At 23 weeks pregnant, your baby has grown so much and is becoming a gymnast. The muscles are growing firmer and the sweet soft kicks stronger. Well, go ahead and count the lovely kicks from your bundle of joy and record in a pregnancy journal. And, believe it or not, the baby can also recognize your voice. Therefore, tell him/her impressive mummy stories or recite lovely poems for a stronger bond. Week 23 has more than you can imagine!
Your Baby at 23 Weeks Pregnant
Over the last 23 weeks, your baby has grown at supersonic speed. Most of the organs are well developed and the weight has increased steadily to hit 1.1 pounds. Impressive! Right? The baby’s length has also increased to reach 11.4 inches from the head to the foot.
If you didn’t know, the baby is not just getting bigger but also becoming cuter! Facial features such as eyes, eyebrows, nose, mouth, and nose have moved to their right positions. Your baby is a cutie!
Your baby really loves to sleep! Though the eyes are well developed, the eyelids are fully shut and will remain that way until delivery. However, he/she spends about 80% of the time sleeping in what is called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. During REM sleep, the baby’s eyes move and the brain is active.
The baby’s circulatory system is also extending rapidly. Unlike in the first few weeks of pregnancy when the bulk of the nutrients moved from one cell to another through osmosis, the transport is now through the blood vessels. The vessels carry minerals and nutrients from the umbilical cord and distribute them to the entire body.
As the network of blood vessels continue to grow, another network of nerves is also developing. However, this is starting from the head through the backbone and terminating at different parts of the body. The nerves development is one of the main reasons why the baby is capable of perceiving sound and light.
Your Body at 23 Weeks Pregnant
By the time you are 23 weeks pregnant, it is not just the baby that is adding weight. You are also adding weight through fat that is packing on the breasts, butt, thigh and other parts of the body. In total, you are likely to have added about 14 pounds by the close of the 23rd week of pregnancy. If you are carrying twins, your weight should have increased by about 23 pounds.
The fundal height (distance from the top of the uterus to the pubic bone) has also increased from 21-24.5 centimeters. This means that the baby bump is clearly visible to everyone who sees you. Therefore, get yourself comfortable and attractive free dresses that make it easy for you to work without putting a lot of pressure on the body or your developing baby.
23 Weeks Pregnant is How Many Months?
At 23 weeks pregnant, you are now into the sixth month of pregnancy. Time is moving at supersonic speed! Now, you are only remaining with 17 weeks to hit the due date. Here you need to know one thing; the remaining weeks will rush even faster. Indeed, the baby can even be born starting from week 38 and still be considered full-term.
If you had not started seeing the end of your pregnancy journey, believe it or not, it is closer than you think. Therefore, get everything including the birth plan and pregnancy hospital bag ready.
23 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound
Are you wondering how your baby scan looks like in the 23rd week of pregnancy? If you were to have an ultrasound this week, it would reveal finer details of your developing baby. Well, take a closer look and you will note the nipples starting to protrude in the chest and fingernails on the hands. The finger and toenails will continue developing in the remaining 17 weeks, and it might be necessary to trim them after birth.
The ultrasound can also be able to reveal the developing network of blood vessels and nerves. However, the appearance will be faint because of the developing skin and the protective layer of vernix on top.
23 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
Swollen Ankles and Feet
The high level of pregnancy hormones and pressure to the lower part of your body can result in swollen feet and ankles. Make sure to walk regularly, take a lot of beverages, and massage your feet to reduce swelling. Though some swelling is expected and will stop after delivery, you should seek help from your healthcare provider if the problem gets extreme.
Sorry, but your backaches will persist throughout the second and third trimesters. The problem is caused by the hormone relaxin and the increasing weight that causes the spine to bend. If the backache becomes severe and regular, make sure to notify your doctor because it could be a sign of pre-term labor.
