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Pregnancy at week 22

4-minute read

Your baby

Your baby now weighs about 460g and is about 19cm long, which means they would fit into your cupped hands.

Some parts of their 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 baby at 22 weeks


Your body

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

Many women develop haemorrhoids during pregnancy. These lumps form around the anus if you are constipated, or they may be due to pressure from the growing baby and uterus. They can be itchy, or make it painful to go to the toilet. To avoid haemorrhoids, make sure you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables for their fibre; avoid straining when you’re using the toilet; and if possible, avoid standing for a long time.

You might be feeling quite emotional now, and this is normal. But if you are very stressed for any reason, it’s important that you talk to your doctor or midwife. 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, although they may have started earlier or may not start until later in your pregnancy. These are a type of contraction where the muscles of your uterus tighten and your bump goes hard.

Braxton Hicks contractions are not the same as labour pains. They aren’t regular and they often go away if you shift position.

If the contractions are painful, regular or getting stronger, they could be a sign of premature labour. Always contact your doctor 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.

Read next

Pregnancy at week 23

Your pregnancy at 23 weeks

Learn about your pregnancy journey and what is happening to you and your baby.

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Last reviewed: April 2022

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