22 Weeks Pregnant
- July 15, 2021
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hey there pregnant mamas and dadas to be. Welcome to Week 22! 🎵 I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22! 🎵 Only 18 weeks left! In that spirit, I have been living at IKEA, buying up all the nursery furniture I can find. I’ve been on the lookout for light, practical, and easy things and have been lucky so far. I’ve found a crib for 49 euros (about $55). How has your search for nursery gear gone? Let’s dive in to Week 22!
22 Weeks Pregnant: Recurring Symptoms
22 Weeks Pregnant: Common Symptoms
The word edema isn’t a nice-sounding word, and what it describes isn’t so pleasant either. Gestational edema refers to swelling in your lower extremities, specifically your feet and ankles. The excess fluid your body retains while pregnant tends to pool in your lower extremities, causing swelling. Moving throughout the day and elevating my feet while sitting have worked wonders in reducing my swelling. If the swelling gets worse, I encourage you to reach out to your doctor ASAP, as this could be the sign of a more serious condition called preeclampsia.
Stages of Fetal Development: Baby Growth & Size at 22 Weeks
At week 22, your baby weighs 1 pound and is 11 inches long, about the size of a papaya. I can sense your excitement, and so can your baby! Now, your baby can’t literally feel your enthusiasm, but their senses of touch and sight are maturing this week. Your baby doesn’t have much furniture to touch in your uterus, so they have taken to their umbilical cord. In addition, your baby can now sense light (with their eyes closed!). As a sort of homemade experiment, I challenge you to hold a flashlight up to your belly. Notice any movement?
Booo! It’s a ghost! No, it’s your baby!? Currently, your baby has no pigmentation; their hair is white and their irises have very limited color. My doctor has assured me that this is normal. Your baby just isn’t producing lots of melanin, which is a pigment that humans produce that colors your hair, irises, and skin. Believe it or not, babies are all born with blue or gray eyes. However, within the first two years of life, this can change. Fascinating, right?
Fun Fact About Pregnancy
Pregnant women can lactate upon hearing a baby’s cry even if the baby isn’t their own child!
My Pregnant Belly Progression
I feel good! My bump is pretty visible now and I can no longer hide the fact that I’m pregnant. You might be smaller, you might be bigger — there’s a huge range when it comes to bumps. As long as your doctor is happy with your baby’s development, don’t sweat the size of your bump too much. Check out my 5 months pregnant belly!
What is Preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia is a serious condition that can arise in the second half of pregnancy. It is characterized by high blood pressure and severe swelling. If left untreated, this condition can cause complications and progress to eclampsia (which can cause seizures). Preeclampsia screening will occur during your prenatal appointments, so make sure you continue meeting your doctor every month (or more often, if necessary). If you experience a severe case of this condition, your doctor may prescribe magnesium sulfate, which is a common treatment for preeclampsia. Being diagnosed with preeclampsia might be stressful, but if you receive this diagnosis, consider that approximately 10% of pregnant women will develop preeclampsia and 97% of women will recover just fine! Check out the graphic below for some preeclampsia criteria regarding risks, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.
Your Pregnancy at 22 Weeks: Prenatal Appointments
Here are the prenatal tests that are available at 22 weeks:
Fetal Fibronectin Test (fFN)
The fetal fibronectin test is typically reserved for pregnant women who are at high risk for preterm labor. This test is performed between weeks 22 and 34 of pregnancy. You will lie on your back while your doctor swipes some of your cervical mucus with a cotton swab. The fetal fibronectin test works best for ruling out preterm labor (via a negative test result). If you receive a positive test result, this means that the connection between your amniotic sac and uterus has been disrupted and that you are at an increased risk of preterm labor. If this is the case, your doctor may give you some medication (specifically, a corticosteroid) aimed at ensuring your baby’s lungs are mature enough to breathe at birth. There are no risks involved with this test, but false positives have been known to occur.
Week by Week Pregnancy Food Guide:
Quick, Healthy Meal
Breakfast cookies: Stir together 2 cups of rolled oats and 2 large, mashed bananas. Add chocolate chips, and roll into 2 inch balls. Flatten into desired cookie shape and bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees! (Tasty)
The Clean 15
The Clean 15 is a measure of the 15 types of produce that contain the least trace amounts of pesticides and chemicals, which you should avoid when you’re baking a bun in the oven. Some notable types of produce on the Clean 15 include avocados, onions, pineapples, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet corn, and asparagus.
How Many Months Is 22 Weeks?
If you are 22 weeks pregnant, consider yourself approximately 5 months pregnant.
Week 22 Pregnancy Checklist
- Consider having the fetal fibronectin screening (fFN)
- Know the difference between labor contractions and Braxton Hicks contractions
- Continue your exercise routine!
- Schedule a glucose challenge test
- Research onesies
- What to Expect & What to Expect When You’re Expecting – 5th Edition (2016)
- The Bump
- Baby List
- The Mama Natural Week to Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth (2017)
- Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy – Second Edition (2018)
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists