Week 22 of pregnancy and the development of the baby

From the fifth month of pregnancy, the belly grows more, the symptoms of the first months are no longer present and the fetus continues to develop both physically and neurologically. The mother suffers from other changes in her body such as swollen legs, the urge to urinate more frequently and some discomfort in sleeping. 

During pregnancy, week 22 represents 5 and a half months of gestation, that is, a little more than half of what an average pregnancy will last. It is at this stage that Braxton Hicks contractions can begin to be felt, causing a bit of fear in expectant mothers. 

These movements represent an exercise in the uterus, which, after all, is a muscle that prepares itself throughout the pregnancy for the moment of delivery. In these irregular and painless contractions, it is normal to feel a tight or hard belly. But, it is from the third trimester that these contractions become more frequent. 

Now, at 22 weeks of pregnancy, the mother’s weight must have increased between 5 and 7 kilos since the pregnancy test was positive. Thus, the curvaceous female waist gives rise to the bulging belly of pregnancy, since the uterus will have already grown to the height of the navel at this time. 

22 week fetus development 

As for the baby, it should already measure about 27 cm and weigh about 500 grams. Its shape resembles that of a papaya. Regarding its physical development, it is already possible to notice its eyelids and eyebrows, the latter still have no color, since they can barely be seen as white fluff on the eyes.

On the surface, the fetus already looks like a full-term baby, but the reality is that it needs to gain weight, as well as complete the development of its vital organs. However, the growth of his brain accelerates from these weeks when the limbic system develops. 

This is responsible for human instincts and emotions. Therefore, at this young age, the fetus begins to experience moods and respond to external stimuli.

For this reason, it is very important to begin to establish communication with your baby through your caresses, words of affection in a sweet voice and all the stimuli that the father or other members of the family can give him.

All this is scientifically based on the fact that amniotic fluid works as a superconductor of sound. Consequently, the baby can distinguish the heartbeat of the mother, as well as her intestinal functioning. Also, she can perceive external noises and the echo of her parents’ voice.

So don’t think about it too much to start singing to your baby, telling him stories and talking to him since he is in the womb, give yourself moments of relaxation that will help the fetus in the development of its emotions. 

Evolution of the pregnancy belly at week 22

Previously we mentioned that, for this stage of pregnancy, you will no longer have your curvaceous figure with a defined waist, if that was your case before pregnancy, because in the fifth month the evolution of the pregnancy belly is more evident.

The size of the uterus reaches the height of the navel and the baby is already over 25 cm, so the pregnant belly bulges more and more. However, we cannot forget that each belly and pregnancy has its own evolution. In other words, you can put together several women who are 22 weeks pregnant and see that their bellies are very different from each other. 

On the other hand, it is normal that in some consultations, midwives or nurses measure the belly, since it is attributed that the normal development of the fetus corresponds to the size of the belly. In general, the gestation time is proportional in centimeters to the size that the belly should have, maintaining a margin of 2 cm above or below. 

Consequently, if you are 22 weeks pregnant, your belly is likely to be between 20 and 24 cm in diameter to be considered healthy. 

Distractions and other symptoms

One of the most common signs in pregnant women at this stage of pregnancy, and which is accentuated in the remaining months, is the lack of attention to detail or a decrease in concentration, which is commonly known as “pregnant brain”. ” . The reason for this condition is attributed to hormonal changes, lack of sleep and anxiety for all new experiences, so they end up ignoring some everyday things.

Among other signs of the 22 weeks, there are the unsightly stretch marks that do not take long to appear due to the stretching of the skin. Although this is a condition that can be avoided with frequent moisturizing of the skin and application of moisturizer twice a day, we cannot deny that it will also depend on your genetics. 

If your mother, grandmother, and sisters have had stretch marks during their pregnancies, chances are you will too. But, with timely hydration you can lessen its appearance.

On the other hand, facial spots are usually common these days, darkening areas of the face, giving rise to chloasma or pregnancy mask. To help your skin, you can apply a high factor sunscreen to prevent the sun from triggering the effect of hormones on melanin activation

Also, if your skin is acne-prone or oily, you should take special care during the remaining trimesters of pregnancy, as sebum levels increase and more acne appears. Therefore, maintain a facial cleansing routine, using mild and preferably natural products, exfoliating once a week and thoroughly removing makeup residue before bed. 

If these days you begin to have swelling of the legs and feet, as well as cramps, you should know that it is one more symptom of pregnancy . In this case, it is recommended to use massage gels, place your feet on a cushion when you go to bed or, if you work sitting down, you can make circular movements with your feet, walk an hour a day and stay well hydrated.

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