Need to talk? Call 1800 882 436.
It's a free call with a maternal child health nurse. *call charges may apply from your mobile

Is it an emergency? Dial 000
If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately.

beginning of content

Pregnancy at week 22

4-minute read

Your baby

Most parts of your baby's body are now fully formed, including their inner ear and the retina in their eyes, although the irises don't have any colour yet. They have eyelashes and the nails have grown to the ends of their fingers.

Your baby is now probably lying across your tummy, in the 'transverse' position, but they are moving and changing position all the time. Their movements become stronger and more defined as their muscles mature.

Your body

Some women may develop haemorrhoids during pregnancy. These lumps usually form around the anus if you are constipated, or they may be due to pressure from your growing baby and uterus. They can be itchy, or make it painful to go to the toilet. To avoid haemorrhoids, try eating plenty of fruit and vegetables for their fibre and keep well hydrated. This can help avoid straining when you're using the toilet; and if possible, avoid standing for a long time.

You may also have a range of pregnancy discomforts, including bloating and gas, varicose veins, backache, bleeding gums and stretch marks.

You might be feeling quite emotional, and while some changes in your mood can be normal during pregnancy, if feelings of low mood or worrying continue for more than 2 weeks, it could be a sign of depression or anxiety. It's important that you talk to your doctor or midwife if you are concerned, as there are many treatments that can help.

If you feel as though you are having a personal crisis, call Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.

Things to remember

You may start to feel Braxton Hicks contractions around now. These are a type of contraction where the muscles of your uterus tighten and your uterus goes hard. Braxton Hicks contractions are not the same as labour pains. They aren't regular and usually go away if you change position.

If the contractions are painful, regular or getting stronger, they could be a sign of premature labour. Always contact your doctor or midwife if you have contractions along with pain, pressure or discomfort in your pelvis, abdomen or lower back. If you're not sure whether they are Braxton Hicks or labour pains, always call your doctor or midwife, just to be on the safe side.

Resources and support

Speak to your doctor, midwife or obstetrician if you have questions about your pregnancy.

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby also has more information on:

Speak to a maternal child health nurse

Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436 or video call. Available 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week.

NEXT WEEK...YOUR PREGNANCY AT WEEK 23 — Learn about your pregnancy journey and what is happening to you and your baby.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: August 2023

Back To Top

Need more information?

Braxton Hicks contractions

Braxton Hicks contractions are a normal part of pregnancy. Find out more about Braxton Hicks, which are short, irregular and usually painless.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Pregnancy at week 35

You'll probably be having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions by now. It's your body's way of preparing for the birth. They should stop if you move position.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Pregnant with twins? About twin pregnancy | Raising Children Network

Pregnant with twins? Twin pregnancy can have more complications, so you’ll need more check-ups. Here’s what to expect in your pregnancy and antenatal care.

Read more on website

Pregnancy health problems & complications | Raising Children Network

Many pregnancy health problems are mild, but always call your doctor if you’re worried about symptoms. A healthy lifestyle can help you avoid health problems.

Read more on website

Breech pregnancy

When a baby is positioned bottom-down late in pregnancy, this is called the breech position. Find out about 3 main types and safe birthing options.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Pregnancy Care

Expectant parents often start researching pregnancy care when they first start planning for a family or early in a pregnancy. Pregnancy care covers the medical and health professionals who will care for expectant parents and provide medical advice during ante-natal check-ups and classes, as well as during labour, birth and the first few weeks after birth.

Read more on Gidget Foundation Australia website

Anxiety in Pregnancy

Understanding perinatal anxiety - Pregnancy is a period of significant change, future planning and lots of anticipation, so some stress and worry is normal and expected. There is much uncertainty for prospective parents about when their baby will be born, what the birth will be like and how they will manage early parenthood.

Read more on Gidget Foundation Australia website

Anatomy of pregnancy and birth - uterus

Your uterus is your baby's home during pregnancy. Read how the uterus works and how it changes during pregnancy, labour and after you give birth.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Glossary of pregnancy and labour

Glossary of common terms and abbreviations used in pregnancy and labour.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Anatomy of pregnancy and birth

From conception to giving birth, your body goes through many physical changes. Learn what happens to your body during pregnancy and labour.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Call us and speak to a Maternal Child Health Nurse for personal advice and guidance.

Need further advice or guidance from our maternal child health nurses?

Healthdirect Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners and to Elders both past and present.

This information is for your general information and use only and is not intended to be used as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes.

The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional.

Except as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, this publication or any part of it may not be reproduced, altered, adapted, stored and/or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Healthdirect Australia.