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Mother and Baby

22 weeks pregnant - what to expect

22 weeks pregnant

This week, your baby looks more like a newborn than ever before, and your body’s changing too. Here’s everything you need to know about your baby and your body at 22 weeks.

How big is my baby at 22 weeks?

If you love the food comparisons, then your baby is the size of a coconut - if not, she’s now the size of a small doll. She’s now over a pound and about eleven inches long. She’s about the size of a bag of sugar, which is heavier than it sounds!

What’s my baby doing at 22 weeks?

Your baby is starting to look more like a newborn than ever, with distinct lips, eyelids and eyebrows, and even tiny tooth buds. 

Your baby is starting to look more like a newborn than ever, with distinct lips, eyelids and eyebrows, and even tiny tooth buds.

Your little one will also now be able to perceive light and dark better, even though her eyelids are still fused. Her hearing’s improving too: she’ll be able to hear your heartbeat, voice and even the noises of your blood circulating and your stomach gurgling. 

What is my body doing at 22 weeks pregnant?

Your tummy’s getting bigger and bigger - but it’s not the only thing changing. You’ve probably noticed that your feet are swelling more than you might like. This is due to pregnancy swelling, or edema, as well as the pregnancy hormone relaxin, which loosens the ligaments in the feet so that the bones under them spread. This can mean your feet increase by a half or even a whole shoe size. Don’t try and squeeze into your old kicks: choose a bigger, comfortable pair that you can wear throughout your pregnancy, with no more than a two-inch heel: It’s hard enough as it is to keep your balance with your pregnancy belly, let alone with sky-high stilettos!

Common symptoms to look out for:

  • Changing fingernails: Different women experience different symptoms: some find their nails grow faster than usual, some find theirs are harder than usual, and others notice theirs get softer or more brittle.
  • Gorgeous hair: Yup, along with all the not-so-pleasant pregnancy symptoms, there are some great ones too. During pregnancy, your body sheds hair more slowly than it did before, giving your hair the appearance of being thicker and more lustrous than ever. 
  • More body hair: Unfortunately, this also applies to your body hair, with hormones causing more hair on your face (usually on your chin, upper lip, cheeks and jaw). You might also spot some on your stomach, arms, back and legs. You can tweeze, wax and shave these excess hairs if you’re not too fond of their appearance.
  • Discoloured skin: You might find some patches of darker skin on your face due to the increased melanin in your body. Make sure you’re protecting your face with sunscreen with a high SPF, wear a hat and stay out of the sun in the strongest hours.
  • Bigger, darker nipples: You might notice some changes in your breasts, namely bigger, darker nipples and areoles, more pronounced bumps on your areoles, and more noticeable veins on your breasts.

What to do this week: 

  • Slow down: It’s quite common to feel dizzy or light-headed during pregnancy – that’s because so much blood is being directed to your womb to help with your baby’s development. Get yourself into the habit of getting up slowly so the blood flow can adjust gradually.
  • Keep snacking: Make sure you eat regular healthy snacks (carry some nuts or raisins or fruit like a banana, apple or seedless tangerine in your bag) and stay hydrated  to keep energy levels up and ensure your blood sugar doesn’t rise or fall too quickly. If you feel faint or dizzy, sit down and put your head between your knees so the blood can return to your brain: the dizziness will soon disappear.

Your week 22 FAQ's answered: 

How big should my bump be at 22 weeks pregnant?

A typical belly at 22 weeks pregnant will be around 20 to 24 centimeters from pelvic bone to the top of the uterus. 

How much should my baby be moving at 22 weeks? 

Most women start to feel their baby moving between 18 and 20 weeks pregnant, yet how strong or how much you feel these little flutters completely depends on your pre-pregnancy weight and how your baby is lying. 

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