When you're 23 weeks pregnant, your baby is already looking like a tiny human — just a little smaller and skinnier. At just 450g, fetal already quite developed, and keeps growing every day. With his sense of movement well developed now, your little one can feel you moving and dancing — and may even respond to this movement with his own. Regular visits to your care provider are a must during week 23 to ensure that your baby’s on the right track and that he’s growing healthily.
What to expect at 23 weeks pregnant? One of the most common symptoms you’re going to experience during week 23 of pregnancy is edema — swelling of the ankles and feet due to sluggish blood circulation and changes in your blood chemistry. This usually happens around the end of the day or during the heat of summer. To reduce swelling and prevent varicose veins, make sure to wear comfortable shoes and compressive garments, which promote blood flow to the legs. Keep in mind that, while some swelling is normal during pregnancy, excessive swelling may be a sign of a more serious condition called preeclampsia. If this is your case, talk to your doctor or midwife about it.
Backache has probably started to set in weeks ago, and will keep bothering you as your belly grows. It’s important to watch your posture and never put too much pressure on your back. Take regular breaks to stretch your legs, and don’t sit or stand for too long as this may worsen the pain.
By now, you have likely gained around 15 pounds or so. Have you piled on more pounds? No worries — women have different weight gain rates, so while some put on weight slowly, others gain weight pretty fast. If your doctor or midwife isn’t concerned about this, neither should you.
Your Baby at 23 Weeks
How big is a baby at 23 weeks? At 11 inches long and one-pound weight, your baby is the size ofan eggplant now. During week 23, blood vessels are developing to prepare for breathing — and also for the first breaths after birth. Although his body has the proportions of a newborn, he doesn’t have much fat right now, so he’s got some bulking to do during the remaining 17 weeks. His irises still lack pigment, though the eyes are fully developed.
Did you know that your baby can hear noises and respond to them? That’s right — he may even be able to recognize certain sounds, such as your heartbeat or music. Unexpected noises can make him literally jump in your womb, or start exercising his martial arts skills. Research has shown that babies prefer listening to soothing classical music, so perhaps you can introduce your little one to Beethoven and Mozart early on! Once fat starts to deposits in, your baby’s skin will no longer be transparent — and neither his organs nor his blood vessels will be visible to the eye. At this point, his skin is a little saggy since there’s little fat, but as pregnancy progresses, he’ll start gaining more fat — and his skin will have that plump, chubby appearance at birth!
Ultrasound Images of 23 Week Pregnancy
Bellies at 23 Weeks
If you experience swelling of the feet or ankles, try to exercise more often or wear compressive garments to promote blood flow to the legs. Also, you may want to buy shoes that are one size bigger so your feet or ankles won’t be painful when you walk around. High heels should be left for special occasions only, otherwise you’ll end up with some very dreadful blisters!
When your back becomes particularly painful, lie down to soothe the discomfort. The secret is to avoid putting too much pressure on your back, so rest as often as needed — and don’t forget to drink liquids and stay hydrated.