23rd Week Pregnancy - Symptoms, Baby Development, Tips And Body Changes

23rd week pregnancy

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There you are! Now you have been comfortably launched into the 23rd week of pregnancy. By now you must have bonded well with your growing baby, and the love you feel for her must be stronger than any emotion you have ever experienced in your life. Amazing, isn’t it?

Once you decide to be a mommy, you can never seem to do enough for your baby, even if it takes a toll on you.

23 Weeks Pregnant:

This urge to do everything right for your little one begins right from the moment you know you are pregnant. You want to eat right, you want to sleep right and you want to ensure your lifestyle is perfect, so that your baby is in the best of shape, even before birth. And of course, who can forget that urge to shop for the best of things for your soon-to-arrive baby, right?

This week, your body and your baby are going through some interesting changes.

Changes In Your Body During 23rd Week of Pregnancy:

Remember that pregnancy is a time that every woman experiences differently, and the body changes can also be very different. You do not have to make transformations to your lifestyle or diet by what you hear from others. You should pay heed to only what your healthcare provider tells you.

One certain change you can see in your body is the shape and size. Your bump seems to grow every day unlike the initial days when you could not feel it for quite few weeks. On an average you must have gained around 5-7 kg in weight by now.

Check out here what happens in 23rd week of pregnancy:

1. Growth Of Uterus:

Your uterus has grown enough to extend nearly 1 ½ inches above your belly button.

  • Unfortunately the underside of your uterus sits directly on your bladder, making you leak urine at times. This is entirely normal.
  • The amniotic fluid is often an odorless fluid. Do not forget to check the leakage, especially if it continues for a longer period.

[ Read: Stress During Pregnancy ]

2. Changes In Blood Volume:

You may be rushing to the restroom more often as there is increase in blood volume in the lower part of your body.

  • The increased blood flow will make you feel like urinating frequently, besides increasing your vaginal discharge.
  • This is also entirely normal, unless there is a major bleeding and you feel any discomfort. In that case, immediately get in touch with your doctor.

3. Dream Weaver:

Do you appear to have turned into some kind of a dream weaver all of a sudden? Not to worry. Weird and fantasy ridden dreams are another part of your second trimester in pregnancy.

  • Your baby may or may not be a part of your dreams, but if she makes her appearance, she will never be the dream girl you expect her to be in your dream.
  • Your dreams will not even come close to your everyday experiences, but will be set in some worried or fantasy land.
  • It is said that the increased brain activity during your pregnancy is responsible for the dreams.
  • Do not try to interpret these dreams as some signs of things to come or connect them with anything. They are just dreams which should be enjoyed if possible or forgotten without giving it a second thought.

4. Bundle Of Nerves:

Yes. There are times when you will feel like a bundle of nerves ready to fall apart. No wonder.

  • Since, the bundle of joy started growing in your womb there have been changes in every part of ‘YOU’.
  • You have to deal with mental, emotional, hormonal, relationship and physical changes during your pregnancy.
  • It is not easy to be someone else of a sudden; moreover you have to deal with a great responsibility of keeping your baby safe.
  • Naturally, you would feel nervous. Just breathe deeply and relax. This too shall pass.

5. Pummeling Of Ribs:

We know you do not want to blame your tiny baby for those sore ribs.

  • It is a fact that with the space to move in, your baby can pummel your ribs and internal organs with great powerful punches and kicks.
  • You may suffer sore ribs due to this occasionally.

6. Risk Of Pre-term Labor:

Do not panic if you experience pre-term labor.

  • Managing the situation is easier if you are cool and relaxed.
  • Just drink some water and rest for a while, until the phase passes away.
  • You can also lie down on your bed and elevate your lower body to reduce the risk of pre-term birth.
  • If the problem persists, get in touch with your healthcare provider immediately. You may need medication and hospital care to keep your pregnancy safe.

Some Physical Changes At A Glance:

In addition to the above changes in your body, you will also see the following 23rd week pregnancy symptoms:

  • Your bump gets attention even from strangers. You are definitely growing big and there is no hiding your bump anymore. Be proud and happy about it!
  • Your legs and hands may be swollen due to water retention.
  • Frequent visits to the loo, to empty your bladder, will continue.
  • You have become a voracious eater with ever present appetite. This could well continue till the time you feed your baby. Enjoy the no-diet phase!
  • Your skin may not be what it was prior to your pregnancy.
  • There are visible changes in your nails and hair.
  • You go through emotional roller coaster every now and then.
  • The brain may go fuzzy or stop responding to your requests completely at times.
  • Your may be holding a bundle of needles or pins in your hands, or that is what your sensations may tell you.
  • Pain and numbness in your hands and feet.
  • Constipation
  • Acid reflux
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings are present even though they may have stabilized now
  • Bleeding gums
  • You may experience the Braxton Hicks Contractions with increasing frequency
  • Nosebleeds
  • Vaginal discharge

Changes In Your Baby:

It is getting quite noisy in there for your baby. She can hear your tummy rumble, your heart beating rhythmically, your voice and other sounds through her tiny ears. Her hearing has improved a great deal.

