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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.

Week 22 infographic.

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 (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:

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:

NICE (2008) Antenatal care for uncomplicated pregnancies,Clinical guideline [CG62] Last updated: January 2017.

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    Last reviewed on June 26th, 2018. Next review date June 26th, 2021.

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    Please note that these comments are monitored but not answered by Tommy’s. Please call your GP or maternity unit if you have concerns about your health or your baby’s health.
    • By Maryam (not verified) on 26 Jan 2020 - 03:29

      Hey everyone I am 22 weeks pregnant with my first child with IVF after 7 years of marriage I had some liquids coming out so I thought I get it checked the nurse used speculem to do vaginal examination and said everything ok and I feel ok but since they used speculum I am quit worried what if it cause problem in my rest of pregnancy? Can someone tell me that having internal examination with speculum isn't harmful? As I believe I shouldn't of let them put that plastic thing in my vag sorry and thank you

    • By Gabrelle (not verified) on 27 Feb 2020 - 13:48

      You're fine, they needed to check your cervix since you said you were leaking. They checked to make sure its closed. No need to worry

    • By Judith (not verified) on 2 Oct 2019 - 03:26

      Hi, I have 22 weeks I had a appoimet today, to check my baby’s heart, everything looks great but they told me the placenta is to big, I’m worry about this.

    • By Diksha (not verified) on 15 Aug 2019 - 14:59

      Hello, I'm 22 weeks pregnant and I've a small amount if bleeding this morning. We got panicked and went to the clinic. The treating doctor said that my placenta is below that why it bleeds. Baby is fine and in good condition. I want to know what can i do for the placenta to move up. Since my pregnancy i've stopped working and bed rest since i'm an IVF patient and don't want to take any risk. Thanks for advising me

    • By Tshering (not verified) on 14 Jun 2019 - 13:25

      I m in 22nd weeks pregnancy. When I wipe I can see creamy pink discharge, it is for the third time I have seen it. Is there any problem?

    • By Som maya (not verified) on 14 Apr 2020 - 18:54


    • By Jalil (not verified) on 16 Aug 2018 - 06:30

      Hi good day! I’m 22 weeks pregnant with my 1st baby... am very worried because i have a dextroscoliosis, will it cause problem during my labor or will i undergo a c section? Thank you and more powers!

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 16 Aug 2018 - 10:54

      Dear Jalil,
      It does depend on the extent of your condition however it would, in most cases, be possible to have a normal vaginal delivery. During your pregnancy you should be seen by a consultant and an anaesthetist to discuss mode of delivery and what is safest for you and your baby.
      Best wishes
      Tommy's midwife

    • By Shanneill (not verified) on 9 Jul 2018 - 13:28

      Hi I'm 21wks baby has ventticular septal defect complete and will have heart surgery 3months after birth or when heart failure is worse may be sooner is there anything I can do to make this pregnancy healthier thanks

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 12 Jul 2018 - 12:41

      Hi Shanneill,
      Sorry to hear about the news you have had for your baby, but positively they can hopefully fixed this with surgery when they are born. I would have thought that you are under the care of the fetal medicine team who will be looking after you. There would be no extra advice that we would give you, just the pregnancy advice of maintaining a healthy lifestyle such as a healthy balanced diet, regular exercise, not smoking and looking after your emotional well being.
      I wish you all the very best for the rest of the pregnancy.
      Best wishes
      Tommy's midwife

    • By Crystal (not verified) on 7 Jul 2018 - 02:17

      Hi I am 22 weeks pregnant and I was diagnosed with low lying placenta and "increased vascularity" I have to follow up with a specialist. Is this a sign I have placenta accreta? I'm very worried.

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 9 Jul 2018 - 15:41

      Hi Crystal,
      No, a diagnosis of increased vascularity is not necessarily related to placenta accreta. Try to wait until your appointment when you can ask as many questions as you need to. Is it arranged for the next few weeks?