Perhaps you did not anticipate the pregnancy to affect your mouth. But it does! The pregnancy hormones increase the blood flow to the gums making them swell. If the gum becomes more sensitive, consider getting a soft bristle toothbrush. It is also important to visit your dentist for a regular dental checkup.
Darkening of linea nigra
Have you noted a dark line that starts at the belly button and runs down to the pubic area? This is linea nigra. On week 23, the line is getting darker and thicker. Well, do not worry about this because it will disappear a few weeks after delivery.
Things to Do at 23 Weeks Pregnant
Notify your Employer about the Pregnancy
At 23 weeks pregnant, it is the ideal time to notify your employer that you are pregnant. Even though everyone including your seniors have already noted the baby bump and perhaps congratulated you, it is prudent to get it into writing in order to specify the dates you would want to commence maternity leave. In many cases, this notification is used to authorize the release of your maternity pay and related benefits.
Once you notify your boss, he/she is obligated to ensure that the environment is healthy and safe for you and your baby. For example, you might be assigned simpler tasks that you are comfortable to handle.
Learn the signs of pre-term labor
Pre-term labor means when labor starts before the close of the 37th week. Here, the goal is noting the signs and seeing your doctor immediately. If the signs are noted early enough, the doctor can use medication to buy some time for the baby in the womb so that it can grow a little more before delivery.
Some of the signs of pre-term labor that you need to know about include vaginal discharge that is watery or bloody, regular contractions, constant lower backache, abdominal cramps and pressure in your pelvis.
Tell your other Children about the Coming Baby
If you have other children, the 23rd week of pregnancy could be an ideal time for telling them about the baby to be born. Already, they might have started asking you questions about your size, new free dresses, and baby nursery. Here, you need to tell them about the new baby, when to expect it and how sweet he/she will be. It might also be the ideal time to settle one burning question that kids always have: “Where do babies come from?”
Note: If you find it difficult to tell your children about the baby, consider seeking the assistance of a medical expert.
Plan a Pregnancy Photo Shoot
If you want to create lasting memories about your pregnancy, consider a photo shoot. The 23rd week will be a perfect time because you are still energetic. Since the baby bump is not so big, it is still possible to pull an impressive pose for a great shot. Great photo shoots can be done away in a picturesque destination or at home next to the nursery.
Create your Baby’s Savings Account
Did you know how much it costs to bring up a baby to the age of 18 years? It’s a whopping $226,000! This is a lot of money and making some savings towards that can come in handy. Therefore, set an account for the baby and start saving something as early as the 23rd week of pregnancy.
23 Weeks Pregnant Checklist
- Join a local breastfeeding class. If there is none or do not like what is available, consider using the online classes.
- Start parking the hospital pregnancy bag. It is not too early to have the bag ready. Some of the items to include are hospital paperwork documents such as insurance card and ID. You also need to have a bathrobe, socks, and flip-flop.
- Conclude your birth plan and include it in the hospital pregnancy bag. If there are areas that are unclear, make sure to consult.
- If you have started feeling baby movements, make sure to record them in a pregnancy journal.
- Continue taking the recommended dose of multivitamins, calcium, phosphorous and magnesium.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor at 23 Weeks Pregnant
- What urinary tract infections (UTI) am I at risk of suffering from? How can I prevent them?
- Now that the baby’s hearing sense is developed, can it be damaged by loud noises?
- What quantity of coffee should I consider safe to use on a daily basis?
At 23 weeks pregnant, you are only one month to hit the last lap of your pregnancy; the third trimester. This week is characterized by faster growth of your baby as it hits 11.4 inches from the head to the feet.
As we have demonstrated, you might be closer to the finish line than thought because a baby can be born from week 38 and still be considered full-term. Therefore, it is time to conclude most preparations such as a birth plan and maternity leave in readiness for labor and delivery.
Do not leave anything out: Have a checklist to ensure everything is done correctly!
Go back to week 22.
Go forward to week 24.