22 Weeks Pregnant - What's Going On? Fetal Development, Abdominal Pain

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Video: 22 Weeks Pregnant - What's Going On? Fetal Development, Abdominal Pain

Video: 22 Weeks Pregnant - What's Going On? Fetal Development, Abdominal Pain
Video: "22 Weeks Pregnant" by PregnancyChat.com @PregChat 2023, December
22 Weeks Pregnant - What's Going On? Fetal Development, Abdominal Pain
22 Weeks Pregnant - What's Going On? Fetal Development, Abdominal Pain

22 weeks pregnant

At 22 weeks, the sixth calendar month of the second trimester of pregnancy continues. If you count on the obstetric method, it was five and a half months of gestation. Behind the equator of pregnancy, that is, its middle, all tissues and organs of the unborn child are formed. Many mothers have already passed the mandatory second trimester screening and made sure that their baby is developing without pathologies. The most cloudless period of pregnancy is going on.


  • Fetal development at 22 weeks
  • Sensations
  • Abdomen and uterus - how to distinguish training contractions from preterm labor?
  • Stirring - what's new?
  • Vaginal discharge is normal
  • Ultrasound and other tests
  • Pain and its prevention
  • Intimate relationship
  • Optimal weight at 22 weeks
  • How to organize proper nutrition
  • Special problems

Fetal development at 22 weeks

22 weeks pregnant
22 weeks pregnant

The baby's nervous system is improving, new convolutions are formed on the surface of the brain, additional connections appear between neurons and different segments of the spinal cord and brain. A more mature nervous system provides more opportunities for physical activity. The child is no longer chaotic, but purposefully moves the arms and legs.

Now he can take himself by the leg or by the other hand, clasp the umbilical cord with his palm. On ultrasound, you can see how identical twins touch each other at this stage of pregnancy and even take hands. It is possible that this happens by accident, but seeing such interaction is very touching. In addition to positively influencing the development of movements, the maturing nervous system helps the child to better feel the impact of the world around him. The baby feels a touch to the stomach from the outside, reacts to loud sounds and the bright light of a lamp brought too close.

Fetal parameters:

  • Weight - 350-400-450 g;
  • Height - 25-27 cm;
  • The heart rate is 140-160 beats per minute.

The skeletal system becomes more perfect, which allows the baby to show its presence quite tangibly for the mother. At 22 weeks, changes occur in the structure of the spine - intervertebral discs and vertebrae are formed, more and more calcium is deposited.

The heart is actively working, pumping blood through the vessels with high intensity. Its beating at this time can be heard by simply putting your ear to the belly of a pregnant woman. Do not be upset if relatives cannot hear the baby's heartbeat - clear sensations will appear when the baby takes a certain position.

Nails, hair on the body and on the head of the fetus, eyebrows and eyelashes also grow. There is still too little melanin in thin and transparent hair, so it is still difficult to determine their color.

Viability outside the environment of the mother's body in such a baby is extremely low. In medical practice, there are cases when children born at 22 weeks as a result of an interrupted pregnancy, with the availability of modern equipment and proper care, still survived.



Since blood volume increases significantly during this period of pregnancy, the formation of some of its cells (erythrocytes) can go much slower than required. Physiological anemia, or lack of iron in the blood, occurs. For the treatment and prevention of this condition, the doctor prescribes iron-containing drugs, recommends increasing the proportion of foods such as beef and veal, liver, apples, pomegranates and pomegranate juice in the diet.

Due to the increased intake of calcium by the fetus, its deficiency in the mother's body may be felt. It is manifested by cramps in the calf muscles, most often at night. To get rid of these negative feelings, you need to eat lactic acid foods, cheese, cottage cheese more often.

The increased volume of fluid in the body in some women is manifested by edema. Shoes become tight, it is difficult to remove the ring from the finger. It is imperative to tell the doctor leading the pregnancy about these problems. Sometimes edema is a manifestation of gestosis, or late toxicosis of pregnant women, a condition that threatens the mother and child.

