At 23 weeks pregnant, your baby is about the size of a full grapefruit. The foetus is approximately 11.4 inches long and weighs about 1.1 pounds. You baby’s features are developing rapidly and with every passing day it looks more like a human being. The 23 week foetus is now listening to whatever happens around you and even reacts to them! The little one surely is preparing for the outside world!
23 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
Increase in Braxton Hicks contractions: By now you must know what Braxton Hicks contractions are. As you progress towards the later stages of pregnancy, the uterine muscles prepare more and more for the upcoming labour. At week 23, there is a significant increase in the number of contractions you experience at regular intervals.
Pummelling of the ribs: Since the baby now easily moves around in the womb, it occasionally kicks or punches your interiors. These powerful blows cause pummelling of your ribs and experiencing sore ribs for quite some time.
Burning sensation in some nerves: Along with the changing hormones, pregnancy anxiety also kicks in while about 23 weeks pregnant. You might experience burning sensations in some nerves, especially around your legs, where most of the body’s weight is accumulated.
Swollen arms and legs: Thanks to the raging hormones, again! Increased blood flow and water retention in your limbs, especially legs, makes them swell up. This condition lasts till the time of delivery.
Acid reflux: At 23 weeks pregnant, it is common to be intolerant towards many foods. The changing hormonal balance inside your body affects your digestive system. The juices of your stomach don’t take these changes very well and react negatively, leading to indigestion and acidity.
Brain freeze: This is also called “pregnancy fog”. Due to stress and constant irritation within your body, you tend to forget things and misplace stuff. This will gradually diminish post-delivery. To make sure that you don’t miss out on anything, hang a to-do chart in your room or set reminders in your cell phone.
23 Week Pregnant Belly
At 23 weeks pregnant, your uterus has extended up to about 2.5 inches above your navel. Your belly thus protrudes slightly upwards now. By this time you will have gained nearly 15 pounds. If you’re pregnant with twins, you will have gained about 23 pounds. You can now feel the baby’s movements inside the womb, and can understand when the baby is active and when it is napping.
23 Weeks Pregnancy Ultrasound
At 23 weeks pregnant, you might not have a doctor’s appointment because by this time you see your gynaecologist once a month. As all the fundamental tests are done, you get more alone time with the baby, without ultrasound every week.
However, if you do have an ultrasound session during this week, you’ll see that the 23 week foetus is now almost finished with the formation of its facial features, with only a few more fine-tunings to go! The baby is now developing tiny nipples and the rib bones are almost fully formed. Your child can hear everything that’s happening around you during this time!
Dos and Don’ts During Week 23 of Pregnancy
Rely on liquid foods: At 23 weeks pregnant, you are susceptible to frequent acid refluxes and indigestion. It is safer to rely on liquid based foods like soups and juices as they are more compatible with your current fragile constitution, hence easy to digest. Opt for fresh organic fruit juices and vegetable soups that are made from carrot, broccoli, spinach, mushroom, and beans.
Snack on apples: Apples reduce heartburn and ease the process of digestion during pregnancy. A smoother digestion process also leads to a reduced risk of asthma in the 23 week old foetus.
Exercise: Keep up your activity levels by exercising everyday. Stick to safe exercises like walking at a moderate speed, stretching, pelvic rocking, and practising yoga moves.
Apply for a maternity leave: If you are working, it is high time that you plan and apply for your maternity leave. Soon enough, you will be advised to stay indoors for most of the time. You must stick to the doctor’s advice. Travelling to and from office everyday might be stressful for the 23 weeks foetus.
Do anything that requires balancing skills: Don’t climb the ladder or resort to yoga positions standing on one foot. At 23 weeks pregnant, your balance is off guard because of swollen feet. Falls at this stage may be fatal, leading to miscarriage, deformed foetus, or premature labour.
Drink any form of highly caffeinated drinks: Till the period prior to this, drinking about 2 cups of tea was okay, but that does not apply now. Stick to about 1 cup of tea if you really need that shot of caffeine to start your day. Caffeine has its positive factors, but it does not go down well with your baby’s digestive system at such an early stage.
Wear the same panty liner for too long: At 23 weeks pregnant, you are likely to experience excessive vaginal discharge. Wearing panty liners is good for you as they soak the excess mucus and help your clothes remain dry. However, don’t wear the same liner for more than 3 hours. Keep a good stock of panty liners at home so that you can prevent unwanted infections and irritation.
Get anxious or stressed: Stress and tension during week 23 of pregnancy is normal. You have already crossed the mid-pregnancy stage. It feels like the anxiety is getting the worst of you. But you must remember to keep calm so as to avoid sending stressful signals to the little one inside. Listen to soothing music, read books, surround yourself with positive people, and sign up for weekly parenting sessions.
Now that you have crossed the mid-point of pregnancy, your chance of experiencing a miscarriage falls to about 5%. There are no palpable threats to your body or the 23 week foetus. However, keep in mind that you must visit the gynaecologist regularly and follow the prescribed rules for a safe ride.