Motherhood & Parenting
At 22 weeks pregnant, you have butterflies in your belly, except this time they are because of your tiny one. This week, the tiny flutters inside your bump are becoming more and more noticeable as your baby starts to slowly become a proper part of your world. As they grow, they can’t resist letting you know that they are there, moving around and kicking away. “Notice me!” They’re saying, as they roll around with all the force of the life held inside them.
Many changes are happening even now as you are well into your second trimester. Your 22 week baby bump is forever increasing in size, possibly giving you an outward belly button. This is the time to truly savor every moment because you are probably feeling less bothered by the symptoms as compared to before. Pay attention to your belly bump, caress it, talk to it, read stories, and start practicing those lullabies!
Try to make the most of this somewhat increased energy before the third trimester brings with it another wave of fatigue. Bask in the happiness that is growing inside you and look after yourself even more. Soon, all your efforts are going to be rewarded.
The size of the baby at 22 weeks is around 10.9 inches, weighing approximately 15.2 ounces. This means that when measured from the crown of the head to the heel of the toe, the size of the baby at 22 weeks is around that of papaya. The Baby’s eyes and lips are developing more and more, and the baby is also swallowing amniotic fluid in small amounts.
This substance will be stored in the bowels as meconium, coming out during the first stool of the newborn infant. Your baby’s skin is now more opaque, but still red and wrinkly, waiting for more fat to fill it up. The fingernails may now be covering the tips of their fingers.
Your 22 week baby bump, measured from the pelvic bone to the top of the uterus, is probably around 20 to 24 centimeters. However, this measurement called the “fundal height”, is only measured if you are carrying a single child because the average for those carrying twins is hard to calculate. Either way, there will be close attention paid to your weight gain, to make sure that you are gaining enough depending on the BMI you started with.
The bump that was once so tiny is now becoming easily noticeable, so prepare for the compliments that are about to come. You don’t always have to let people touch your belly if you are not comfortable. If it gets overwhelming, put a hand on your belly and feel the tiny flutters inside, knowing that it is your little secret. Breathe and appreciate the steady growth of your 22 week baby bump. Just like you, it has also come so far with carrying the weight and importance of the life held inside.
Your 22 weeks pregnant symptoms may not drain you as much as the ones before, but some women still experience small bouts of morning sickness and constipation is still very much a thing. So, it’s okay if you’re not feeling super amazing and still want to rest from time to time. Just remember that each body is different and what may not be bothersome for somebody else could very well be bothersome for you. Take your time settling into these incoming changes by doing whatever makes you comfortable.
Here are the 22 weeks pregnant symptoms you experience:
1. Outward belly button
As your belly keeps expanding, your inward belly button can become an outie. This may feel weird, but is just a byproduct of pregnancy changes! Remember that all these little awkward changes are small miracles that just make you look more beautiful in this journey of pregnancy.
2. Stretch marks
Due to the added weight, your skin can stretch too fast or too much, enough for it to tear under the surface, giving you these stretch marks. These may never go away completely but will fade with time after your baby has been delivered. If some remain faintly, just think of them as proof of the wonderful journey you have been through.
3. Heightened sex drive
You may experience an increase in libido this week, which can add a burst of desire and energy within all the discomfort. If this happens to you, don’t feel awkward about asking your doctor if it is safe to have sex with your partner and what precautions you should take.
4. Increased vaginal discharge
It can be uncomfortable to feel the increased wetness down there, but it is only a natural response of your body as blood flow in that region increases. Keep an eye on the color of the liquid to make sure it is not yellow, green, or with a foul odor. Make sure to report any concerns to your OB immediately.
5. Swollen limbs
With the increase in body fluids, it is normal for your hands and feet to have minor swelling, as uncomfortable as it feels. This is only temporary and will go away after the delivery of the baby. However, keep an eye on it, to spot any severe or sudden swelling, because that needs to be reported to the OB as soon as possible.
Your growing belly, with the increasing pressure and weight from the baby, can make you suffer from backaches. You can try out products such as heating pads and pregnancy pillows to give you comfort with support. Research on prenatal massages and discuss it as an option with your doctor as well.
7. Hair growth
Another awkward pregnancy symptom can be increased hair growth in annoying places such as your belly, lower back, upper back, chest, glutes, etc.
8. Shortness of breath
As your baby grows, they are putting pressure on your lungs, making you short on breath. Remember to take it easy when you exercise and sit down if you find yourself gasping for air.
If you haven’t had your mid-pregnancy ultrasound yet, your 22 weeks pregnant ultrasound would be it. You will catch a glimpse of your baby’s major organs and development will be checked to make sure that everything is on track. You will also find out your baby’s biological sex at this time if you choose to.
At the 22 weeks pregnant ultrasound, your baby resembles a newborn more and more. Their eyes and lips have developed, and they are sleeping in cycles of around 12-14 hours per day. If they are awake, they are probably trying to touch their face or the things around them, starting to interact with the world outside in any way they can.
We know that you are practically an expert at this point, but there is no harm in revising on certain self-care tips, just so you can reflect on your progress with them, and also if you need to add anything else.
A healthy, balanced diet
Making sure that you gain weight gradually and in the recommended increments is vert important. Your doctor will probably make your goal around 1 pound per week, more or less depending on your BMI at the start of your pregnancy. You will be recommended a daily calorie intake, which will probably be around 300 extra calories than your normal one.
To help stick to this, you can try eating 5 to 6 smaller meals throughout the day, to ensure that you are getting something in your stomach from time to time, while also being mindful about it. This will also help with preventing low energy spells and lessening chances of ingestion and heartburn.
Continue taking your recommended prenatal vitamins. Make sure to drink sufficient water to avoid getting dehydrated.
You will likely have a glucose screening test within the next few weeks, so make sure to ask your doctor if you need to have fast before it.
Look for a maternity photographer
If you wish to have a maternity shoot, it may be time to start looking for photographers so you can schedule a date for the perfect moment during your third trimester. Make sure to look through your options and their styles so you can find the one who you trust to make your glow shine fully. Update your wardrobe and look for more maternity outfits that you feel gorgeous in, just the way you are.
Research on childcare
No one is ever prepared to be a parent, but you can always try to stock up on some information by researching childcare. Look for childcare classes, which teach you the basics about how to take care of your newborn.
There are many options to make your post-delivery journey smoother, such as getting a postpartum doula, who is a person who can assist you with things after the birth of your child. Some doulas will also assist you in the last few months before delivery and even during labor. Talk to your doctor about this option, so you can look at the pros and cons.
As you are approaching your third trimester, it is important to make use of the energy you have now to finalize some decisions. The months to come will be full of fatigue and last-minute nerves, through which you need all the rest and support you can get. Right now, make some choices, have some discussions, and above all, remember to take care of yourself through and through.