When you are 22 weeks pregnant, your body has already undergone major transformations like gaining weight, developing a healthy baby bump, and enlarging of the breasts. The 22 week foetus is now the size of a coconut, weighing approximately 15.2 ounces and nearly 11 inches long from the crown of its head to the heel of its foot. With each passing day, you need to be more careful about everything you do. Gear up for the weeks that lie ahead!
22 Weeks Pregnancy Symptoms
Few important symptoms of 22 weeks pregnancy includes:
Increased vaginal discharge
Rapid changes in the hormonal concoction within your body and increased levels of blood flow lead to more watery vaginal discharge. Make sure that you change your panties often in order to avoid wetting your clothes or getting infected.
Protruding belly button
This is commonly called “outie belly button”. As your uterus expands at 22 weeks pregnant, the navel turns inside out. From the belly button, the umbilical cord develops and connects the baby’s body to yours. The belly button becomes normal right after delivery.
Rapidly growing hair
At 22 weeks pregnant, you are likely to experience hair growth that’s too quick for you to even notice! Increased hormonal flow leads to this situation. So, enjoy the long lustrous strands while they last!
Rapidly growing nails
Again, the hormones racing inside your reproductive system are to blame! At this stage, you nails grow faster and stronger than they did before. You have to keep a tab and keep clipping them more often to avoid breakage.
Feeling the foetal movement
As the foetus is growing in size and developing its body parts, it keeps moving and turning inside the womb. The space between the baby and the inner walls of your uterus has now decreased. Every time the baby moves, kicks, turns, or has hiccups, you will be able to feel it!
At 22 weeks pregnant, it is common to have swollen feet and even legs. At this stage, apart from the hormonal flow, there is also a good amount of water retention in your feet as you stand. It might be painful after a while. Due to gravitational pull, the excess fluid of the body accumulates in your feet. This is not serious and will disappear gradually after delivery.
23 weeks Pregnant Belly
A 22 weeks pregnant belly measures from about 20 to 24 centimetres from the pelvic bone to the top of the uterus. This distance is called “fundal height”. Doctors usually advise on eating approximately 300 calories per day and gaining about a pound per week during this phase. Your belly is now jutting out of your waist, along with a prominent navel that holds the umbilical cord inside.
If you haven’t already had a mid-pregnancy ultrasound, be prepared to get during this week. A 22 week pregnancy ultrasound gives the expecting parents a view of a rather active baby inside the uterus!
The baby is now starting to develop body hairs and nails. All the body organs are more or less in place by now. From now, the foetus is starting to develop layers of fat called “brown fat” to retain the body heat, which can easily turn into energy to keep both of you going! By now, you will have gone through the genetic tests as well. So, you’ve crossed the major hurdles of this journey!
Dos and Don’ts During Week 22 of Pregnancy
Let us now move away from the food-related regulations, as you know most of them by now, and focus on the activities during week 22 of pregnancy.
Invest in new footwear: At 22 weeks pregnant, your feet are swollen and don’t fit in to your regular shoes. Go shopping when your feet are swollen to their maximum level, so that you can buy new comfy shoes that support the present shape of your feet. Orthotic shoes are available for people seeking to reduce pain in the feet.
Read More: 7 Maternity Must Haves for Every New Mom
Start looking for after-birth utility services: If you haven’t already started looking for good paediatricians, safe quality baby food, best baby cribs and reliable childcare centres, it is height time that you should start! In the later stages of pregnancy, you will not be able to move around much. Hence, start looking around now, as you have some energy left!
Read: 11 Newborn Worries You Should Know About
Exercise: Don’t forget your pelvic floor moves! Focus on mild exercises like walking and pelvic floor to keep your pelvis healthy and strong. Staying absolutely stagnant will all the more harm your body by making the muscles stiffer.
Read More: 11 Must Do Exercises For a Fitter Pregnancy
Kegel Exercises: Ultimate Guide
Use panty liners: Increased vaginal discharge may cause wetting of clothes. To avoid such situations, invest in clean panty liners and change them at regular intervals to keep the vaginal area dry and infection-free.
Sit with your legs crossed: Sitting with your legs crossed may put pressure on the amniotic sac and affect the 22 week foetus. Keep your legs apart and rest the belly between them, so that the baby gets ample space to breathe and move. This will also save you from cramps.
Climb up and down too often: Make sure that you restrict your movements to a single floor. While it is important to keep moving around actively, it is not wise to scurry or climb the stairs as you might experience leg cramps and abdominal pains.
Take random over-the-counter medicines: At 22 weeks pregnant, you are likely to experience minor health complications. Don’t go for random pills or syrups based on self diagnosis. Ask your doctor for advice whenever required. Random medicines might contain unknown chemicals that might affect the foetus.
Stand for too long: Avoid standing still for too long, as your belly puts extra pressure on your lower limbs at this stage. To prevent leg cramps, feet pain, foot arch pain and pelvic pains, sit, stand, and walk in intervals. This way your muscles are able to relax and get accustomed to the body’s changing condition.
You have successfully crossed the mid-pregnancy stage. Stay tuned for more adventures in the coming months! Look after your health to have a safe pregnancy journey!