22 Weeks Pregnant: Pregnancy Symptoms & Baby Development

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Explore pregnancy stages week by week

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See how your baby is developing at 22 weeks pregnant. Learn about changes to your body, your baby and important nutrients for week 22 of pregnancy.




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22 weeks pregnant is how many months?

Month 5 (Trimester 2)


Baby development at 22 weeks

If you’re speaking to your bump, around now is when you’ll notice it responds.


Your body

Your growing baby could be piling on some pressure.


Diet & nutrition

Make sure you’re getting plenty of vitamin C.

What does my baby look like? What size is my baby?

In week 23 of pregnancy, your baby will have grown to around 20cm in length and weigh about 450g - roughly the size of a grapefruit1.

Your baby is gaining weight fast now. At this stage, his or her skin will still be transparent and appear as if it’s a little too big. That’s because it grows faster than their body, which then plays catch-up as it expands by storing fat. As your baby stores fat, their skin will lose its delicate, transparent appearance and start looking plumper and more solid2.

By now, you should feel your baby moving regularly. Along with kicking, twisting, turning and stretching, your baby can now grasp the umbilical cord if it passes near their hand.

His or her limbs will now be in proportion, and your little one will start to look more like the cute baby you’re expecting. Over the next few weeks, you’ll start to feel these longer limbs as they continue moving. You may also start to see some movements through your bump, too.

Baby development at 22 weeks Baby development at 22 weeks

Your baby’s well ahead of the game and already producing their adult teeth. They line up behind their milk teeth, although teething doesn’t usually start until they’re about six months old.1

Pregnancy at 22 weeks (second trimester) What’s happening in my body?

The most noticeable change spotted by others will be your growing bump. Yet some mums struggle to see anything other than the stretch marks that can appear. They affect around 80% of pregnant women6and ‘pregnancy stripes’ are something you should be proud of.

After birth, they fade to a light silver mark, but won’t completely vanish. There’s no need to waste money on ‘miracle cures’. Un-perfumed moisturiser or body oil is fine: just massage it gently into the affected areas.

The pregnancy hormone progesterone is also piling on the pressure4. Literally. It’s responsible for piles4 - or haemorrhoids - which are common in pregnancy. Progesterone relaxes the walls of blood vessels in your rectum, and with a growing baby pushing against the same blood vessels, they can swell up as piles.

To ease piles, eat plenty of high fibre foods, including wholemeal bread, fruit and vegetables, and drink plenty of fluids to keep your stools soft and regular. Hold a cloth dipped in iced water against your piles to ease pain, and ensure you talk to your doctor or midwife before using medication7.

Pregnancy symptoms in week 22

You may still be feeling the effects of raised oestrogen and progesterone from your first trimester. If they’re affecting how you’re feeling emotionally8, get plenty of rest and light exercise to keep you feeling like yourself.

These digestive problems are caused by your baby growing into some of the space your stomach occupies, and your changing hormones6.

Those hormones are the likely culprits. Paracetamol is usually safe to take during pregnancy, but always at the lowest effective dose, and for the shortest possible time7.

With your body pumping more blood, and rampaging hormones, you can feel extremely hot. And not always in the best sense of the word. Wear loose, breathable fabrics and stay hydrated with chilled water8.

Braxton-Hicks contractions, also known as ‘false labour pains’ happen when the womb contracts and relaxes. It’s your body’s way of ‘rehearsing’ for birth and not something to worry about. Some women don’t even notice them9.

You’ll need extra iron for your baby. Signs of iron deficiency include feeling tired, and looking pale8. Talk to your midwife about taking an iron supplement.

Focus on Vitamin C

As well as boosting your own immune system, vitamin C will also boost that of your baby. Vitamin C protects and keeps cells healthy, and supports both the immune and nervous system. Vitamin C also helps your baby absorb iron, which supports cognitive function13.

The Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) of vitamin C for pregnancy is 40mg each day - with an extra 10mg per day in the last trimester14.