    • By sam (not verified) on 2 Jul 2018 - 15:40

      hii im 22 weeks pregnant i had my 2nd usg few days before it showed posterior low lying placenta 34mm away from internal os.. further i hv swelling in my ankles and foot including fingers .is this normal or any complications

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 2 Jul 2018 - 16:24

      Hi Sam. It is quite common for the placenta to be low-lying at this stage but I would expect that an appointment has been made to check the location of the placenta further on in the pregnancy.
      Swelling in the hands and feet is common particularly at this time of year when it is very hot. If you arrange to see your doctor or midwife, they will check your urine and blood pressure just to be sure there is nothing worrying going on. Take care

    • By Beatrice (not verified) on 26 May 2018 - 14:09

      Am 20 weeks and the doctor said I have Anterior placenta .please is my baby safe?

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 29 May 2018 - 11:15

      Hi Beatrice
      Having an Anterior placenta is not a concern, it just means that your placenta has grown towards the front of your bump. Many placenta's grow towards the back of your bump - near to your back inside- these are called posterior placenta's.
      Anterior Placenta's can make you feel fetal movements a little less as baby is cushioned by the placenta. If you are ever worried about fetal movements being reduced from what you feel usually, then you should go to your maternity unit to be reviewed by a midwife and doctor asap - for every episode of reduced fetal movements that you have felt .
      Please take good care of yourself
      Sophie,Tommy's Midwife

    • By Petress Duncan (not verified) on 28 Apr 2018 - 22:09

      I have been diagnosed with a round plateau at 16 weeks. I am so worried. Do you have any information on this diagnosis?

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 1 May 2018 - 09:09

      Dear Petress,

      I am not familiar with this term would you have any more information in relation to the diagnosis and I will look into it.
      Alternatively give us a call on 0800 0147 800
      Thank you
      Anna-Tommy's Midwife

    • By Dawn (not verified) on 8 Apr 2018 - 17:04

      Hi there, I'm 22 weeks pregnant with my 5th child. At my 20 week scan I was told I have a low lying placenta covering the OS, also anterior. I'm having another scan at 32 weeks but was wondering if anyone could give me more information about this please. Many thanks xx

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 10 Apr 2018 - 10:05

      Hi Dawn. Congratulations on bundle number 5 - how exciting!
      Check out our page on placenta praevia (see link below) on our website - if you want to call us on 0800 0147800, we can then in detail go through any questions you may have following on.

      We look forward to hearing from you.
      Sophie,Tommy's Midwife

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 23 Mar 2018 - 13:02

      Gud advise

    • By Victoria (not verified) on 14 Jan 2018 - 21:32

      My placenta is low lying and covering my cervix but was just wondering if I am able to go swimming?

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 15 Jan 2018 - 16:41

      This depends on how many weeks pregnant you are and whether you have been diagnosed with placenta previa. If you are still early in your pregnancy, there is a chance that the placenta will move up out of the way but if you have been diagnosed with placenta previa major, you would be advised to avoid strenuous exercise. This page helps explain

    • By Victoria (not verified) on 16 Jan 2018 - 09:49

      Thank you for your response.

      Im 22wks +3 days. Previa hasn't been mentioned just low posterior placenta is written in my notes...

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 17 Jan 2018 - 13:19

      Hi Victoria
      It may be that they are keeping an eye on the placental site, it doesn't sound like its covering the cervix, which is praevia. You may need extra scans for this over time. So feel free to ask your midwife at your next app.
      Take care
      Sophie Tommy's Midwife

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 11 Dec 2017 - 03:52

      Is that normal lowlyibg placenta at 21 weeks but still they can see cervix..please share your worried..Thanks

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 13 Dec 2017 - 13:32

      Hi, Thank you for your comment,

      It can be common to go for your detailed scan at around 20 weeks and the placenta is found to be low lying. What is reassuring is that it is not covering the cervix and as the pregnancy grows the placenta should move up the uterus and out of the way. You should be given another scan later on in your pregnancy so that they can rescan you to see if the placenta has moved. If you are concerned then please contact your midwife to discuss this but try not to worry, it can be common and there is nothing to suggest that your placenta wont move during your pregnancy. If you have any bleeding in pregnancy then we would advice that you contact your local maternity unit, this is always something to be mindful off with a low lying placenta. Hope this helps, Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x

    • By Anonymous (not verified) on 29 Nov 2017 - 22:47

      Im 22 weeks with anterior placenta, I've not really felt any movements because of this.
      At what point should I get worried things aren't right and contact my midwife?

