Pregnancy Week 22

You are only weeks away from your third trimester. Here is a list of pointers for this part of your pregnancy.

What changes are occurring with your body?

You can now feel the top of your uterus about ¾ of an inch above your belly button. As we talked about last week, many women describe this as a comfortable period of pregnancy.*

Pregnancy Week 22: How big is your baby?

Your baby is almost 10 inches long and weighs a whole 14 ounces.*

Pregnancy Week 22: What is happening with your baby?

Your baby has pretty much taken on the form of a newborn baby, but is incredibly small. Much development will continue to occur over the next 18 weeks. His or her skin appears wrinkly, but this is because he/she has not yet gained enough weight to fill the skin out. The lips are becoming more distinct. The eyes have completely formed, but the iris (the colored portion of the eye) still lacks pigment. The eyelids and eyebrows are in place, and the pancreas is continuing to mature.*

Pregnancy Week 22: What should you plan for this week?

If you have not already arranged childbirth education classes, it is time to do so. Childbirth education classes provide accurate information on what to expect during labor and birth, teach relaxation techniques to use during labor, help labor coaches understand their role, and provide opportunities to talk with other couples who are expecting. Try to complete your class by the end of your 37th week, to ensure you can finish it before labor begins. Hospitals, community centers, and pregnancy centers normally offer classes. If you need assistance in locating classes, the following organizations can be used to locate a class near you:

Pregnancy Week 22: Tips for making your pregnancy better

Many women begin worrying about pre-term labor, especially if they begin to develop lower abdominal pain, dull backaches, pressure in the pelvic area, cramping, and a change in vaginal discharge. These symptoms can either be normal or indicate preterm labor. There is now a test that can be done to determine what exactly is going on. Fetal fibronectin (fFN) is found in the amniotic sac and fetal membranes.

However, this protein disappears after 22 weeks and is not present again until 38 weeks. If this protein is found in the vaginal secretions of a woman who is more than 22 weeks pregnant but less than 38 weeks, then there is an increased risk of preterm labor. If the protein is absent, then the woman has a low risk and will not deliver in the next two weeks. The test is performed like a Pap smear, and results are returned within 24 hours.

Tips for mom’s partner:

Suggest that the two of you do something now that might be harder to do once the baby has arrived. Maybe it is going to the movies, or maybe the two of you enjoy hiking or a day at the beach. Just make sure that it is an activity that you both enjoy and have fun!

Last Updated: 1/2013