Brave New Motherhood
22 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms & What to Know

22 weeks pregnant

At 22 weeks pregnant, you're in month 5 of your pregnancy. Only 18 more weeks left!

If you haven’t already had your mid-pregnancy ultrasound (aka anatomy scan), this might be the week, and you’ve likely wrapped up any genetic testing at this point. A few more items checked off your pregnancy to-do list! 

By week 22, your baby is the size of a bell pepper. They’ve probably hit another huge milestone: officially breaking the 1-pound mark. If you want a weight comparison, grab a 1-pound bag of sugar the next time you’re in the grocery store. 

How big is my baby

22 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

Racing Heart

Did you know that your blood volume will increase by 50% over the course of your pregnancy? That’s a lot of extra work for your heart, so if you’ve noticed a racing heart, irregular heartbeat, or heart palpitations, you’re not alone. 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, heart palpitations in pregnancy are common, usually aren’t dangerous, and go away after delivery.

Still, it’s important to talk to your doctor about any heart palpitations you experience during your pregnancy, especially if they happen frequently.

Pelvic Pain

Relaxed ligaments, pregnancy weight gain, and a changing center of gravity can all result in pelvic pain, backaches, and soreness. As your belly grows, your pelvis will naturally be pushed forward. This makes the curve of your back more pronounced, which means more strain on the muscles and ligaments in and around the pelvis. 

Pelvic pain can be felt anywhere in the pelvic region, from the top of your hip bones to your perineum and butt cheeks. You may experience stabbing, stinging, and burning sensations.

For some relief, try our Soothing Maternity Belly & Back Support Band. Made from ultra-soft fabric, this maternity belly band also includes a gel pack for cool/warm therapy. 

If your back pain is severe or persists for more than two weeks, talk to your health care provider.

maternity belly band

Diarrhea 

Digestive issues like constipation and diarrhea are common in pregnancy. There are many reasons you might experience diarrhea during pregnancy, including your prenatal vitamin, pregnancy hormones, and stress. You can help ease symptoms by drinking plenty of fluids. You may also want to consider asking your doctor about adding probiotics to your diet. 

Reach out to your doctor or midwife if your diarrhea is severe or lasts longer than 2 to 3 days. 

What You Need to Know About Preterm Labor

We covered Braxton Hicks contractions in our Week 21 blog, but how do you know the difference between these practice contractions and preterm labor?

Preterm labor is when regular contractions result in the opening of your cervix between 20 weeks and 37 weeks. Symptoms include regular and frequent abdominal pain and tightening (contractions), constant aching in your low back, and a sensation of pelvic pressure. Even if you've had a healthy pregnancy, remember to monitor for signs of preterm labor as your pregnancy progresses. Certain risk factors are linked to preterm labor; check out this helpful article to learn more.

If your doctor or midwife is concerned about preterm labor, they may give you a fetal fibronectin test. Fetal fibronectin is a protein that helps keep the amniotic sac in place.

If the fetal fibronectin test is positive, your health care provider may take steps to address preterm birth such as giving you steroids to help speed up your baby's lung development.

Can preterm labor stop on its own? Yes, preterm labor stops by itself in 3 out of 10 women, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). 

pregnancy leg cramps

Baby on Board

At 22 weeks, your baby is around 11 inches long and weighs 1 pound. By this point, your uterus is probably above your belly button. It will continue to move up through your pregnancy to make room for your growing baby.

Did you know that magnesium plays an important role in your body during pregnancy? Not only does it help your baby build their teeth and bones but it also can help regulate your insulin levels and control your blood sugar. Ask about your magnesium levels the next time you meet with your health care provider. If your magnesium levels are low, you may experience fatigue and leg cramps.

Under Construction: The Senses

Your baby’s senses of touch and sight are getting upgrades this week. Their sense of touch is beginning to develop, allowing them to explore and make sense of the world around them. 

Don’t be surprised if you see your little one clutching onto their umbilical cord or grabbing at their nose or ears during your next ultrasound. 

Additionally, their sight is becoming more fine-tuned, and they are now better able to perceive the difference between light and dark, even with fused eyelids. Give the flashlight test a try: shine a flashlight against your belly and see if your little one moves. 

Your baby can also hear your voice, heartbeat, and other sounds like your blood circulating. 

best nursing bra

What to Wear This Week

Looking for a little more support for your pregnant boobs? If you're carrying extra weight in your chest thanks to your growing breasts, you'll love the moderate support of the Signature Sublime® Contour Nursing & Maternity Bra, which features molded cups that define, separate, and shape. With its fixed padding and ballet-style back, this nursing bra is the perfect T-shirt bra for pregnant and postpartum moms.

This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice that has been medically reviewed. Please reach out to your midwife or doctor with any questions.