You’re 23 weeks pregnant!
You have 17 weeks to go. Has that baby bump popped out yet?
If you had a flat tummy before, or if this is your first baby, it might take a little while to see that gorgeous bump.
But your pregnancy is definitely in full swing, and your baby is growing quickly.
You might be ready to plan your maternity leave. Talk to your manager or boss about when you will take maternity leave and what your entitlements are.
How many months is 23 weeks pregnant?
Are you feeling more excited now you’re getting close to the third trimester?
Wondering how many months 23 weeks pregnant is?
You’re now in the 6th month of pregnancy milestones. Not long to go!
23 weeks pregnant belly
Pregnancy week 23 is often the time most pregnant women really start to feel connected to their baby.
Your partner is also likely to enjoy cuddling up to your bump.
Maybe your partner can already feel those movements under your skin.
If not, it won’t be long before he can feel (and even see) your baby moving around.
23 weeks pregnant weight gain
At 23 weeks pregnant, you might notice a steady weight gain each week.
This is to be expected, as your baby is gaining weight rapidly.
Stick to a balanced diet and do some moderate exercise. This will help you keep within a healthy weight range.
Healthy weight gain means you’re less likely to experience health problems that lead to complications later in pregnancy.
Pregnancy complications make it more likely that you’ll face interventions during birth.
You’re probably quite busy now – keeping up with your normal life while you also prepare for life with baby.
You might feel energetic, or perhaps you have started to feel your energy wane a bit lately.
You should try to spend some time outside in the sun to keep your vitamin D levels up. Vitamin D is important for your baby’s bone growth, brain development, and future health.
If you feel less energetic, start to take it easy at weekends. But don’t forget to continue with your regular exercise.
Moderate exercise, like walking or swimming, will promote energy throughout your pregnancy.
Regular exercise keeps your body strong. This will be useful when it comes time to give birth.
Exercise also helps increase circulation. There are so many positive benefits to exercise during pregnancy, it’s important to make sure you include it each day.
As always, don’t become overheated while exercising, and be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and avoid water retention.
23 weeks pregnant pains
It’s not uncommon to feel some body aches and pains at 23 weeks pregnant. Your growing bump is starting to stretch ligaments, and this can cause sharp pain in the pelvic area.
You might also feel some rib pain, as that area stretches to accommodate your growing bump. Your back might start to ache a bit too, or you could get sudden leg cramps – especially at night.
Contact your maternity care provider immediately if you experience:
- Any pain that feels like menstrual cramps
- Abdominal pain
- Leaking of amniotic fluid.
These symptoms need to be investigated immediately, in case you’re at risk for preterm labor.
23 weeks pregnant symptoms
Have you had any interesting dreams lately? It’s another of those pregnancy symptoms.
It’s quite common in the second trimester for pregnant women to have really intense and vivid dreams. These dreams often leave such a deep impression you remember them the next day.
Symptoms at 23 weeks mostly center on the growth of your belly.
Your uterus is above your navel now. Your baby has grown to such an extent that there is extra pressure on your bladder. It’s not unusual to have to pee regularly, or even leak a little.
The uterus is also pushing up against your stomach and your esophagus, which might cause indigestion and heartburn.
By the end of your pregnancy, you could have lost as much as five centimeters of space in these areas.
Pregnancy hormones are also adding to your digestive problems. High levels of progesterone cause muscle relaxation. This slows digestion and causes the stomach to empty into the small intestine more slowly.
Over-the-counter heartburn medicines are safe for you to take. If they aren’t doing enough to manage your symptoms, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider.
About this time, you might notice the start of a dark line down the center of your belly. It’s called a linea nigra. It’s actually always been there, but pregnancy causes hyperpigmentation, which makes it noticeable.
Like stretch marks, this line will fade after the baby is born.
Check out Linea Nigra During Pregnancy – What You Need To Know for more information.
You might also start to notice some gradual swelling in your ankles and feet. This is normal, but sudden swelling can be a sign of a dangerous pregnancy complication and should always be investigated. Make sure to contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Vaginal discharge that is watery, white in color, and odorless is typical throughout pregnancy. It’s known as leukorrhea.
If you experience persistent clear fluid leakage, however, your amniotic sac might have ruptured.
If you’re not sure whether it’s a bladder discharge or amniotic fluid, and you believe something is wrong, call your doctor.
How big is a uterus at 23 weeks?
The top of your uterus (fundas) has risen above your belly button.
It’s now about the size of a soccer ball. And it will be even larger if you are expecting twins or multiple babies.
It’s normal to have a bit of anxiety now and then, but try to focus on taking care of yourself and your baby – and have faith that you’re well equipped for what’s ahead.
When do you start producing milk?
