What's happening in week 22 of your pregnancy
At twenty-two weeks, your baby is constantly making their presence felt!
At a glance
- Your baby will be developing their own daily routine around now
- You may find your baby responds to your voice
- Think about the organisation of your day-to-day living space
How big is my baby at 22 weeks?
Your baby is around 27cm from head to toe now, about the size of a sweet potato and continuing to grow. Your placenta will also keep growing throughout your pregnancy, providing nourishment for your little one.
Amazingly, your baby’s gums are already developing tooth buds, ready for their first teeth to come through a few months after birth.
Their eyes will also have formed, but due to a lack of pigment in their iris they won’t have an eye colour yet. It’s also common for babies to be born with one eye colour but for them to change in the first few months.
Their other organs continue to grow with their pancreas producing essential hormones and their lungs are also developing more rapidly, which will continue in the coming weeks.
Your baby might be developing their own little daily routine now, and establishing a pattern in their waking and sleeping. It might not be the same as yours though, so be prepared for some middle-of-the-night kicks and mid-morning quiet periods. (all good practice for the coming months!).
Facts to know about your baby in week 22
- Your baby is around 27cm from head to toe now, about the size of a sweet potato
- Your baby will be developing their own daily routine and movement patterns around now
- Your baby's gums are already developing tooth buds, ready for their first teeth to come through months after birth
- Baby will play in the womb (turning somersaults, wriggling around!) and then have a little nap to recover
Why not try this pre-natal workout to help your body get ready for labour. Experts from Nuffield Health have developed this 20-minute workout designed to build strength and mobility to help you through labor and the demands of motherhood.
You at 22 weeks pregnant
You are probably enjoying your baby's movements right now, particularly when they 'perform' in response to your voice if you talk or sing to them, or jump if there is a loud noise or bang. You might also be enduring 'bump touchers' as your belly becomes more and more obvious – everyone from your work colleagues to the postman wanting to cop a feel of your expanding tummy! Don't be afraid to ask people not to – you are not public property just because you are pregnant.
Some mums-to-be experience some of the more annoying pregnancy symptoms as they head towards the third trimester. Puffy ankles and swollen feet can be a problem for some, so be sure to put your feet up whenever you can and to wear supportive and comfy shoes if this affects you. If you wear contact lenses, you might find they are becoming uncomfortable now, as well – speak to your optician for advice if you are experiencing this.
Facts to know about you in week 22
- The metabolic energy needed to breastfeed a baby each day is the amount you'd use to walk seven miles
- In Denmark baby names must be approved by the government
What to think about in week 22
Have you thought about baby-proofing your home yet? Obviously you are not going to have to be worrying about fridge locks and baby gates for a while, but you might want to make some changes in preparation for your newborn coming home. For example, where will your travel system live? Do you need to clear out the garage or under-stairs cupboard? Where will your Moses basket go - do you need to re-arrange your bedroom to fit it (or your baby's cot) in?
Think also about the organisation of your day-to-day living spaces - you'll need to make sure that everything is in easy reach for those breastfeeding sessions – if the phone is currently at the furthest point in the room from the sofa, you might want to make a few little changes!
As you're now in week 22 of your pregnancy, it’s important to have your maternity leave and pay sorted.
The earliest you can start your maternity leave is 11 weeks before your baby is due which is still a way off yet. Depending on when you decide to start your maternity leave, if your baby is born early, your leave starts the day after the birth.
You’re entitled to a year of Statutory Maternity Leave from your job - no matter how long you’ve been working at the company.
However, while you’re entitled to 52 weeks off work, you’ll only get maternity pay for 39 of them if you’re eligible.
You may also be on a mission to get your baby’s nursery sorted and be trying to decide exactly what you need, what you want and of course, what you can afford. But some expectant parents are a lot more laid back about nursery plans and even leave it until after their baby is born – after all, the recommended advice is that your baby sleeps in the same room as you for the first six months. Many new parents choose to have a changing unit. Although far from an essential it can be a handy addition to the nursery.
Of course you can simply lay your baby on the floor to change a nappy using a changing mat, but a changing table will save you a lot of backache! Most changing units come with a comfy mat and storage underneath too, so you can grab wipes, nappies and clothes with one hand, while holding your baby firmly in place with the other! Some also convert to become plain drawer units which can be handy as your little one grows.
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Signs and symptoms
From an innie to an outie
Around this point of your pregnancy you may have noticed your belly button ‘pop’. If you usually have an innie belly button, it may now be looking more like at outie. This is caused by your growing uterus pushing your abdomen forward. Whether you had an innie or an outie to start with, most mums-to-be are sporting an outie in the second or third trimester of pregnancy. This isn’t something you can do anything about, but rest assured, when your baby is born your belly button will return to what it used to be. Although uncommon, sometimes a woman’s belly button can stick out so much that it’s called an umbilical hernia.
You may soon be noticing some early signs of stretch marks appearing particularly around your bump. Around 90% of mums-to-be get stretch marks, they usually appear on the breasts, thighs and belly and can vary in width from 1-10mm and can be several centimetres long. The do tend to fade over time to look more silvery white in colour rather than red or pink, but they don’t ever go completely. Retaining the skin’s moisture can certainly help their appearance so using oils, creams and lotions regularly is a good idea.
Watch our videos below:
Video 1: Caesareans explained
Video 2: Getting ready for your baby's arrival
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