22 weeks pregnant: advice, symptoms and what to expect

Week 22

by Deborah Cicurel |
Updated on

At twenty-two weeks pregnant, your baby looks more like a newborn than ever before, and your body’s changing too. Here are any symptoms you might expect and anything and everything you need to know about your baby and your body at 22 weeks pregnant.

How big is my baby at 22 weeks pregnant?

If you love the food comparisons, then your baby is the size of a coconut - if not, she’s now the size of a small doll. She’s now over a pound and about eleven inches long. She’s about the size of a bag of sugar, which is heavier than it sounds!


What’s my baby doing at 22 weeks?

Your baby is starting to look more like a newborn than ever, with distinct lips, eyelids and eyebrows, and even tiny tooth buds.

Your little one will also now be able to perceive light and dark better, even though her eyelids are still fused. Her hearing’s improving too: she’ll be able to hear your heartbeat, voice and even the noises of your blood circulating and your stomach gurgling.

11 common symptoms to look out for at 22 weeks pregnant:


22 weeks

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1) Increased sex drive

This is one of our favourite symptoms because for once it isn't all doom and gloom! At 22 weeks weeks some mums-to-be may notice another surge in their libido due to the raging hormones!

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2) Stretch marks

Scars/stretch marks are caused when your skins stretches with growth too quickly so that it tears beneath the surface. Stretch marks will sadly never disappear but they do fade in colour. There are absolutely loads of products designed to prevent or improve stretch marks though that will have lots of other lovely benefits such as a relaxing smell or moisturised skin!

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3) Swollen feet

This has been a common symptom for the last few weeks. Pregnancy causes an increase in your general bodily fluids. Minor swelling is normal and will die down after you give birth. If the swelling is excessive, painful or sudden then, as always, contact your doctor.

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4) Vaginal discharge

Did you think you had got rid of this one?! We know this symptom isn't fun and can leave you feeling embarrassed. It is down to increased blood flow. If you do have an increased libido don't let this stop you as it is completely normal and it might even make things easier!

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5) Thicker, long and more beautiful hair

Yup, along with all the not-so-pleasant pregnancy symptoms, there are some great ones too. During pregnancy, your body sheds hair more slowly than it did before, giving your hair the appearance of being thicker and more lustrous than ever.

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6) More body hair

Unfortunately, the positives about your hair on your head also applies to your body hair (there has always got to be a downside hasn't there?!). With hormones causing more hair on your face (usually on your chin, upper lip, cheeks and jaw). You might also spot some on your stomach, arms, back and legs. You can tweeze, wax and shave these excess hairs if you’re not too fond of their appearance.

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7) Bigger, darker nipples

You might notice some changes in your breasts, namely bigger, darker nipples and areoles, more pronounced bumps on your areoles, and more noticeable veins on your breasts.

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8) Discoloured skin

You might find some patches of darker skin on your face due to the increased melanin in your body. Make sure you’re protecting your face with sunscreen with a high SPF, wear a hat and stay out of the sun in the strongest hours.

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9) Backache

This is a chronic symptom of pregnancy. Your back hurts due to the pressure your baby presses down on you and of course the extra wait. Try pregnancy yoga, massage or sleeping with a special pregnancy pillow.

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10) Belly button changes

A lot of women find that if they have an 'innie' belly button, it pops out during pregnancy. This is down to your expanding stomach and might feel and look weird. It will go back to normal after birth we can assure you!

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11) Changing fingernails

Different women experience different symptoms: some find their nails grow faster than usual, some find theirs are harder than usual, and others notice theirs get softer or more brittle.

What is my body doing at 22 weeks pregnant?

Your tummy’s getting bigger and bigger - but it’s not the only thing changing. You’ve probably noticed that your feet are swelling more than you might like. This is due to pregnancy swelling, or oedema, as well as the pregnancy hormone relaxin, which loosens the ligaments in the feet so that the bones under them spread. This can mean your feet increase by half or even whole shoe size. Don’t try and squeeze into your old kicks: choose a bigger, comfortable pair that you can wear throughout your pregnancy, with no more than a two-inch heel: It’s hard enough as it is to keep your balance with your pregnancy belly, let alone with sky-high stilettos!

What to do this week:

  • Slow down: It’s quite common to feel dizzy or light-headed during pregnancy – that’s because so much blood is being directed to your womb to help with your baby’s development. Get yourself into the habit of getting up slowly so the blood flow can adjust gradually.

  • Keep snacking: Make sure you eat regular healthy snacks (carry some nuts or raisins or fruit like a banana, apple or seedless tangerine in your bag) and stay hydrated to keep energy levels up and ensure your blood sugar doesn’t rise or fall too quickly. If you feel faint or dizzy, sit down and put your head between your knees so the blood can return to your brain: the dizziness will soon disappear.

Your week 22 FAQs answered:

How big should my bump be at 22 weeks pregnant?

A typical belly at 22 weeks pregnant will be around 20 to 24 centimetres from pelvic bone to the top of the uterus.

How much should my baby be moving at 22 weeks?

Most women start to feel their baby moving between 18 and 20 weeks pregnant, yet how strong or how much you feel these little flutters completely depends on your pre-pregnancy weight and how your baby is lying.

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