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The 22nd week of pregnancy: what happens to the baby and mom

The 22nd obstetric week of pregnancy is the middle of pregnancy – a kind of turning point in the development of the baby. The woman’s belly is already clearly visible, and the uterus reaches the umbilical area, causing the belly button to slightly protrude.

The baby is actively moving, he has periods of sleep and wakefulness, and there is no reason to worry, if he is quiet all day. During this period the blood volume in the woman increases dramatically, hormonal changes occur and libido increase as well.

The size and development of the fetus in the 22nd week of pregnancy

What the baby looks like

Pregnancy week 22 size

A fetus in the twenty-second week of pregnancy acquires general proportions typical of a human being, his body grows, and the head does not seem as big, legs and arms lengthen, eyebrows appear on his face!

The skin becomes less transparent, delicate fuzz covers the entire body. The head of the fetus is covered with hair, there is a clearly distinguished brow arch about the closed eyes. The length of the fetus at 22 weeks of gestation is about 27 centimeters, the average weight is 400 grams.

Formation of organs

The internal organs are fully formed but the lungs are still insufficiently developed and the baby will not be able to survive outside the womb. The baby is now reminiscent of an astronaut in space: it floats in zero gravity, oxygen and nourishment are delivered to him, and waste is excreted through the umbilical cord. The mother and the placenta are his life support package. From this moment, the growth of the placenta, so intense earlier, slows down, and fetal growth is intensified.

The child’s brain develops so quickly during this period, that in just four weeks it grows fivefold. The structure of the brain contains almost a full set of neurons and in the future the brain grows only due to increased neural connections. The baby makes chaotic arms and legs motions, and is able to capture and suck his thumb. His coordination is improving.

The spine of the fetus has finished its formation, and now there is an intensive strengthening of the bone tissue. Bones contain marrow capable of producing red blood cells. Even if a woman does not take mineral supplements, the bones of the fetus will be strengthened by taking the necessary trace elements from the body of the mother.

The baby’s behavior and skills

 The development of the fetus at 22 weeks' gestationThe child during this period has a good idea of how to coordinate his movements, tilting his head or raising his hand if he wants to suck his finger. He actively moves his arms and legs, which are almost always bent, by giving hard kicks.

He is floating in amniotic fluid, sometimes swallowing it, and some doctors say that during this period the children recognize sour and bitter flavors.

The sounds are muffled, but he is quite able to hear music or voices.

[attention type=yellow]The emotional state of the mother passes to the child much better than the surrounding sounds, so a positive attitude of woman is very important. Listening to classical music is not mandatory for providing a peace of mind and for proper development of the baby, therefore the mom should do whatever it is that she likes to do.[/attention]

Twins in the 22nd week of pregnancy

Twins at this period of their development are no different from a single fetus, but one of the two children will always be a lot smaller. Usually the difference in height is no more than three centimeters, and the weight can vary from 400 to 450 grams. The woman’s belly is larger than in single pregnancies.

What’s going on with a mom in the 22nd week of pregnancy

The growth of the stomach and weight gain

Photos of mother`s belly 22 weeks of pregnancy

The belly of a woman over 22 weeks pregnant is noticeable, but usually does not cause any inconvenience and just begins to be visible in nulliparous women. The height of the uterus reaches 25 centimeters, but this largely depends on the position of the fetus. Minor pains that occurs on the sides, do not present any threats: it’s stretching ligaments, and after a couple of weeks the pain will pass. You can see above a photo of tummies at the 22nd week of pregnancy.

Every mother gains weight individually, and it depends on the presence of early toxemia, and the change in taste. The average woman at the 22nd week adds 4-5 kilograms, and further gains up to 500 grams per week. Too little of a weight gain by this time may signal the beginning of preeclampsia.

Sensations in the 22nd week of pregnancy

Future mother on the 22nd week of pregnancyMom clearly feels fetal movements at 22 weeks of pregnancy, therefore, starting from this period many women truly become aware that there is a little human being growing within them. Many mothers make it a rule to communicate with their baby by gently stroking the belly, talking to it, and pampering themselves, knowing that the baby will also enjoy it.

Pain and painful sensations in this term are unusual, but often there are annoying leg cramps, which can be relieved with a light massage. Headaches and dizziness – these symptoms of anemia and low blood pressure are experienced by about one third of all pregnant women. Digestive disorders in the form of heartburn or mild nausea are also possible, and they should be reported to the doctor.

[attention type=red]Tension in the abdomen, feeling that the uterus tenses and feels very hard to the touch – these symptoms should not be happening, so when they appear it is necessary to visit a doctor. Most often, uterine hypertonus is relieved with spasm-relief medications safe for the fetus, and is quickly gone after the treatment. Read more.[/attention]

Possible discharge

Vaginal discharge in the 22nd week may be more intense – this is due to hormonal changes. Transparent mucus or whitish, odorless, non-irritating secretions are considered normal. The appearance of yellowish, greenish, brown or spotty discharge is a reason to immediately consult a gynecologist.

Also, if the breasts have already begun to secrete colostrum, this is normal and no cause for concern.

