pregnancy-week-by-week

23 weeks pregnant

What to expect this week

What's happening in week 23

23 weeks pregnant

At 23 weeks your baby looks much like a newborn – just a little bit skinnier!

At a glance

  • Baby's eyes are now fully formed
  • There's only just enough space for baby to somersault
  • Keep an eye on your posture and take regular breaks

Your baby at week 23

Your baby is close to 30cm long, weighing around 500g and has the proportions of a new-born now, although not as much fat, so they still have some bulking out to do, but there is plenty of time left for them to do that.

Their eyes are now fully formed, although they don't have any colour just yet. There is probably still just enough space for your baby to be turning somersaults – although probably not for much longer. It’s also possible that you might be able to see your baby moving under your clothes if they decide to be particularly active!

Your baby’s lungs are continuing to develop getting ready for them to practice breathing in the womb, and also for their first breaths after birth. Their skin is still translucent and their bones and organs are visible through their skin.

It’s possible that loud noises will now be more familiar and less likely to make your baby jump. It’s often claimed that babies prefer soothing classical music, so feel free to introduce them to some Bach early on!

You at 23 weeks pregnant

You might find your weight is steadily increasing now, so eating healthily and filling up on fibre-rich, nutritious food which will help you feel fuller for longer is even more important – particularly if you are suffering from hunger pangs between meals.

In the last three months of pregnancy, mums-to-be generally need an extra two hundred calories, but it is best to get them from nutritious food stuffs rather than sugary snacks! (not that treats aren't allowed of course). See our diet and health in pregnancy pages for more info on nutrition.

Your growing bump might also be putting more strain on your back now, and backache could start to set in. Keep an eye on your posture, and make sure your chair is properly adjusted if you are sitting at a desk all day. Taking regular breaks to stretch your legs, and move around will help, too, as will putting your feet up and taking the weight off them as often as you can!

What to think about in week 23

Some mums find they go up a shoe size in pregnancy – this is most usually down to feet widening rather than actually growing in length though! As your feet are obviously bearing all your weight, it is really important to wear good quality, supportive footwear – particularly if you are suffering with the dreaded puffy ankles, or tired aching feet.

High heels are best left just for very special occasions at this point (despite the pregnant celeb trend for teetering footwear practically to the delivery room!) – and not just for comfort reasons – as your centre of gravity shifts, your balance could be affected and you most definitely do not want to be taking a tumble!

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At a glance

  • Baby's eyes are now fully formed
  • There's only just enough space for baby to somersault
  • Keep an eye on your posture and take regular breaks
Mums-to-be generally only need an extra 200 calories in their last three months of pregnancy

What to expect next