Pregnancy week 22

Week 22 of Your Pregnancy

Now that you're 22 weeks pregnant, there are some exciting new updates. Here are symptoms, milestones, and more to know.

At 22 weeks, you're still in what many pregnant people consider the "honeymoon phase" of the second trimester. Those hormonal-induced first trimester symptoms like nausea and vomiting are typically long gone, and the aches and pains that come with carrying an almost-ready developing baby are still weeks off. You likely already had your anatomy scan. But if you could see your soon-to-be little one, you'd notice some cool developments this week.

Pregnancy Week 22 Quick Facts

  • At 22 weeks, you're five months pregnant
  • You have 18 weeks until your due date
  • You're in your second trimester

Your Unborn Baby's Size at 22 Weeks

At 22 weeks, your baby is about 10.94 inches and weighs around 15.17 ounces. That’s like the size of a papaya!

week 22

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 22

Many of the least pleasant pregnancy symptoms are either over with or yet to come. But your body is still changing, so you may notice some symptoms. Common ones include:

  • Shortness in breath
  • Increased libido
  • Irregular contractions (also known as Braxton-Hicks)
  • Backaches
  • Swollen feet
  • Stretch marks

If you're exercising and notice it takes less exertion for you to feel heavy—or if you start feeling winded at the grocery store—it's a common symptom at this point.

"The reasons for shortness of breath include needing more oxygen, pregnancy hormones, and less room for your lungs to expand due to your growing uterus," says Sunoz "Sunny" Soroosh, CNM, WHNP-BC, MPH, a certified nurse midwife with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Increased sex drive is common, and sex is typically safe during pregnancy (ask your health care provider). But you or your partner may have different levels of desire. Give yourselves grace during this time of change.

"It's up to the pregnant person whether they want to engage in sexual activity or not," Soroosh says. "If they are not comfortable, that is their decision."

Some remedies may help relieve the backache that can come at this stage of pregnancy. Soroosh suggests looking into a chiropractor, physical therapist, acupuncturist, or a "belly band."

"Make sure to always listen to your body and take breaks in your day if you need them," adds Soroosh.

Swollen feet are usually normal but can also be a sign of preeclampsia. "You should see your provider if they are very severe or accompanied by other symptoms such as headache, swollen face, and hands or arms, not feeling well, or elevated blood pressure,” Soroosh says.

Developmental Milestones

Symptoms may be less, but plenty is going on inside you as the second half of your pregnancy continues. "You should be feeling fetal movement at this point in your pregnancy," says Soroosh.

First-time parents may feel fetal movement a little later than people who have been pregnant before. The developing baby is also fine-tuning senses.

"Your baby may now respond to external stimuli with movement, such as music or being touched," Soroosh says. "Your baby's eyes are still fused shut, but their eyes begin to move behind them, and their tear ducts are developing."

Your unborn baby may start to grow hair, including eyebrows and eyelashes. Some babies will even be born with full heads of hair.

"Your baby's lungs are also starting to develop, and they may have started to swallow small amounts of amniotic fluid to help them learn to breathe," Soroosh says.

Prenatal Tests and Doctor's Appointments

If your pregnancy doesn't have any complications, you won't have an ultrasound this week, says Brittany Noel Robles, M.D., MPH, CPT, an OB-GYN and personal trainer specializing in postpartum people.

You may not even have a doctor's appointment this week—pregnant people generally go every four weeks until week 24, when visit frequency switches to every other week.

If you do have an appointment, expect to roll up your sleeves.

"At a 22-week doctor's appointment, your health care provider will likely measure your abdomen to check your baby's growth, check your blood pressure and urine, and listen to your baby's heartbeat," Dr. Robles says. "Depending on the situation, you may also have an ultrasound to assess your baby's growth and well-being."

This check-up is also an opportunity to check in with your doctor.

"Additionally, you may have the opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns you have with your provider," says Dr. Robles. "It is important to remember that you are in control of your own medical care and can advocate for yourself at all times. Don't hesitate to speak up if you have questions. Remember, your health care provider is there to provide you with the best individual care possible."

Common Questions at This Pregnancy Stage

Is it safe to have sex at 22 weeks pregnant?

Usually, yes, "[as long as] there are no symptoms or conditions of pregnancy complications like short cervix, vaginal infections, abnormal bleeding, and lower abdominal pain," says Katerina Shkodzik, M.D., OB-GYN, medical advisor at Mira.

Soroosh adds, "If you ever have pain or bleeding with sex, stop and discuss with your provider.”

How can I get rid of stretch marks?
Sorry to be a vibe kill but "there aren't any scientifically proven ways of removing stretch marks," says Dr. Robles.

The sort of good news? "The stretch marks can fade over after pregnancy but in some cases not completely," Shkodzik says.

What's the difference between Braxton-Hicks and real contractions—am I in labor?

Feeling contractions at 22 weeks can feel concerning, but they're probably Braxton-Hicks.

"The big difference is that Braxton-Hicks contractions are irregular," Soroosh says. "They can come here and there, or you can have multiple, but they eventually go away and don't form a consistent pattern of contractions that become stronger to bring you into active labor."

As always, discuss concerns with your provider.

Things You Might Consider This Week

At 22 weeks pregnant, you may feel like you have all the time in the world. But the big day will be here before you know it—and may take you by surprise. If you're going for a vaginal delivery without induction, the baby will choose their birthday. Before contractions start is the best time to get informed about birth.

"At 22 weeks, it's a great time to start thinking about the details of your birth and look into taking a childbirth education class," says Dr. Robles. "Some centers will also allow you to take a tour to familiarize yourself with the layout and staff."

Doulas can support you through the pregnancy, birth, and postpartum phases to ensure you feel informed, supported, and heard. Soroosh suggests searching for one through DONA International, an organization that certifies doulas.

If you haven't already, Dr. Robles says now is a good time to start thinking about the nursery, especially since items can go in and out of stock or become back-ordered. Getting ahead will help prevent you from feeling behind. If you're like me, you may want to test drive strollers to see if that $1,000 one is really worth it (I decided it wasn't, but reasonable people will disagree).

Working parents-to-be have some additional homework this week, too.

"Start thinking about when you want to start your maternity leave and return to work, as your provider can fill out any needed paperwork for you," Soroosh says.

Support You May Need This Week

You're more than halfway through your pregnancy. Take a step back and ask yourself if you feel supported. If you don't, Dr. Robles suggests reaching out for help—it's good practice for your parenthood journey.

"It is important to build a strong support system during pregnancy," Dr. Robles says. "This can include family, friends, and health care providers. In addition, you may be able to find online support groups and resources in your area to further assist during this time."

Your health care provider can also help you find services, including doulas, classes, and lactation counseling, so you feel as prepared as possible during the second half of your pregnancy and beyond.

"Additionally, many states offer programs such as WIC to provide assistance with nutrition during pregnancy," Dr. Robles says.

Finally, be sure to take care of yourself mentally.

"If you feel overwhelmed or are struggling emotionally while pregnant, don't hesitate to reach out for help," Dr. Robles says. "Many mental health providers offer free or reduced-cost services, so be sure to ask your doctor for a referral if you need it."

Head over to week 23 of pregnancy

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles