Pregnancy is a time of great change. Your body is growing and adapting to accommodate your developing baby. You may feel fatigued, have mood swings, and experience other physical changes.
At 22 weeks pregnant, your baby is the size of a cantaloupe. She’s also starting to develop her fingerprints. Read on to learn more about what you can expect at this stage of pregnancy.
1. Physical changes
As your uterus continues to grow, you may notice some physical changes. You may experience Braxton-Hicks contractions, which are intermittent and painless contractions of the uterus that can occur during pregnancy. These contractions are normal and nothing to worry about unless they become regular or painful.
Other physical changes you may experience at 22 weeks pregnant include:
You may feel exhausted at this stage of pregnancy. This fatigue is caused by the extra work your body is doing to support your growing baby. Make sure to get plenty of rest and take breaks during the day to help manage your fatigue.
3. Mood swings
Pregnancy hormones can cause mood swings. You may find yourself feeling happy one minute and sad the next. These mood swings are normal and should resolve after delivery. If you’re struggling to cope with your emotions, talk to your doctor or midwife.
4. Shortness of breath
As your uterus grows, it puts pressure on your diaphragm, which can make you feel short of breath. This is normal and should resolve after delivery.
Heartburn is a common symptom of pregnancy. It is caused by the stomach acid rising into the esophagus. To help prevent heartburn, eat small meals throughout the day and avoid spicy, fried, or fatty foods.
Swelling in the feet and ankles is common during pregnancy. To help reduce swelling, prop your feet up when you can and avoid standing for long periods.
7. Varicose veins
Varicose veins are enlarged veins that can occur during pregnancy, usually in the legs and feet. They are caused by the increased blood flow in the body and the pressure of the growing uterus on the veins. Varicose veins usually resolve after delivery.
8. Skin changes
You may notice some skin changes during pregnancy. These can include stretch marks, darkening of the skin, and increased hair growth. These changes are normal and should resolve after delivery.
9. Fetal development
At 22 weeks pregnant, your baby is the size of a cantaloupe. The baby is also starting to develop her fingerprints. Your baby’s bones are continuing to harden and beginning to store iron in its liver.
10. What to expect at your next doctor’s appointment
At your next doctor’s appointment, you will likely have a prenatal ultrasound. This is a safe and painless test that uses sound waves to create a picture of your baby. The ultrasound can help determine the sex of your baby, as well as check the position of the placenta and umbilical cord. You may also have a blood test to screen for certain conditions, such as anemia or diabetes.
The sense of hearing of the baby is improving and the baby may be able to hear your voice and other sounds from outside the womb. The baby is also developing reflexes, such as the startle reflex, which is when she jerks her body in response to loud noise.
At this stage of pregnancy, you should continue to eat a healthy diet and get plenty of rest. You may also want to start thinking about what you’ll need for your baby once she’s born. Start by creating a list of baby essentials, such as diapers, wipes, clothes, and formula. You can also begin to think about big-ticket items, such as a stroller or car seat.
Pregnancy is a time of many changes, both physical and emotional. At 22 weeks pregnant, you may be experiencing fatigue, mood swings, and other symptoms. These are all normal and should resolve after delivery. You may also have a prenatal ultrasound to check on the development of your baby. Be sure to eat a healthy diet and get plenty of rest to help manage your symptoms. And start thinking about what you’ll need for your new arrival.