The science behind Vitamin C, Powered by Nutricia

Vitamin C is needed by your baby to help create collagen, a protein that creates the connective tissue that helps give your baby’s body its structure, while supporting their developing organs. Collagen also underpins teeth, skin, gums, cartilage, bones and blood vessels, and your baby’s wound healing ability15.

Vitamin C is also important for ‘non-haem’ iron absorption. There are two forms of iron: one from animal products and ‘non-haem’ iron, from plants. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron from plants16, further reducing the risk of iron-deficiency anaemia, which can affect your own health and your baby’s development17. Improving non-haem iron absorption from plants further builds up your baby’s iron stores to support learning and growth in their first six months of life18.

Your baby's future health begins here

At Aptaclub, we believe that experience helps to build resilience; and that each new encounter, whether in pregnancy or after birth, can shape your baby’s future development. With our scientific expertise and one-to-one round the clock support, we can help you and your baby embrace tomorrow.

mom and baby

Get in touch with our Careline experts

Our nutritionists and feeding advisors are always on hand to talk about feeding your baby. So if you have a question, just get in touch

  1. Voegtline KM, et al. Near-term fetal response to maternal spoken voice. Infant Behav Dev. 2013;36(4):526–533.
  2. Murkoff H, Mazel S. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. 4th ed. London: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2009. p. 262.
  3. NHS UK. You and your baby at 18 weeks pregnant [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/18-weeks-pregnant/ Page last reviewed: July 2018. Next review due: July 2021
  4. NHS UK. Start4life. Week 22 - your second trimester. [Online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/pregnancy/week-by-week/2nd-trimester/week-22/ [Accessed December 2019]
  5. Babycentre. Your pregnancy at 22 weeks. [Online] Available at: https://www.babycentre.co.uk/s1001619/your-pregnancy-at-22-weeks [Accessed December 2019]
  6. NHS UK. Stretch marks in pregnancy. [Online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/stretch-marks-pregnant/ Page last reviewed: 2 August 2019. Next review due: 2 August 2022.
  7. NHS UK. Piles in pregnancy. [Online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/piles-haemorrhoids-pregnant/ Page last reviewed: 22 January 2018. Next review due: 22 January 2021.
  8. Reproductive hormone sensitivity and risk for depression across the female life cycle: A continuum of vulnerability? Claudio N. Soares and Brook Zitek. First published: J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2008 Jul; 33(4): 331–343. [Online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2440795/
  9. NHS UK. Start4life. Week 15 - your second trimester. [Online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/pregnancy/week-by-week/2nd-trimester/week-15/ [Accessed December 2019]
  10. NHS UK. Start4life. Week 19 - your second trimester. [Online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/pregnancy/week-by-week/2nd-trimester/week-19/ [Accessed December 2019]
  11. NHS UK. Can I take paracetamol when I'm pregnant? [Online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/pregnancy/can-i-take-paracetamol-when-i-am-pregnant/ Page last reviewed: 1 June 2018. Next review due: 1 June 2021.
  12. NHS UK. Start4life. Week 25 - your second trimester. [Online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/pregnancy/week-by-week/2nd-trimester/week-25/ [Accessed December 2019]
  13. NHS UK. Vitamins for children. [Online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/vitamins-for-children/ Page last reviewed: February 2018. Next review due: February 2021
  14. Department of Health. Report on Health and Social Subjects 41. Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom. TSO: London, 1991.
  15. Maggini S et al. Essential Role of Vitamin C and Zinc in Child Immunity and Health. J Int Med Res 2010;38:386-414
  16. British Nutrition Foundation. Minerals and trace elements. [Online] Available at: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/nutrients-food-and-ingredients/minerals-and-trace-elements.html?start=8 [Accessed December 2019]
  17. NHS UK. Iron deficiency anaemia. [Online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/iron-deficiency-anaemia/ Page last reviewed: January 2018. Next review due: January 2021
  18. European Union. Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 of 16 May 2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods, other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health. OJ L 136 2012;1-40.

Last reviewed: 13th January 2020 
Reviewed by Nutricia’s Medical and Scientific Affairs Team

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