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Pregnancy health centre

22 weeks pregnant

WebMD Medical Reference
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks


How is your baby growing at 22 weeks?

Your baby should be about 28cm long from head to heel and weigh around 450g. If you saw your baby now, he or she would look like a skinny version of a newborn. Your baby will still have wrinkled, translucent skin, but this will gradually change as the baby puts on more fat.

Rapid brain growth should have started by now and will continue throughout the baby's first years after birth. The baby's lips should now be fully formed and the tooth buds for the canine and incisor teeth should be just below the gum line, ready to emerge a few months after the baby's birth. Taste buds should also be forming on your baby's tongue.

Your baby will be getting plenty of exercise, with there still being plenty of room to move around in the amniotic sac. If your partner places his hands on your bump, he may be able to feel your baby moving (but he may have to wait another week or so). As your baby's senses are developing, you may get a response if you apply gentle pressure to your bump, and you may notice movement as your baby adjusts to a change in temperature when you have a warm (not hot) bath.

How are you changing in week 22?

Your womb is now about 3cm above your belly button. You may have noticed that the figures on your bathroom scales have been going up as you put on weight – an average of 5.5–7kg so far. You'll be adding approximately 225g per week at this stage. While weight gain varies, on average women gain 10–12.5kg (22–26lb) during pregnancy. Not only is this extra weight due to your baby growing, but also the weight of the placenta, which weighs about 500g (1lb) at birth, and fat that your body will be storing in preparation for making milk after the baby's birth.

Your breasts will continue to increase in size, and this week they may start to make colostrum. This fatty substance contains an abundance of nutrients and will be the baby's first milk.

Pregnant women may notice reddish lines on their abdomen, buttocks, thighs or breasts – these are "stretch marks". They don't occur in all pregnant women (and you don't have to be pregnant to get them). Hormonal changes affect the balance of proteins, which makes the skin thinner, and as the skin stretches with the increasing size of the womb, stretch marks often first become visible in weeks 22–24, when the skin is stretching at a rapid pace. While stretch marks will fade away after the baby is born, they may not completely disappear.

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