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At week twenty-two, you are nearly four months and weeks pregnant! At the end of this week, you will officially be five months pregnant and well past the halfway mark.
Take a moment to savor this realization; you have made it so incredibly far in an amazing journey fraught with new experiences, a range of physical and emotional difficulties, and you have come out stronger, more capable, and ready for the awesome birthing process that lies ahead.
At twenty-two weeks, your baby is roughly eleven inches and weighs in at a little over fifteen ounces. Relative in size to a papaya fruit, your flourishing, thriving baby is infringing upon the available space within your body. As a result, you may find it difficult to breathe at times, to take deep breaths, or to even catch your breath. Accompanying difficulties in breathing may be intense back pains as your belly expands and your center of gravity begins to shift.
Busy practicing for their life outside of your womb, your baby is hard at work trying out their newly developed taste buds and abilities to swallow and gulp. Able to differentiate between a variety of tastes, what your baby eats now could very well affect the flavors of foods they prefer after birth. As such, make it a goal to healthy and eat from a range of food groups to include meat, fish, veggies, fruit, dairy, and whole grains.
Read on below to learn more about week twenty-three of pregnancy and all of its many amazing aspects!
Your Physical and Emotional Health
22 Weeks Pregnant
Week twenty-two is a time when many pregnant mothers experience intense pains in their lower back area in addition to suddenly discovering a litany of invading stretch marks making their way across burgeoning baby bumps, the thighs, and elsewhere on the body.
The backaches are unavoidable due to the immense pressure put on your body from your growing baby in conjunction with struggling to adjust to carrying on a profoundly increased body weight. Backaches and pains can be lessenedby using a heating pad, taking a warm bath, using a specially-designed pregnancy pillow, prenatal massage, light yoga, and low-resistance exercise.
Just as unavoidable as pregnancy-related back pain are stretch marks. Caused by the rapidly stretching skin that is tearing below its surface, stretch marks are a permanent byproduct of pregnancy that will fade over time, but not completely.
To help mitigate the appearance of stretch marks, keep your skin well-hydrated by using natural moisturizers such as coconut oil, almond oil, or jojoba oil to not only nourish the skin but to keep it extremely supple as a way to keep stretch marks somewhat under control.
Symptoms commonly experienced in week twenty-two of pregnancy can include:
- Trouble breathing: You may experience trouble breathing, taking deep breaths, or catching your breath. Be prudent with your workouts by making sure they are not too strenuous. Make sure that you take lots of breaks and take opportunities to sit down and rest
- Facial hair: Very common for pregnant women, particularly in this phase of pregnancy facial hair can sprout up at various spots on the face. At the same time, the hair on your head is growing as well and may start to look particularly thick, lustrous, and healthy
- Mild swelling: When you are pregnant, you experience an elevation of fluids in your body which inevitably leads to mild swelling and bloating. Make sure that the swelling you experience is not severe or accompanied by blurry vision – it could be an indicator of pre-eclampsia and should be addressed by a healthcare providers immediately
- Blurry vision: As is the case with swelling, blurry vision issues are resultant from water retention levels
- Weight gain: Weight gain will be ongoing during this period in your term
- Increased vaginal discharge: Many women will experience increased vaginaldischarge that is a result of elevated blood flow
- Increased sex drive: Related to wildly fluctuating hormones, pregnant women in this part of their term may experience an increase in sex drive
- Condition of skin: Due to your body retaining an increased level of moisture and high levels of flowing blood, your skin’s condition may improve drastically and result in an overall glowing look
- Appearance of the “outtie”: Out of nowhere, you may suddenly discover your belly button has gone inside out, and you have now got an “outtie.” A result of your rapidly expanding belly, it will revert back to an “innie” in time.
Your Baby’s Health and Status
22 Weeks Pregnant
With body proportions similar to that of a newborn, your baby appears much like a miniature version of a baby. Baby fat has yet to make an appearance, and your baby still has quite a ways to go in terms of overall growth and developmental processes.
Even so, amazing things are happening to your baby during this time. Just now beginning to form in their gut, baby’s first stool is accumulating from the myriad things he or she is digesting.
Primarily digesting amniotic fluid and dead skin cells, your baby is swallowing, gulping, and ultimately digesting its sources of nutrition and producing meconium with their bowels. Interestingly, the amniotic fluid contains trace amounts of sugar, which acts as a supplement to the overall nourishment they are receiving via your placenta.
Your baby’s respiratory system has by this time undergone massive development. However, their lungs are not quite ready for a life outside your womb.
Fast at work practicing the breathing movements required for post-womb life, your baby is steadily receiving oxygen from your placenta and will continue to do until they take their very first breaths outside of your womb.
Tips, Tricks, and Knowledge
22 Weeks Pregnant
- Food cravings can often have pregnant women feeling like they are going crazy. Indulge yourself on a sensible level and have a slice of pizza or piece of cake if you have a craving. Just make sure not overdo it and let yourself go into a binge-eating session of junk food
- Depression during pregnancy is more common than you might think and can afflict not only women but also soon-to be fathers. Look out for the signs of depression and make an appointment with a therapist or counselor if necessary. Pregnancy is an incredibly difficult process to get through, and many parents are fearful of how life will be after birth. It’s nothing to feel bad about and is extremely common
- Massaging your belly can help you bond with your baby but also serves to improve your blood circulation, overall mood, and quality of sleep
- At twenty-two weeks, a pregnant belly’s fundal height will be anywhere from twenty to twenty-four centimeters
- Edema is so common in pregnant women that itis often overlooked as anything serious. Swollen feet and hands that exhibit sudden onset swelling that is severe and apparent on the hands, face, and feet need to be medically addressed as soon as possible. Look out for other symptoms as well, including rib-pain, vomiting, intense headache, and vision problems.
Week 22 To-Do List and Reminders
22 Weeks Pregnant
Your Primary Goals Should Be the Following at This Point:
- Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Ensuring you’re getting enough iron, vitamin D, and vitamin C
- Keeping well hydrated and drinking plenty of water
- Engaging in low-resistance, low impact exercise
- Practicing pelvic floor exercises
- Staying away from harmful chemicals and cleaners
- Keeping a lookout for any severe symptoms
- Maintaining a positive attitude
Edema: Edema is a medical term describing the swelling of the body from inflammation, injury, and more. The condition can affect smaller, localized areas of the body or can affect the entire body.
Pregnancy often results in edema and occurs when the assemblage of blood vessels in your body start leaking and releasing significant amounts of fluid into your tissues to create swelling.
Cool Things to Know
- Your baby’s accumulation in meconium will eventually comprise her first stool when she is a newborn outside of your womb
- During week twenty-two mammary glands start developing for baby girls. Mammary glands are primarily responsible for creating breast milk
- For baby boys, week twenty-two is a time when his testes begin their descent from the pelvis to the scrotum
Ready to find out what’s next in your pregnancy journey?