Tommy's PregnancyHub

22 weeks pregnant - all you need to know

Your baby now weighs around one pound. From around now, they start to weigh more than the placenta. They’re about the size of a bag of sugar.
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What does my baby look like in week 22?

Over the next few weeks, your baby’s taste buds will continue to develop and they’ll be busy practising swallowing in readiness for life outside your womb.

What you eat now could affect the flavours your baby prefers after they’re born, so eat plenty of healthy food.

Your baby’s lungs are not yet ready for life outside the womb but they’re developing fast. Even though they can’t breathe in the womb, your baby’s practising breathing movements for life outside.

They get all their oxygen from your blood via the placenta until they take their first breath after they're born.

Smoking decreases the amount of oxygen in the placenta, so it’s very important to stop if you’re still smoking. It's not too late, every day without smoke will help your baby's health. Get help to stop smoking.

Your pregnancy symptoms in week 22

Stretch marks

Stretch marks are pink or purple marks that appear on your bump, or possibly boobs and thighs. They eventually fade to silver.

Hormonal changes during pregnancy make your skin more prone to stretch marks as your bump grows. Creams that claim to prevent or stop them are unlikely to have any effect, because they can’t penetrate deep enough to where the damage is.

However, it won’t hurt to very gently massage your bump with nice oils or creams if you find it relaxing.

Read more about stretch marks.

Swollen feet and hands

If rings on your fingers or your shoes feel a bit tight, this is may be because of more fluid in your body, known as oedema.

This is normal during pregnancy, but get medical advice from your midwife, doctor or the hospital straight away if you have the following signs:

  • Sudden severe swelling
  • Swelling on your face as well as your hands and feet
  • Bad pain under your ribs
  • You are vomiting
  • You have a severe headache or problems with your vision.

These symptoms can be signs of pre-eclampsia.

What to do in week 22

Don't forget your pelvic floor!

Make sure you give your pelvic floor muscles a workout as part of your daily routine. Toning up your pelvic floor muscles will help you ease your baby out and recover more quickly after the birth.

They will also help stop you weeing by accident, especially when your growing baby starts to press on your bladder.

“I exercised throughout both my pregnancies, right up until my due date. I was a lot more tired in the second pregnancy, because I was running around after my daughter, but I always did something active because it made me feel better.”

Aileen, mum of two

NHS Choices You and your baby at 21–24 weeks pregnant http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-21-22-23-24.aspx (Page last reviewed: 28/02/2017 Next review due: 28/02/2020).

Mennella JA, Jagnow CP, Beauchamp GK (2001) Prenatal and postnatal flavour learning by human infants, Pediatrics 107(6): E88: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11389286

Macdonald S, Magill-Cuerden J (2012) Mayes’ Midwifery, 14th edition, London, Ballière Tindall.

Brennan M, Young G, Devane D (2012) Topical preparations for preventing stretch marks in pregnancy, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 11: CD000066: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23152199

NICE (2008) Antenatal care for uncomplicated pregnancies,Clinical guideline [CG62] Last updated: January 2017. https://www.nice.org.uk/Guidance/cg62

Review dates

Last reviewed: 26 June, 2018
Next review: 26 June, 2021