Abdomen and uterus - how to distinguish training contractions from preterm labor?

Belly and uterus
Belly and uterus

At 22 weeks, the abdomen is still not large enough to restrict the woman's movements. Perhaps she is still working, does an excellent job of self-care, can do special gymnastics for pregnant women. On an ever-increasing belly, the skin stretches more and more. This process is accompanied by severe itching and the appearance of stretch marks. To prevent such phenomena, you should moisturize the abdominal skin with special means.

The uterus is located 2 cm above the navel, its bottom reaches the diaphragm, which sometimes brings unpleasant sensations: shortness of breath, heartburn. Its size is so significant that there is pressure on the intestines, on the stomach and on the bladder at the same time. There are problems with digestion, a tendency to constipation.

Light painless contractions that can be felt by a woman up to 10-15 times a day are Breston-Higgins training contractions. With their help, the uterus prepares for the upcoming labor. If they are not accompanied by severe painful sensations, there is no need to worry. Severe pain accompanying frequent contractions may indicate a preterm labor that has begun. In this case, urgent hospitalization of the pregnant woman is necessary.

Stirring - what's new?

At this stage of pregnancy, the woman has already learned to distinguish, by the nature of the movements, whether the baby is sleeping or awake. Often he actively moves just when his mother is going to rest or during a night's sleep. If the child carries out a series of sudden movements, it is possible that he does not have enough oxygen, and in this way he is trying to activate his cardiac activity.

If movements are not felt throughout the day, it can be assumed that the course of pregnancy has taken a negative turn and its fading has occurred. You should immediately contact your doctor with this problem.

Vaginal discharge is normal

Vaginal discharge
Vaginal discharge

At this stage of pregnancy, the nature of vaginal discharge practically does not change - they are still light and translucent, without an unpleasant odor. If a woman detects inclusions in the discharge that look like cottage cheese, a change in their color and structure, it is quite possible that she has begun vaginal candidiasis or a bacterial infection. It is necessary to immediately pass a smear for urogenital infections in order to prevent the penetration of pathogenic microorganisms from the vagina into other parts of the reproductive system. Vaginal candidiasis is quite common in pregnant women. This is due to the fact that local and general immunity decreases during pregnancy, which leads to the activation of the fungus, its reproduction.

Treatment of thrush does not take long when both partners undergo antifungal therapy at the same time. There are effective local and general drugs specifically designed for the treatment of pregnant women. To prevent candidiasis from returning, you should not eat a lot of sweets, you need to wear cotton underwear and carefully observe intimate hygiene.

Ultrasound and other tests

Ultrasound and other tests
Ultrasound and other tests

If, according to the plan of the antenatal clinic, you have to visit a gynecologist for 22 weeks, you should come to the appointment, having previously passed urine tests for the presence of protein, a general blood test for leukocytes and erythrocytes, blood for sugar. Already at the reception, the midwife will measure the height and weight of the pregnant woman, the level of the uterus, listen to the baby's heart sounds.

It is possible that a second ultrasound will have to be performed at this stage of pregnancy.

Parameters determined by the doctor of ultrasound diagnostics:

  • The ratio of the proportions of the child's body;
  • The presence or absence of developmental defects;
  • The state of the internal organs, the degree of their formation;
  • Amniotic fluid volume and condition;
  • Condition of the uterus, umbilical cord and placenta;
  • Child gender;
  • Tracking possible low water or polyhydramnios.

Based on the results of the ultrasound, the doctor will give the necessary recommendations, if the parents wish, he will record a video about how the baby looks and moves.

Pain and its prevention

Pain and its prevention
Pain and its prevention

The most common cause of pain at 22 weeks gestation is increased stress on the spine and back muscles due to an enlarged abdomen and a shift in the center of gravity of the body.

To relieve and prevent pain, the following steps should be taken:

  • Limit long-term walking and physical activity;
  • Choose a comfortable chair with an orthopedic back and use only it;
  • Do not wear shoes with heels and shoes with absolutely flat soles;
  • Do not sit continuously for more than an hour;
  • Perform a daily set of gymnastics exercises for pregnant women.

