22 weeks pregnant: Your guide to this week of your second trimester

    Updated 01 August 2023 |
    Published 24 February 2019
    Fact Checked
    Medically reviewed by Dr. Angela Jones, Obstetrician and gynecologist, attending physician, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, New Jersey, US
    Written by Sophie Cockerham
    Edited by Alice Broster
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    From prenatal vitamins to abdominal cramps, here’s the lowdown on being 22 weeks pregnant.

    At 22 weeks pregnant, you’re approaching your sixth month of pregnancy (you’re five months and around two weeks, to be exact), and you might have noticed some major changes during your second trimester. While some people note that they have more energy and don’t feel as nauseous, others log that their bump is starting to get in the way of a good night’s sleep

    As you pass the halfway mark of pregnancy (since you’re considered full term at between 39 weeks and 40 weeks and six days), your body is still going through some big changes, and your baby is continuing to grow and develop. You can learn about the different symptoms you might expect during your second trimester using an app like Flo. To help you understand what might be happening at 22 weeks, a Flo expert gives you the lowdown. 

    Your baby at 22 weeks pregnant

    Developing a sleep pattern

    It’s no surprise that baby sleep is a hot topic among new parents. The first few weeks of parenthood are often characterized by sleepless nights, getting a nap schedule down, and working out what feels right for you and your baby. However, your baby is already starting to develop their own sleep pattern while they’re in the uterus

    At around 22 weeks, your baby will be getting into a pattern of waking and sleeping, much like they will after they’re born. However, you may have noticed that their sleep pattern doesn’t necessarily match yours. When you’re lying in bed at night, getting ready to go to sleep, you may feel your baby moving around wide awake. If this keeps you up, our tips on tackling sleep insomnia might help.

    Producing fat

    During your second trimester, your baby continues to grow. This is important as it means your baby is getting bigger and heavier. They are also producing fat, which helps to keep them warm right up until you give birth. 

    How big is a baby at 22 weeks?

    Length (crown to rump): 29 cm or 11.4 in.

    Weight: 478 g or 1.1 lb

    Size: Equivalent to an ear of corn

    All measurements are approximate and vary within the normal range.

    Your body at 22 weeks pregnant

    It might feel like you’ve already undergone some serious changes during pregnancy, both in the way you look and feel. At 22 weeks, you might be struggling to get your jeans over your bump, and some people report having more energy than they did in their first trimester. Since no two pregnancies are the same, it can be hard to predict how you’ll feel. However, as your baby grows and develops, you might notice some significant changes at 22 weeks pregnant. 

    Changes to your skin

    You might already be aware of stretch marks. These can appear like lines across your body and often occur after sudden growth. This means that developing stretch marks during pregnancy is quite common. You might develop them across your bump, boobs, or legs, and they may initially appear red, pink, reddish-brown or dark brown depending on your skin tone, before fading to a more silvery color. You can learn more about them here

    Stretch marks aren’t the only way your skin may change during pregnancy. Another common condition that can happen during pregnancy is melasma (which is sometimes referred to as a pregnancy mask). This is when brown or grayish patches of pigmentation (color) develop, usually on the face. Up to 50% of people will develop melasma in pregnancy, and it may go away a few months after delivery.

    Increased libido 

    Pregnancy can be characterized by a whirlwind of feelings. As you come to understand the massive life change of having a baby, your body looking different, and your hormones fluctuating, it’s little surprise that you might experience mood changes. But did you know that pregnancy can impact your sex drive

    It’s important to note that people’s libidos are different, whether you’re pregnant or not, and lots of things can impact your sex drive. As your hormones continue to fluctuate throughout your second trimester, you may find that you’re more interested in being intimate, either with yourself or with a partner. If this is you, then you may be curious as to whether it’s safe to have sex during pregnancy. “People worry that they’re going to hurt the baby, cause their water to break, or go into early labor if they have sex while pregnant, but that’s not likely to happen,” says Dr. Flanagan. If you do feel like having sex, it can be beneficial, relieving stress and building intimacy with a partner. 

    Dr. Flanagan explains that there are certain circumstances when your health care provider may suggest that you explore non-penetrative sex (sex where you don’t insert anything into your vagina.) “This would be if someone had an issue where the cervix was short or dilated, or there was a worry about preterm labor,” she explains. “There are also some conditions related to the location of the placenta where, again, we would recommend pelvic rest. But for the most part, sex is fine and a healthy part of life, pregnant or not, so we don’t restrict it unless necessary.”

    Your questions answered

    Is 22 weeks considered 6 months pregnant?

    While some people may describe your pregnancy in terms of months, others use weeks. Both are accurate, and at 22 weeks, you’re around five months pregnant. Generally, six months is marked as 24 weeks pregnant.

    What is my baby doing at 22 weeks in the uterus?

    You might have started quizzing your friends with kids about different birth plans and buying things for your nursery, but your baby is pretty busy in your uterus at 22 weeks. Their taste buds are developing, and they’re starting to swallow. Your baby is also developing their sleeping pattern, producing antibodies, and developing the vernix caseosa around this time. 

