You are 22 weeks pregnant or in your 23rd week of pregnancy (counting from the first day of your Last Menstrual Period).
Keep in mind that this information is approximate. Each pregnancy is different and growth rates vary. For variations and details, please talk to your doctor.
What’s happening to the baby?
- The baby’s body proportions are now like a newborn's but the baby still needs to put on more fat.
- The baby is flexing the muscles of her hands and legs with increasing force now. You might start feeling more forceful movements (perhaps even kicks) than before.
- The baby’s hearing is well developed and the baby can hear different sounds like your voice and even a vegetable vendor shouting.
- The lanugo (soft hair that protects the baby’s skin in the amniotic fluid) on the body is getting darker.
- Your baby is about 19 centimetres long (Crown to rump length) and weighs about 440 grams.
What’s happening to mom?
- Your sleep problems will continue to increase. Frequent trips to the bathroom, heartburn and leg cramps might keep you up at night. Make sure you get good sleep.
- During your doctor visits, your doctor might be measuring the height of your uterus (fundal height) and comparing it to what it should be for your due date. For example, if the fundal height is lesser than what it should be for your due date, it might be that your baby is smaller than expected. In general, the doctors do not get too concerned with one measurement. Instead, they observe the trend. They might call you for more appointments if the fundal height is smaller or larger than expected and check before taking steps like additional ultrasounds.
- Most women start to feel the baby’s movements (kicks, wiggles or other movements) or “quickening” at this time (around 18-22 weeks). Many describe it as a fluttering sensation or a gas bubble in the abdomen. This is when it “hits” most women that there is a live baby in their body. As the pregnancy progresses, you might start feeling stronger movements like kicks. Many women might even confuse gas and other digestive movements with the baby movements. But do not panic if you do not feel the baby’s movements at this time. Discuss this with your doctor. First time mothers usually feel the baby’s movements a little later than mothers who have had babies earlier because they do not know what to expect.
- You might also start feeling Braxton Hicks contractions in your abdomen. These are a kind of practice drill to prepare your body for labour and delivery. You will experience tightening of your uterus or mild contractions. Have water, empty your bladder or have a warm bath to relieve these contractions. But if the contractions get painful, regular and start accelerating, you might be in early labour. If so, call your doctor.
- The baby will start to put on weight, your amniotic fluid will expand and from now on you might start putting on weight quicker.
Checklist for mom
- By now you would have scheduled the glucose screening test. This is a preliminary test that is given to all pregnant women sometime during the 24th to 28th weeks of pregnancy to check for gestational diabetes. It measures how well your body can process sugar. Indian women, in particular, are highly susceptible to gestational diabetes.
- Take advantage of the fact that you are feeling comfortable and energetic and go for a trip, even a weekend getaway.
- Try and educate yourself about the process of labour and delivery (in Parentree's collection of pregnancy articles). If you are interested in exploring childbirth classes, learn about childbirth classes from your doctor or hospital and schedule these in advance.
- Find out about hospitals and select a hospital. Make sure that the hospital is nearby and your doctor visits the hospital and it has all the latest medical facilities.
- You could even start finding a good paediatrician for your baby. Get a shortlist by talking to your to your friends, even your gynaecologist and Parentree parents in your area. Then start interviewing paediatricians.
Ideas for dad
- Along with your wife, learn about breastfeeding, childbirth options and childbirth classes. This way you can be a team in tackling the challenges of childbirth and breastfeeding.
- Make sure that you go for childbirth classes with your wife.
- These days, dads too play a big role in childbirth by being a labour coach. Read Parentree article on tips for the labour coach.
- It won’t be long before your wife will start getting uncomfortable. Going for a trip or a weekend getaway during this time is a good idea.
- Share your tips, tricks and knowledge about pregnancy with other Parentree members.
- Drink lots of water. Water helps your constipation and helps to relieve your Braxton Hicks contractions or tightening of the uterus.
- Tip: Soak about 6-7 almonds and eat them every day. It is said that almonds have excellent nutrients for the baby’s growth. Remember to chew them very well so that your body can digest them better. You can even grind them into a paste and put in your milk for some almond milk.
Useful Parentree articles for this stage of pregnancy