You’re 23 weeks pregnant!
Your pregnancy is in full swing and your baby is growing quickly.
Are you feeling more excited now you’re getting close to the third trimester?
This 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 they can feel (and see!) your baby moving around.
At 23 weeks pregnant, you may notice you’re gaining weight steadily each week.
This is to be expected as your baby is gaining weight rapidly.
Stick to a balanced diet and moderate exercise which will help to keep you in a healthy weight range.
Healthy weight gain means you’re less likely to experience health problems which can lead to complications later in pregnancy.
These complications mean you are also more likely to face interventions during birth.
These interventions include induction, assisted birth (forceps or vacuum) and c-section.
23 Weeks Pregnant – Everything You Need To Know
You’re likely quite busy between keeping up with your normal life and preparing for life with baby.
You may still be feeling very energetic, or you may have started to feel your energy wane a bit lately.
If so, it might be time to start taking it easy on the weekends.
But don’t forget to continue to get some regular exercise.
Moderate exercise, like walking or swimming, will help you to have more energy throughout your pregnancy.
Regular exercise keeps your upper leg and pelvic muscles strong.
This will be useful when it comes time to give birth. Exercise helps increase circulation as well.
As always, don’t overheat when exercising and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Have you noticed any interesting dreams lately?
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.
Have you started planning for your maternity leave yet?
It’s worth finding out what your partner’s entitlements are in terms of paternity/family leave too.
It’s really helpful to have as much support as possible in the first weeks after you give birth.
Putting some money aside if your budget allows is also a good way to plan for when your income changes.
23 Weeks Pregnant – Your Body
Indigestion and heartburn are significant parts of your life when you’re 23 weeks pregnant.
Your uterus is above your belly button now.
This is pushing up against your stomach and your oesophagus.
By the end of your pregnancy, you may have lost as much as five centimetres of space in these areas.
Stretching up and bending backwards can help alleviate the cramped feeling in your abdomen.
Try to remember to take some slow deep breaths every so often too.
Adding to your digestive problems are pregnancy hormones.
High levels of progesterone causes muscle relaxation.
This slows digestion and causes the stomach to empty into the small intestine more slowly.
As a result acids to build up in the stomach and back up into the oesophagus.
Over the counter heartburn medicines are safe for you.
If these aren’t enough to manage your symptoms, talk to your doctor.
Avoid eating right before bed, as lying down makes the symptoms worse.
Around this time, you may notice the start of a dark line down the centre of your belly, called a linea nigra.
It’s actually always been there, but pregnancy causes hyper pigmentation which makes it noticeable.
It will fade after baby is born. Check out Linea Nigra During Pregnancy – What You Need To Know for more information.
You might also start to see some swelling in your ankles and feet.
This is normal but sudden swelling should always be reported to your care provider.
23 Weeks Pregnant – Your Baby
In week 23 your baby’s skin is beginning to thicken and turn more opaque.
As capillaries begins to form your baby’s skin will start to look pinker.
Your baby is also
All of your baby’s muscles are working and beginning to coordinate.
So you might even notice more definite movements rather than the fluttering feeling.
In your baby’s lungs a special substance is starting to be produced in preparation for breathing air after birth.
This substance is called surfactant. If a mother goes into preterm labour (before 36 weeks) she is usually given steroids by injection to help baby to increase surfactant levels.
Your baby at 23 weeks is still getting all nutrition needs through the placenta.
But is swallowing a certain amount of amniotic fluid every day.
You may notice in the weeks to come your baby is quieter during the day when you are moving around.
This is because your body movements are soothing and comforting.
After birth you’ll notice how your baby likes to be held and is comforted by movement.
Your baby can hear quite well at 23 weeks. This includes your voice and your partner’s, but also sounds like dogs barking and the vacuum cleaner.
If your baby was born at 23 weeks the rate of survival would be around 16% with immediate and quality care.
However the rate of survival for premature babies jumps dramatically by 24 weeks, to almost 45%.
It’s scary to think about having a premature baby,.
However if you’re worried or at risk for preterm birth, knowing the survival rates based on week can be reassuring.
You can read more in Premature Survival Rates By Week.
This week, your baby probably weighs between 370 and 566 grams, and is about 28-31 cm long – the size of a large grapefruit.