What's happening in week 23 of your pregnancy
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
How big is my baby at 23 weeks?
Your baby is close to 28.9cm long, weighing around 1.1Lbs and has the proportions of a newborn 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 Mozart early on!
Facts to know about your baby in week 23
- From about 23 weeks, your baby can be startled by sudden noises such as your sneezing
- Your baby's 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 turn somersaults - not for much longer
- Your baby is close to 28.9cm long, weighing around 1.1Lbs
- Some say your baby is capable of REM 'dream sleep' now
You at 23 weeks pregnant
As your bump grows, you may find that sex positions you used to enjoy are simply not comfortable. Pregnancy sex is great for helping you stay mentally, emotionally, and physically connected. Make the most of this time with your partner and try these positions; Spooning (him behind), Him on a chair, you with your back to him, You lying on your back on the edge of the bed – him standing or kneeling (depending on the height of your bed!)
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!
If your weight is outside the range deemed as a ‘health BMI’ i.e. it’s less than a BMI of 18.5 or over 30 it can increase the risk of pregnancy problems: A low BMI is linked to the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and having an underweight baby. A high BMI is linked to the possibility of having gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and potential health problems for baby, including increased risk of still birth.
If you are classed as having a high BMI (and in 1 in 5 women are) do talk to your midwife as you could be referred to a dietitian or a local weight-management programme specifically for pregnant women.
Always bear in mind that although some risks are increased if your BMI is 30 or over, most women go on to have a normal, healthy pregnancy. The medical experts looking after you when you are pregnant use categories and terms like ‘overweight’ or ‘obese’ to make sure you get the best advice and support to make sure you have a healthy pregnancy. Try not to be offended, healthcare professionals won’t judge you and remember that ultimately, it’s about you getting the extra pregnancy care that you and your baby deserve.
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!
Sensitive and bleeding gums (gingivitis) are common too. If your teeth or bleeding gums give you problems make the most of free dental care and make an appointment. Don’t ignore it if it persists as it could cause teeth to loosen or even tooth loss. Have regular dental check-ups with your dentist - they are free in pregnancy and up to 12 months after you’ve had you baby.
Facts to know about you in week 23
- You might soon be noticing your baby moving under your clothes if they decide to be particularly active!
- Eating smaller meals and more regularly, will lower your chances of having drops in energy, heartburn or indigestion
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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!
At this point in your pregnancy you may well be feeling good and might even be thinking about a little trip or holiday before your new arrival appears. There are some important things to know when you’re travelling in your pregnancy.
Be careful about food hygiene – if you’re concerned, avoid salads, ice creams and ice cubes in drinks.
If you are going abroad and will be going on a plane, there a few things to remember. If you’re flying for more five hours, there’s a small risk of blood clots - deep vein thrombosis, (DVT), so to ensure you are safe and to boost your circulation, drink plenty of water and move about regularly - every 30 minutes or so take the opportunity to get up and walk around and make ankle circling movements every half an hour.
Although not the most attractive addition to your wardrobe, you can also buy some of those sexy support stockings that will help to reduce any leg swelling.
It’s possible that you are suffering from a few pregnancy symptoms and by now, some can be more hard to cope with than others.
Pelvic pain is something one in five women will experience when they are pregnant, and sometimes it can be quite severe and debilitating. The condition is called Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) and occurs during pregnancy when the ligaments around your pelvis soften prematurely and become too relaxed and stretchy, meaning they can no longer keep your pelvis correctly aligned.
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Signs and symptoms at 23 weeks pregnant
Feeling your hands tingle in pregnancy is quite common and is a result of extra pressure put on the nerves in your hands and wrists from swelling from the build-up of fluid and can be a sign of pregnancy carpal tunnel syndrome. The aching and tingling feeling you can get is not dissimilar to the ache associated with repetitive strain in your wrists. Particularly if you work on a computer all day and are suffering with tingling hands, it’s important to take regular breaks and stretch your hands out and make sure you have straight wrists and your elbows are not higher than your hands as you work.
Even if you were the quietest sleeper before your pregnancy, chances are you will be snoring at one stage over the next few months. Part of the reason you can start snoring in pregnancy is linked to nasal congestion that many mums-to-be suffer with. Oestrogen is the hormone to blame as it increases mucus production. The increase in mucus causes the mucus membranes in your nasal passage to swell and has a knock on effect on your snoring. Nasal congestion often starts in the first trimester and for some can clear after a few weeks but for others they can suffer throughout the whole nine months.
Watch our videos below:
Video 1: Where does my pregnancy weight come from?
Video 2: How to eat and drink healthily in pregnancy
Video 3: Getting ready for your baby's arrival
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