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 30 Nov 2017 - 14:11

      Hi, Thank you for your comment.
      Having an anterior placenta may mask some of your baby's movement but if you are concerned at all then we would advise you to call your midwife as soon as you feel concerned about anything. They will be able to listen in to your baby and give you reassurance. Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x

    • By Nelly (not verified) on 17 Aug 2017 - 15:53

      I had circlage at 19weeks because my cervix opens at 24weeks my baby boy was alive for 2dys & past on now im 22weeks bt i feel like my baby is kicking the stitch and i feel mild pains is it normal? please help im just nervous

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 17 Aug 2017 - 16:29

      Hi, it is completely understandable that you are feeling so nervous in this pregnancy given what you have been through. It is lovely that you are feeling your baby move about however they would not be able to kick so much so that the stitch comes out or on your cervix so your go into labour. With regards to the pains that you are feeling I would need a little bit more information such as the type of pain, how often you are feeling them etc.? Also some pain can be due to a urine infection so ensure that you have had your urine tested recently by the midwife or doctor. If you are having any vaginal loss, and/or pains are on going then do ring the maternity unit for advice.

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 1 Aug 2017 - 15:53

      Hi Siobhan,
      it does sound like you are busy with your little ones. Could you call your unit and see what they advise. I fully appreciate that it would take some time to organise childcare. It is good to know that your bladder has settled put a pad on and monitor if there is any loss and call the unit an hour after that. If you have a thermometer at home I would also just check to see that your temperature is normal (36.1-37.2) also monitor for any odour from the discharge.
      Take care of yourself
      Anna- Tommy's Midwife

    • By Siobhan (not verified) on 1 Aug 2017 - 22:00

      Thanks for your advice, I did go to my local day assessment unit (as the frequency I needed to go to the toilet increased again) and I do have some sort of infection, they'll get the results in a couple of days and prescribe whatever antibiotics are necessary. A doctor checked and my cervix was still closed, waters still intact, thank goodness! A massive relief, thanks so much for advising me to go, the midwife was really nice and I didn't feel I'd gone in unnecessarily. I have had two miscarriages in the past year so feel very anxious a lot of the time so it's difficult to know when I'm being concerned for a reason or not. Thanks very much, it's lovely to have the peace of mind and treatment for an infection. Kind regards, Siobhan

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 1 Aug 2017 - 13:31

      Hi and thank you for posting. Going to the toilet every 15 minutes seems quite excessive and tedious. Although you don't have any pain, the sheer number of times you are needing to go to the toilet would make me think that we need to exclude both a urinary tract infection and ruptured membranes in view of your first baby being premature. As you mention the wet underwear could just have been pregnancy discharge which can be increased especially in the warmer weather.
      As you are over 18 weeks you can be seen at the Day Assessment Unit at your unit. Look on the front of your notes and contact them now. They will check your urine and may perform a speculum examination to see if your waters have gone.
      I hope all is well but please go in to be checked for your peace of mind and let us know how you get on.
      Warm wishes
      Anna-Tommy's Midwife
      [email protected] or call 0800 0147 800

    • By Siobhan (not verified) on 1 Aug 2017 - 14:51

      Hi again, thanks for getting back to me. Fortunately the frequency of urination stopped pretty much after I posted to you! So that must be several hours ago. Would you still think I need to be seen? I haven't had anymore watery discharge (since about 9pm last night, which I mentioned previously). My husband is away and I have three little children at home with me, that said if you'd advise a trip I'd do anything to make sure this little one stays safe regardless of the 'hassle' of sorting childcare! My second and third babies were both 39 weeks, by the way, just the first was early at 32 weeks. Thanks again, Siobhan

    • By Siobhan (not verified) on 1 Aug 2017 - 10:43

      Hello, I'm 22 weeks and this morning I keep needing the toilet! Maybe every 15 minutes. It doesn't hurt and it's all clear but if I was out somewhere it would be so inconvenient. Is this normal at this stage? I'm feeling well otherwise although yesterday I had two incidents (one about 10am, one about 9pm) where my underwear felt wet and I know it wasn't urine. I was fine and dry inbetween and have been dry since. I'm presuming this is just discharge and not my waters leaking. My first pregnancy baby came at 32 weeks and when my waters went they didn't stop flowing. Thanks so much for your help.

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