22 Weeks Pregnant
It’s getting crowded in there! Now that you’re 22 weeks pregnant, your rapidly growing baby is invading your space—to say the least. That’s why it might be tough to catch your breath and why your back might be killing you. Hey, as baby grows, they may be expanding your belly so much (so fast) at week 22 of pregnancy that you might start to get some stretch marks (sorry)—and you might even have a newfound “outtie” belly button! While you might not love all these side effects, you’ll probably want to capture your pregnant belly in some professional photos. Twenty-two weeks is a good time to start scheduling a maternity portrait session. You’ll want to aim for a third trimester sesh to capture that big, beautiful belly, but it shouldn’t be so late that you risk going into labor before your appointment.
How Big Is Baby at 22 Weeks?
At 22 weeks, baby is the size of a coconut. Average baby size at 22 weeks is 10.9 inches long (from the crown of the head to the heel of the foot) and 15.2 ounces.
22 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
Hmm… it’s becoming difficult to keep track, so what exactly is 22 weeks in months, you ask? You're about five months pregnant, although doctors refer to your progress by week, not month.
The most common 22 weeks pregnant symptoms have to do with the fact that baby (or babies, if you’re 22 weeks pregnant with twins) is taking over so much territory in your body. This includes:
- Stretch marks. These scars are caused when your skin stretches so fast or so much that it actually tears below the surface. What’s not so cool is that the stretch marks may never go away completely, but they will fade in color after delivery, so they’ll be much less noticeable.
- Outtie belly button. Your innie has basically gone inside out and you’ve suddenly got an outtie. This is another byproduct of an expanding belly. It can be a weird feeling, we know. Your outtie will go back to an innie, we promise!
- Increased sex drive. Some moms-to-be actually find they have an increase in libido around 22 weeks. That’s because your hormones are pretty much raging at this point. (We hope you're enjoying it!)
- Increased vaginal discharge. You’ve got a water works situation down there—SO not fun, but don’t worry, it’s just the result of increased blood flow down there. This could be a reason not to feel the sex drive boost other moms-to-be get at this phase of the game, but we think you should try to get into the mood anyhow. We really doubt your partner will mind a little excess lubrication.
- Swollen hands and/or feet. Now that you’re pregnant, you have an increase in the amount of fluids in your body—so minor swelling is totally normal and will die down pretty much as soon as baby is born. Severe or sudden swelling, on the other hand, is not normal. It could be a sign of a dangerous pregnancy complication called preeclampsia, so tell your OB right away if you’re super swollen or swollen with sudden onset.
- Backaches. Your back hurts due to extra pressure from baby and from carrying around the extra weight. A heating pad, a prenatal massage and/or sleeping with a body pillow can help ease the pain.
- Hair growth. This is a pretty great symptom when the hair is actually on your head. When it’s not on your head, well, go ahead and curse those hormones for the umpteenth time. (And break out the tweezers if you want!)
- Trouble catching your breath. Baby continues to crowd your lungs, making it tough to breathe at times. Remember not to take your workouts too far, and when you feel winded, take a break right away.
A typical 22 weeks pregnant belly measures approximately 20 to 24 centimeters from pelvic bone to the top of the uterus—that’s called the “fundal height.” If you’re 22 weeks pregnant with twins, don’t even consider fundal height, since twin pregnancies are all so different, there’s no real “typical.”
At 22 weeks pregnant, weight gain is likely on your mind. Your OB is probably telling you to stick to a slow and steady weight gain—about a pound or slightly more or less per week, depending on your body type. To do that, many people advise eating about 300 extra calories per day. Don’t obsess over calorie counting or anything—it’s just a good guideline to keep in mind.
Three hundred extra calories doesn’t mean you have to eat exactly three meals plus one or two small snacks. In fact, you should consider switching it up and eating five or six small meals over the course of your day. That way, it might be easier to stick to a well-rounded diet (since, admit it, most of us make healthier choices with our meals than we do with our snacks). Plus, by eating smaller meals and more regularly, you’ll lower your chances of having drops in energy, or heartburn, indigestion and other issues with that 22-week pregnant belly. Sounds delicious to us!
Now that baby's eyes and lips are more developed, they’re looking even more like a newborn. Baby is sleeping in cycles—about 12 to 14 hours per day (hint: they're probably those times you're not feeling any kicks!).
If you haven’t had your mid-pregnancy ultrasound yet, this is the week! This 18- to 22-weeks pregnant ultrasound gives you a glimpse of all baby’s major organs and other body parts. You’ve probably wrapped up the rest of your genetic testing at this point. Feel relieved that you’ve got all that out of the way!
Reminders for the week:
Medical content was reviewed February 2020 by Patricia Pollio, MD, a New York-based ob-gyn and director of the department of obstetrics & gynecology at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, New York.