Psychological condition

At 22 weeks pregnant the woman feels active, full of strength and energy. It seems that she can move mountains, she is happy and feels the child as a part of herself. Under the influence of hormones the expectant mother feels a wave of sexual energy and increased libido.

The stomach still does not cause much inconvenience, so many women are able to enjoy life, for instance, by going shopping for baby things. Doctors recommend during this period to partake in more walks, spend time with friends and family, and generally enjoy motherhood.

Analyses, examinations and ultrasound in the 22nd week of pregnancy

 Photo fetal ultrasound at 22 weeks of gestation

A planned visit to a gynecologist at the 22nd week does not bring anything new in terms of diagnostic studies. A doctor takes the usual measurements of the height of the uterus, the size of the pelvis and the weight of the expectant mother. In the absence of any complaints, the woman also undergoes a general blood and urine analysis.

Ultrasound at the 22nd week of gestation is prescribed to almost all mothers, as it allows to determine the parameters of the fetus (or fetometrie), and reveals various pathologies and abnormalities of pregnancy. Polyhydramnios and oligohydramnios, hypertonicity of the uterus and placenta, or malformation of the fetus – those problems can be seen on an ultrasound.

We invite you to watch the video of a fetal ultrasound at the 22nd week of pregnancy and to view the above baby picture.

Possible abnormalities

In this term, the following problems may occur, in which case you must immediately go to the hospital:

  • strong contractions or tension of the uterus;
  • abdominal pain not associated with digestive problems;
  • copious watery-like discharge, appearing suddenly;
  • any discharge mixed with blood or mucus;
  • fever accompanied by low back pain or cramps during urination;
  • absence of fetal movements for more than twenty-four hours (which is a symptom of a missed abortion) or extremely high mobility of the child;
  • feeling strong pressure on the rectum and bladder.
[attention type=red]If you experience any such symptoms do not panic, but quickly go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital. It is possible that there is no cause for concern, but a doctor must carry out an examination.[/attention]

Nutrition, skin care and exercise in the 22nd week of pregnancy

Mothers nutrition 22 weeks' gestationIf a woman does not have any health problems, then her diet may consist of any natural products that she is willing to eat. In case of anemia it is useful to eat boiled beef, beef liver, red fruits, buckwheat. Milk and milk products must be included on the daily menu.

It is advisable to avoid salty, fried and greasy foods, and generally anything that complicates the work of the kidneys. The female body is working for two during pregnancy, so it needs help. You can eat sweets in moderation, but strong coffee, tea and alcohol are prohibited.

Skincare of the future mother is a pleasant sensation, because lotions and oils designed for pregnant women, have a subtle relaxing scent. The primary goal of skincare products, designed for expectant mothers is to moisturize – they do not prevent the appearance of stretch marks that occur due to hormonal changes. Many women develop no stretch marks at all.

Active exercise to preserve muscle tone is recommended until the seventh month of pregnancy, and only in the absence of any abnormalities. Yoga can be practiced up to the delivery, since this practice teaches correct breathing, relaxation and tranquility. Fitness yoga is not suitable for future mothers, so you should contact a specialized childbirth training center.

Aqua-aerobics are approved only for perfectly healthy women. Water has beneficial effects on overall health, and the woman can move easily without feeling the weight of her body. Aqua-aerobics expend a lot of energy, and if the pregnant woman likes water exercises, and does not experience severe fatigue, the sessions will bring many benefits.

Sexual activity in the 22nd week

Sexual relations in the 22 week of pregnancyDue to the fact that many pregnant women at the 22nd week have increased libido, the sexual relationship at this time may be particularly harmonious.

There are no particular restrictions in this period, as the baby is well-protected from the threat of miscarriage, so we recommend you to enjoy sex. Incidentally, because of increased genital blood supply, orgasm occurs more easily.

[attention type=yellow]To worry about the fact that the child is uncomfortable isn’t worth it. He gets the same happiness hormones as his mother due to a rush of blood to the pelvis; he gets more oxygen and nutrients, and the rocking motion serves as his first swing.[/attention]

Recommendations for future moms

Pregnancy is a normal, natural process, during which it is desirable to support your body:

  • your diet should be reminiscent of a children’s diet – products should be natural;
  • do not overeat, drink more water and watch your weight;
  • eliminate stresses as much as possible and take more walks in the fresh air;
  • wear maternity clothes and do not wear tight clothing;
  • do not forget to moisturize the skin and do a gentle massage;
  • do not forget about your husband, and sexual relations with him;
  • do not forget about visits to the doctor and timely undergo all labwork.

Video about the 22nd week of pregnancy

Those mothers who are interested in seeing what the baby looks like in the 22nd week, how the ultrasound procedure is performed and what you will see on the screen, as well as in learning some basic asanas for a successful delivery, are invited to watch this video guide.

[attention type=yellow]Not all future moms experience exactly the same sensations at the 22nd week of pregnancy. Each has something unique and personal that she wants to share with others. Let’s create a kind of forum where every woman will talk about her perspective in pregnancy, specifically during this term; imagine how interesting it will be, after the baby is born, to read about the kicks of little feet, or the desire to eat all the chocolate in the world![/attention]

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