Lower back pain can be a sign of diseases of the urinary system, which is experiencing increased stress during this period. These are pyelonephritis, urolithiasis, complications of cystitis. If a woman is observed in an antenatal clinic, the manifestations of these pathologies will necessarily be reflected in urine tests. A gynecologist will recommend treatment by a urologist, because kidney problems are extremely dangerous for the normal course of pregnancy and childbirth.

Another problem of this period of pregnancy is hemorrhoids, which occurs due to the fact that the pregnant uterus compresses the vessels and impairs the blood supply to the pelvic organs. For its treatment, candles are used, which should be selected by a specialist, taking into account the woman's condition. To stimulate intestinal motility, it is advisable to use foods high in fiber in the diet.

Intimate relationship

Intimate relationship
Intimate relationship

Due to the increased blood supply to the pelvic organs, a woman at 22 weeks may feel an increased sex drive. Do not give up sex for fear of fetal health. It is reliably protected by the uterus and amniotic fluid from external physical influences.

Contraindications to intimate contacts at this time:

  • Low placentation;
  • Increased tone of the uterus;
  • Twin pregnancy;
  • Inflammatory diseases of the reproductive organs;
  • Risk of miscarriage.

A gynecologist will definitely tell you about these contraindications.

Optimal weight at 22 weeks

If we consider that a woman should gain no more than 11-16 kg before giving birth, by 22 weeks the difference between the initial and gained weight should not exceed 8 kg. This mass includes the weight of the baby, placenta, amniotic fluid, enlarged uterus, increased blood volume and the total volume of fluid contained in the body. The weekly weight gain is approximately equal to 300-500 g, and the weight is normally added not in jumps, but evenly.

How to organize proper nutrition

proper nutrition
proper nutrition

To control your weight, you need to properly formulate your daily diet. A source of complete protein is lean meat, fish, dairy products. To replenish calcium reserves, you should more often include kefir, fermented baked milk, hard and soft cheeses, cottage cheese, natural yogurts in the menu. The same products with the additional use of prunes, dried apricots and other dried fruits will help solve the problem of constipation.

To prevent edema, you need to consume less salt, which retains water in the body. Marinades, pickles, smoked meats should be excluded from the diet, since they use increased salt rates.

Sweets, sugar, wheat flour baked goods are foods with a high carbohydrate content. They contribute to excessive weight gain, can provoke the development of diabetes during pregnancy. It is best to include carbohydrate sources such as cereals, bran bread, or whole grain bread in your diet.

An obligatory part of the menu is vegetables and fruits, which are consumed both fresh and stewed, boiled and baked. It is best to eat in small portions, but often, including the most high-calorie foods in the breakfast and lunch menus.

Special problems

Although late toxicosis most often appears in the third trimester, it sometimes occurs in the second half of pregnancy.

Its main features:

  • The appearance of protein in the urine;
  • Swelling of the limbs;
  • High blood pressure.

Gestosis is very dangerous not only for health, but also for the life of the mother and child. It can be provoked by pathologies of the cardiovascular and urinary system of a woman, when pregnancy provokes an exacerbation of diseases. Late toxicosis also appears in healthy women if they are overworked, poorly nourished, exposed to toxins, have bad habits or a hereditary predisposition.

Treatment of gestosis is carried out in a hospital in bed rest. Body weight, urine protein content, blood pressure, and fetal health are monitored.

In order for the pregnancy to pass without complications, you should follow the doctor's recommendations, eat right, and prevent edema, varicose veins and constipation.

Video about the benefits of yoga for a pregnant woman, about the development of the baby's nervous system, about the parameters of a second trimester ultrasound scan:


The author of the article: Lapikova Valentina Vladimirovna | Gynecologist, reproductologist

Education: Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynecology received at the Russian State Medical University of the Federal Agency for Healthcare and Social Development (2010). In 2013 completed postgraduate studies at N. N. N. I. Pirogova.


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