the grip isn’t strong enough to cut off blood flow.
This week, your baby probably weighs between 368 and 450 grams and is about 28-30 cm long. At 21 weeks your baby is about the size of a coconut.