This week, your breasts will begin to produce colostrum. Colostrum is the ‘pre-milk’ that nourishes and protects your baby during the first few days of breastfeeding.
Your nipples might have a yellowish discharge. Leaking breast milk is absolutely natural and should not be treated as a cause for concern. Some mothers will start to express this colostrum, and keep it in case their baby needs it after birth.
Be sure to read Expressing Colostrum During Pregnancy for more information.
How should I sleep at 23 weeks pregnant?
At 23 weeks you might notice how tricky it is to get in a comfortable position, especially if you’re used to sleeping on your belly.
You can sleep on either side, although it’s a good idea to start getting used to sleeping on your left.
The left side position allows for maximum flow of blood and nutrients to the placenta (which means less stress on major blood vessels).
It also enhances kidney function, which means better elimination of waste products and less swelling in your feet, ankles, and hands.
If you have trouble sleeping, try a pregnancy pillow. This might ease your discomfort and help you find a comfortable sleeping spot.
23 weeks pregnant ultrasound
You have probably had your morphology scan at the 18-22 week mark in pregnancy. Sometimes things get busy and this scan doesn’t happen until 23 weeks.
The morphology scan looks for any obvious fetal abnormalities and the growth of your baby.
It’s good to know the risks and benefits of having ultrasounds during pregnancy, so you can make an informed decision. Your healthcare provider can discuss any potential concerns about further tests.
Be sure to read Ultrasounds In Pregnancy – Risks and Benefits for more information.
What should I be eating at 23 weeks pregnant?
A balanced, nutritious diet during pregnancy is vital for a healthy mother and baby. A healthy diet ensures the fetus gets the nutrients it needs to develop correctly.
Through your diet, you’re providing the building blocks for your baby, as well as ensuring your body copes with the demands of pregnancy.
Ideally, your diet should include all the essential minerals and vitamins, such as iron, protein, calcium, folate, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids (essential for your baby’s brain development).
These are included in:
- Lean meat
- Cooked seafood
- Beans and lentils
- Whole grains, including bread and oatmeal
- Fortified breakfast cereals
- Tofu and tempeh
- Fish (cooked, not raw)
- Peas, beans, and lentils
- Dairy (milk, yogurt, pasteurized cheese)
- White beans
- Greens, such as kale, broccoli, and turnip greens
- Calcium-fortified fruit juices and breakfast cereals
- Black-eyed peas and other legumes
- Dark green leafy vegetables, including spinach, cabbage, and collard greens
- Whole grains, such as rice
- Fish and fish liver oils
- Beef liver
- UV-exposed mushrooms
- Oily fish, including salmon, mackerel, fresh tuna, herring, and sardines (with bones)
- Chia seeds
Your midwife or doctor will be able to provide you with more information and, if your diet is deficient, you may be able to be have supplementation.
More information can be found in What Foods Can You Eat During Pregnancy?.
What is my baby doing at 23 weeks?
At week 23 all of your baby’s muscles are now working and beginning to coordinate. He might suck his thumb and get the hiccups.
Your baby’s heartbeat is more prominent and can be heard through a stethoscope.
You might even notice more definite movements rather than a fluttering feeling. You’ll get to know your baby’s patterns.
The baby’s lungs are starting to produce a special substance called surfactant. This is happening to prepare your baby to breathe air after birth.
If a mother goes into preterm labor before 36 weeks, she’ll have steroid injections, to help baby increase surfactant levels.
At 23 weeks pregnant your baby is still meeting all his nutritional needs through the placenta.
In the weeks to come, you might notice your baby is quieter during the day when you are moving around.
This is because your body movements are soothing and comforting.
After the birth, you’ll notice how your baby likes to be held and is comforted by movement.
At 23 weeks, your baby can hear sounds quite well, including your voice and your partner’s. He can also hear things like dogs barking and the sound of a vacuum cleaner.
Can a baby born at 23 weeks survive?
If a baby were born at pregnancy week 23, with immediate and quality care, the rate of survival would be around 16%.
The rate of survival for premature babies jumps dramatically at 24 weeks, to almost 45%.
It’s scary to think about having a premature baby.
However, if you’re worried, or if you’re at risk for preterm birth, knowing the survival rates, based on weeks of gestation, can be reassuring.
You can read more in Premature Survival Rates By Week.
What does a baby look like at 23 weeks in the womb?
In week 23 your baby’s skin is beginning to thicken and become more opaque.
As capillaries begin to form, your baby’s skin will start to look pinker. Your baby looks a bit saggy and wrinkly right now, as there’s very little fat under the skin.
23 weeks pregnant baby weight in kg
This week, your baby weighs around 370 grams (.81 pounds) and is about 28-31 cm (11-12 inches) long – about the size of a large grapefruit.