That does not mean you have to stop using your mixer, lower the sound of TV or run away from barking dogs. The sounds that are from outside the womb do not bother your safe and cozy baby who lays protected inside your womb. Moreover, she will be familiar with those sounds and will not be startled by them after birth.

Here are some changes she is going through too:

  • The vestibular system of brain which detects motion is functioning. She can now sense your movements; hence, try to be graceful to impress your little one.
  • Your baby is getting ready for the fresh whiff of air once she is born. Her lungs are getting ready at a faster pace now. A substance called surfactant is now produced by the lungs which will allow the lungs to inflate and deflate without collapsing or sticking together.
  • She is swallowing and peeing in the amniotic fluid with ease, but the pooping has to wait until she is outside your womb.
  • The amniotic fluid cleanses itself 6-7 times every day. There, that should stop you from worrying about what is going into your baby’s mouth.
  • Her eyes and teeth are maturing for their proper functions.
  • Hold your breath for this! Your baby is developing tiny nipples now.
  • Your baby appears red due to the arteries and veins being visible through her skin.
  • She will soon start gaining weight, so much that she will be double her weight in next four weeks.
  • The saggy skin covering the body of your baby will soon be ironed out when the fat layers begin to fill in.
  • All of her internal organs have developed well and only needs maturing before birth.

She is almost like a newborn baby, only thinner and smaller. If due to any reason the baby is born now, there are 25-35% chances of her survival with proper medical intervention. The odds increase with each passing week with survival rate of 90% in babies born in week 26-27.

[ Read: Food Cravings During Pregnancy ]

Size Of Your Baby:

By now you must have run out of fruit names to compare the size of your baby. How about an average mango?

  • Your baby will measure somewhere around 10.5 -11.8 inches (approximately 28 cm) during week 23 from her crown to heel.
  • The weight is approximately 1.10 pounds (500 gm) at this stage but will be increasing at a faster rate soon enough.

[ Read: Fall Down During Pregnancy ]

Care And Tips For Week 23 Pregnancy:

It is understood that your mind is fuzzy and you are forgetful during pregnancy. But you cannot afford to forget or compromise on the safety procedures you have to follow. Go back and scroll through all the safety measures you have read so far and check out whether you are following them properly. Everything makes a difference during this stage in your life.

Fun Activity For The Week:

Try to create a picture of your baby in your mind. Put your artistic skills to use and draw an image, along with your partner, of what you think your baby will be like. You can compare these pictures when your baby is born. Your child will love to see this in later years.

  • You can practice yoga which will help you deal not just with your physical issues and weight gain but also keep you fit physically and mentally.
  • Since your balance at present is not what it used to be, do not try anything that needs balancing skills without guidance.
  • Stretch those muscles before exercises.
  • Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider in case of a fall.
  • Get proper nutrition and drink plenty of water. Avoid soda, coffee and tea as much as possible. Fruit juices and vegetable soup is healthy for you.
  • If you are a working woman, plan your maternity leave now. There is no right time to quit your job. Some women are known to work until their delivery date.
  • Earlier, you read about the bed rest you may require in case of some complications in your pregnancy. Though, initially you would enjoy doing nothing, it will soon get on your nerves. Have back up plans for being entertained during your bed rest.

[ Read: How To Avoid Premature Delivery ]

Tips For Dad To Be:

You need to take some free time to bond with your pregnant partner and baby. Take some time off from your busy schedule so that you can spend time with your family and plan for the future of your baby.

Decide how long you want to be out of work and help your partner after childbirth. Plan your paternity leave according to your needs. You can change your mind when the need arises.

If your partner is a working woman, you will have to plan out the caretaking of your baby when she is going back to work.

The first few weeks as new parents is not going to be easy for you. Start preparing yourself, so that you do not panic holding the baby in your arms.

The feeling of being able to participate in the creation of a life is exhilarating for every parent. Sure, pregnancy is tough on your partner’s body and mind, but the joy of being a parent is going to make both of you feel that it was worth going through all the crap during your pregnancy.

Have any special tips to share for the mommy-to-be when 23 weeks pregnant? Do let us know by sharing your comments here.

References:

 Books:

  • What to Expect When you’re Expecting by Heidi E. Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
  • Your Pregnancy Week by Week by Lesley Regan
  • Your Pregnancy Week by Week by Dr Glade B Curtis and Judith Schuler
  • Pregnancy: The Ultimate Month-by-Month Pregnancy Guide: All the Tips and Tricks You Need to Know!
  • Day-by-day Pregnancy Book by Maggie
  • A Beginners Guide to Pregnancy

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