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22 weeks pregnant



Your baby's development at 22 weeks

When you are 22 weeks pregnant your baby can hear well enough to be soothed by your voice and may have settled into a regular pattern of sleep and wakefulness. Vitamin C continues to be an important part of your balanced pregnancy diet due to its role in the production of collagen, which helps to build your baby’s bones, teeth, muscles and skin. Learn how much you need and how to get a healthy intake.

Cell development in week 22 of pregnancy

In week 22 of pregnancy, your baby measures roughly 20cm from head to bottom and weighs close to 450g (15oz)1.  

 "Your baby’s development at 22 weeks"

Around this time, their hearing and recognition have improved and they can respond to your voice and to different sounds, rhythms and melodies1,2. Because of this, you could try talking and singing to your baby. Once they’re born they may find the same sound soothing.

“Your baby may have a daily sleep pattern, with regular periods of wakefulness and rest.”

At this stage, your baby probably has a sleeping routine3, which you may have already noticed. Many mums report their baby becoming more active when they lay down for the night, whereas walking or other activities can soothe your baby to sleep.

Although they’re still practising breathing movements4, their lungs aren’t yet functioning properly and they’ll continue to get all the oxygen they need via the placenta until they’re born3.

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Keeping up with vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient throughout pregnancy. It protects cells and keeps them healthy, and helps maintain both the immune and nervous system. Furthermore, it’s needed to make collagen, which forms teeth, skin, gums, cartilage, bones and blood vessels.

Vitamin C also assists in the absorption of iron, which supports cognitive function5. This makes it an even more important component of a healthy diet.

“Vitamin C is essential for collagen production, which helps make bones, blood vessels, teeth and skin."

The Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) of vitamin C during pregnancy is 40mg per day with an extra 10mg required in the last trimester of pregnancy only6. It’s possible to get all the vitamin C that you and your baby need from a healthy, balanced diet.

Next Steps

Add one of the following vitamin C-rich foods to your mealtimes to increase your absorption of iron:

  • Fruit, e.g. oranges, kiwi fruit, strawberries, blueberries
  • A squeeze of lemon or lime
  • Fresh fruit juice
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Raw spinach leaves
  • Tomatoes
  • Brussels sprouts

View references

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1. Murkoff H, Mazel S. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. 4th ed. London: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2009. p. 262.

2. NHS UK. You and your baby at 17-20 weeks pregnant [Online]. 2013. Available at: [Accessed July 2014]

3. NHS UK. You and your baby at 21-24 weeks pregnant [Online]. 2013. Available at: [Accessed July 2014]

4. Deans A. Your New Pregnancy Bible, The experts’ guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. 4th ed. London: Carroll & Brown Publishers Limited, 2013.

5. 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.

6. 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.

Last reviewed: 14th July 2016
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