Welcome to Scary Mommy’s pregnancy week by week guide! We’re here to give you all the info about what to expect when you’re expecting: be it symptoms, your pregnancy week by week size and development, your changing body, or ultrasounds and appointments. Here’s everything you need to know about week 22.
Your Body at Week 22 Pregnant
Plagued by Sensitive and Bleeding Gums?
Are your gums swollen and bleeding easily? Don’t be alarmed, this is because a surge in hormones and increased blood flow can make your gums feel swollen, sensitive, and easily bleed during brushing. It’s important to see your dentist for a check up in your second trimester so they can keep infections at bay. Until then, flossing, brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft brush, and warm salt water rinses can help alleviate discomfort.
Flying During Pregnancy?
Per the Mayo Clinic, commercial air travel is completely safe up until week 36 of your pregnancy but you should always discuss your plans with your OB before doing so. Even though flying is safe, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take certain and very necessary precautions during your travels. Drink plenty of water so the low humidity in the air cabin doesn’t dehydrate you, buckle your seatbelt under your abdomen, take frequent walks up and down the aisle to promote circulation, wear compression socks, and avoid gassy food before the flight as gas tends to expand at high altitudes.
Your Baby at Week 22 Pregnant
At 22 weeks, your little one is weighing in at an impressive 1 pound and 11 inches long. One might say the baby is the size of the sleeve of cookies you polished off while binge-watching Netflix this past weekend.
As with all fetuses at this stage, your baby’s eyelids are fused shut but they can still detect light. If you point a flashlight at your belly, your little one will turn away from it. Above those newly sensitive eyes, the baby is also growing tear ducts and eyebrows. He or she is pretty wrinkly at this stage, but not for long, he or she is growing an adipose layer, or fat, to keep them warm. Until then, the protective creamy-white substance called vernix caseosa is acting like your baby’s first winter coat, keeping them nice and toasty inside your belly.
Your Symptoms and Health at Week 22 Pregnant
As pregnancy hormones relax your joints and ligaments in preparation for birth, they also do the same for the rest of your body. Throw in a new weight distribution that throws off your balance and the results will have you feeling like klutz. Be extra careful, aware, and alert as you go about your day, especially in icy and wet conditions.
Hemorrhoids are actually varicose veins in your rectum, and often appear in conjunction with constipation. Increased weight on your pelvis, constipation, and prolonged periods of standing exacerbate pregnancy hemorrhoids. Warm baths with baking soda, witch hazel pads to reduce bleeding and inflammation, and a fiber-rich diet will all help with the pain and discomfort.
By the start of the second trimester, you may notice your breasts are larger and fuller without feeling sore, tender, and painful to the touch. They are preparing for milk production and may increase in as much as a cup size and a half by the time you give birth.
Heartburn is a common pregnancy symptom during the second and third trimester of pregnancy, and that’s because hormones like progesterone and relaxin slow down digestion and relax esophageal muscles, which in turn allows acid to make its way back up. Thankfully, there’s something you can actively do to lessen just how bad the heartburn is. Avoid spicy or greasy foods, have several small meals during the day instead of large ones, avoid lying down right after eating, and elevate your head at night.
Aches and Pains
As your baby grows and your baby bump is on full display, your body takes all these changes in weight and balance and shifts along with it. As you grow bigger, the hormone relaxin is released to, well, relax the joints and ligaments in your pelvis, causing some back or joint pain. Per the Mayo Clinic, stretches, physical activity, a belly support band, and proper posture might alleviate some of that discomfort.
Your twins probably don’t weigh a pound each since twin babies tend to be smaller in the womb than single babies. But you are carrying a significant amount of weight around in that bump. Be sure to rest up when you can. You’re also swelling up elsewhere in your body thanks to extra fluid production and retention. So if your shoes have been feeling a little snug, that’s why! Slippers are a girl’s best friend.
The contents of this article have been medically reviewed by Ruth A. Tessler, M.D. in July, 2019.
Written by Maia Efrem.
Follow Preggo Nancy’s pregnancy journey week-by-week and share in her joy, her symptoms, and even her pregnancy cravings.