As your pregnancy is progressing week by week, you constantly want to know what’s going on with your baby at all times. Plus, you also want to know what is happening with your body that week and how to relieve symptoms you experience. At week 22, you’re already halfway through your pregnancy which can already be considered as a significant accomplishment. Throughout this article, we’re going to discuss week 22 of pregnancy and what happens at this stage.

What’s going on with your baby?

As mentioned above, you are already halfway through your pregnancy. During week 22, you’re in the second trimester and the baby is entering the fifth month of its existence. At this point, your baby’s length is about 11 inches and your bundle of joy weighs just less than 1 pound.

The baby’s brain is already in a stage of rapid growth and their little fingernails are almost fully grown. Furthermore, the baby’s organs are becoming more functional and specialized. Your son or daughter even has defined lips and their first canines and molars are developing just below the gum line. The little human being in your belly even has formed eyelashes and eyebrows. Basically, at this stage, your baby already resembles a miniature newborn. As you can see, in week 22 pregnancy is very productive for your unborn child. The growth is promoted by blood that is traveling through the umbilical cord at 4 m/ph thus delivering oxygen and healthy nutrients to your child.

During this productive week, your baby’s grip becomes stronger and since there’s nothing to grab in the womb, your baby will grab and hold on tight to the umbilical cord. Don’t worry; the umbilical cord is tight and strong enough to handle their grip.

Furthermore, your child can also hear your voice better, heartbeat, and gentle sounds produced by blood circulating through your body.

Your body at week 22 of pregnancy

During the 22nd week of pregnancy, your uterus is about an inch above your belly button. However, your belly isn’t the only thing that’s increasing in size this week. Your feet start to change as well. Here’s why the size of your feet will change at this point:

  • Pregnancy swelling or edema – it affects about three quarters of pregnant women. Edema usually occurs between weeks 22 and 27 of pregnancy and it usually sticks around until childbirth.

  • Pregnancy hormone – this particular hormone is called relaxin and it’s produced by the ovaries and the placenta. During pregnancy, this hormone relaxes your ligaments in the pelvis, and it softens and widens your cervix. Basically, it prepares your body for childbirth. This hormone can also affect your feet. When feet and ligaments are loosened, the bones under them spread which results in an increase of half or a whole shoe size. Usually, when feet become larger due to relaxin, they rarely return to the pre-pregnancy size.

Here’s the good news about week 22 of pregnancy; you probably won’t feel irritable, moody, or exhausted at this point. Since you’re already in your second trimester, you probably don’t experience fatigue and other symptoms that you went through in the first trimester of your pregnancy. Most women feel their energy levels increased at this stage.

More good news for you, at this point you get that famous pregnancy glow. Your skin’s texture makes you look even younger and your hair will be shiny and smooth.

Symptoms at week 22

Throughout the course of pregnancy, women experience a wide array of symptoms but their intensity and severity varies from woman to woman. Below, you can see the most common symptoms associated with week 22:

  • Heartburn and indigestion

  • Increased vaginal discharge

  • Leg cramps

  • Protruding navel

  • Varicose veins

  • Constipation

  • Dizziness

  • Braxton-Hicks contractions (not dangerous)

  • Stretch marks.

Useful tips for week 22

There’s always a way to relieve symptoms of pregnancy and enjoy this special time and unique experience in all its glory. For example:

  • Keep your feet up whenever you can to avoid relieve varicose veins

  • Stock your kitchen with healthy foods and snacks that won’t cause heartburn

  • Exercise regularly for improved mobility and bowel movements

  • Use panty liners to keep clean and dry when experiencing vaginal discharge

  • Stay hydrated to avoid dizziness

  • Use moisturizer, it won’t eliminate stretch marks but it will make them become less visible sooner

  • Buy comfortable and roomy shoes.

You can also:

  • Start decorating the nursery

  • Shop for maternity clothes

  • Think about baby names

  • Decide whether you want to know sex of the baby or you want to be surprised

  • Take power naps.

Week 22 is highly productive for your baby and the upcoming weeks are going to be just as productive as well. Since you’re feeling more energetic at this stage, you could use this energy outburst to exercise, shop for maternity clothes and overall enjoy the experience of preparing for the baby’s arrival

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