You and Your Baby at Week 23 of Your Pregnancy

(10 minute read)

You and Your Baby at Week 23 of Your Pregnancy

Week 23

Now entering your 23rd week, you are more than halfway through this beautiful journey, with a growing baby inside you and numerous changes continuing to happen in your body.

How Big is Baby at 23 Weeks?

At 23 weeks, your baby is growing rapidly. In terms of size, the foetus is now about 28.9cm long from head to toe and weighs approximately 500 grams, or 1.1 pounds. This is roughly the size of a large mango or a grapefruit. The baby's size at this stage makes movements more noticeable, and you might feel more kicks, punches and wiggles.

The baby's skin is a bit saggy since they haven't yet grown into it. It's also covered with a protective coating called vernix caseosa, which helps protect the baby's delicate skin from the amniotic fluid.

The lungs are developing rapidly, and although they are not fully functional yet, your baby is practising breathing movements in preparation for life in the outside world. Along with this, your baby will also be establishing sleeping and waking patterns which will probably not match your own! This can be one of the factors that keep you awake at night.

The baby's hearing is more developed now. He or she can hear your heartbeat, your voice, and even muffled sounds from the outside world. Talking and singing to your baby is a great way of bonding.

Changes in Your Body at Week 23

As your baby continues to grow rapidly, your body also undergoes significant changes:

Physical Changes

Uterus Size: Your uterus is now the size of a soccer ball, which might be noticeable as your bump continues to expand.

Weight Gain: Expect to have gained around 12 to 15 pounds, though this can vary widely from person to person.

Breast Changes: Your breasts might continue to grow and become more tender as they prepare for breastfeeding. They may also start leaking colostrum, which is the early form of breast milk.

Week 19 Fetus (33)

Pregnancy Symptoms at Week 23

Pregnancy symptoms can vary widely from woman to woman, but common symptoms during the 23rd week include:

Braxton Hicks Contractions: These are "practise" contractions and are usually painless. They are your body's way of preparing for labour.

Rip pain: You may also experience pain in your ribs which is due to your rib cage expanding to accommodate your growing bump.

Breathlessness: Your growing baby can put pressure on your lungs which could cause breathlessness.

Swollen Feet and Ankles: Increased fluid retention and pressure from your growing uterus can lead to swelling in your feet and ankles.

Backaches: The extra weight can strain your back, leading to discomfort or pain.

Heartburn and Indigestion: Hormonal changes and the pressure of the expanding uterus on your stomach can cause digestive discomfort, as well as constipation.

Leg Cramps: Cramps in your legs, particularly at night, can be a common symptom due to the extra weight and changes in blood circulation.

Fatigue and Insomnia: The best remedy for this is to take it easy and take frequent naps.

 


Emotional Changes

Emotionally, you might experience mood swings, anxiety, or excitement as you prepare for the arrival of your baby. It is essential to take care of your mental health and seek support when needed.

Managing Symptoms and Staying Healthy

To manage these symptoms and maintain your health during this period, consider the following tips:

Nutrition: Eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and try to avoid too much tea and coffee. Alcohol is obviously out!

Exercise: Engage in gentle exercise, such as walking or prenatal yoga, to stay active and manage weight gain, but don't overdo it.

Rest: Get plenty of rest and sleep. Using a pregnancy pillow for support is a great idea to stay comfortable.

Prenatal Care: Continue with regular prenatal checkups to monitor your and your baby's health.

 

Week 23 of pregnancy is a time of continuing rapid growth and significant changes for both you and your baby. Remember to take care of yourself, monitor your health, and enjoy this wonderful journey. Each week brings you closer to meeting your little one, making every moment special and worth cherishing.

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