    When does the 3rd trimester start?

    Right now, you’re in your second trimester. Typically, this runs from 14 weeks to 28 weeks. Once you’re 28 weeks pregnant, you’ll enter your third trimester.
     

    Want to know more?

    Download the Flo app for tailored insights throughout your pregnancy

    22 weeks pregnant checklist

    Stay on top of dental hygiene 

    Many of the changes to your body and mood during pregnancy are triggered by your fluctuating hormones. You might have had tearful moments and fatigue on your pregnancy checklist, but did you know that your hormones can also impact your teeth? You might have noticed that your gums feel swollen or sore and appear redder. This is a condition called pregnancy gingivitis

    This might sound alarming, but fear not. The best way to ensure that your gums and teeth are healthy is to stay on top of your dental hygiene during pregnancy. This includes brushing twice a day, avoiding extremely sugary foods, keeping your dentist appointments, and letting your practitioner know you’re pregnant when you see them. 

    If your gums feel particularly irritated, you may want to use a toothbrush with softer bristles and brush in gentle circles up and down. 

    Get enough calcium

    As your body continues to change and your baby takes all the nutrients it needs from you, it’s crucial that you get all of the vitamins and minerals you need. One way to do this is to pay attention to your diet and take a prenatal vitamin or supplement. “I would say that a balanced intake of nutrients is important throughout pregnancy,” says Dr. Flanagan. “A prenatal vitamin will have the baseline amount of what you need in pregnancy, but I tell my patients that they should be maintaining a healthy diet, which includes fruits, vegetables, dairy … the vitamins that you need on a regular basis.” 

    Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in your body and it plays a vital role in both the creation of your baby’s bones and teeth and in maintaining your own. If you’re worried about your calcium levels, you can speak to your doctor and consider taking a supplement. It can also be found in foods such as milk, cheese, and yogurt; green leafy vegetables, such as arugula, watercress, or kale; tofu; soy drinks with added calcium; bread and any foods made with fortified flour; and fish with edible bones, such as sardines and herring. 

    Take care of your skin

    As you focus on your dental hygiene, you may also want to switch up your skin care routine. You may recognize your teen years as a time of acne and breakouts. These can be caused in part by hormone fluctuations. So, for the same reason, you may notice changes in the texture of your skin and pimples throughout pregnancy. 

    If you notice changes to your skin, you can speak to your doctor. “Some medications are not recommended to be taken during pregnancy, including some of the topicals that are used to treat acne. So, sometimes people see an exacerbation due to the combination of pregnancy-related hormone changes and also having to pause the regimen they have been on to treat their skin issues,” says Dr. Flanagan. 

    While you may be more limited in what products you can use to treat your skin safely during pregnancy, Dr. Flanagan says there are other options. “Good skin hygiene, including using soap and water or a good cleanser and water, is fine. Topicals like benzoyl peroxide or a salicylic acid wash are also fine to be used — the over-the-counter products that you would typically find in the drugstore,” she says. However, you may want to use these products in limited amounts. Dr. Flanagan explains, “Beyond that, I would ask somebody who is considering other options to double-check with their provider to see if they’re considered safe during pregnancy or not.” 

    Differences in symptoms between girls and boys 

    If you’ve chosen not to find out the sex of your baby, it can be very tempting to consult the internet or loved ones as to what the symptoms are that would indicate you’re having a boy or a girl. There’s no shortage of old wives’ tales that suggest you’re able to tell without using an ultrasound. 

    However, there is no surefire way to know the sex of your baby by your symptoms alone. So, if you want to know, it’s best to find out during a scan or take your friend’s predictions with a very big pinch of salt. 

    When to consult a doctor at 22 weeks pregnant

    You don’t need to wait until your appointments if you have any concerns or questions about your pregnancy. However, at 22 weeks pregnant, you should contact your doctor immediately if you experience: 

    This isn’t an exhaustive list and just some examples of some of the changes you should look out for. Some of these can be a sign of miscarriage or other health complications, so it’s essential that you speak to your health care provider about the best next step for you. And if you’re ever worried about any other symptoms you experience during pregnancy, don’t hesitate to reach out to your health care provider. 

    The takeaway: 22 weeks pregnant

    At 22 weeks pregnant, you’re well into your second trimester and about halfway through your pregnancy. From your bump growing and stretch marks, to changes in your mood and sex drive, you’ll likely have noticed some major changes in the way you look and feel. And since full-term pregnancy is between 39 weeks and 40 weeks and six days, there’s still lots of time for you and your baby to grow more. 

    At 22 weeks, you might have noticed changes to the skin on your face and body, and you may develop sore gums. It’s crucial to listen to your body, and if you’re concerned about any of your symptoms, reach out to your doctor. There’s no such thing as a silly question.

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    History of updates

    Current version (01 August 2023)

    Medically reviewed by Dr. Angela Jones, Obstetrician and gynecologist, attending physician, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, New Jersey, US
    Written by Sophie Cockerham
    Edited by Alice Broster

    Published (24 February 2019)

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