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23 Weeks Pregnant: Everything You Need to  Know

23 Weeks Pregnant_ Everything You Need to Know

If week 22 was remarkable, week 23 will continue to amaze! At this point, your baby will likely encounter a major growth spurt and should double in size in about a month.

There are a lot of milestones to look forward to this week. Around this time, your baby’s vital organs are developing rapidly. You’ll start feeling new symptoms too. 

Getting excited already? Let’s delve into everything you need to know about your pregnancy in week 23.

Baby Development By Week 23

Baby Development By Week 23

Week 23 is an interesting week for your developing baby. Your baby’s little arms and legs are getting stronger. You should feel gentle kicks and jabs already!

And by week 24 onward, you might even see your little one poke through from the outside.

Here is what else you can expect from your baby’s growth in week 23:

Development of Baby’s Skin and Organs

Your baby’s organs will still be visible through their skin in week 23. However, their skin is becoming more refined and less transparent daily.

Your baby’s skin will also be a bit saggy at this stage. It is currently forming the protective layer called vernix caseosa, which acts as a moisturizer. 

This also helps protect their delicate skin from becoming waterlogged.

Once the fat deposits settle in, your baby’s skin will look plumper. When your baby is born, they’ll look chubby and adorable.

Furthermore, your baby’s vital organs are developing rapidly. Their lungs are maturing, blood vessels are forming to supply oxygen and nutrients, and their liver is becoming more functional. 

Every day brings them closer to being fully prepared for life outside the womb. That said, I remind every mommy-to-be to continue taking prenatal vitamins to support your baby’s growth.

Development of Baby’s Heartbeat

By week 23, your baby’s heart is beating and getting stronger and more efficient. 

You can hear their precious heartbeat during your prenatal checkups through a Doppler. But it will also be strong enough for the doctor to hear through a stethoscope. But it can be tricky to find.

Nevertheless, as an expecting mother, it is reassuring and such a joy to be reminded of the life growing in your womb.

How Big Is My Baby at 23 Weeks?

At 23 weeks pregnant, your baby is approximately the size of a large mango! Your baby will measure around 11.4 inches (29 centimeters) from crown to heel. 

They should weigh around 1.1 pounds (500 grams).

Over the next few weeks, your baby will steadily gain weight to support their developing body and prepare for the world outside. Naturally, you will feel as if you gained weight too.

Your Body in 23 Weeks

As your baby continues to thrive, expect your body to constantly change to accommodate the human you are growing.

Let’s explore some common occurrences during this stage of pregnancy:

New Symptoms Emerge

By now, it should not be surprising for you to notice that pregnancy affects you from head to toe and everywhere in between! 

At 23 weeks pregnant, you may experience shortness of breath. Your growing bundle of joy starts to add more pressure to your lungs.

You will notice new stretch marks appearing, especially around your belly too. 

These can come in shades of pink, red, purple, reddish-brown, or dark brown. Applying some belly oil can help reduce the redness.

This week, you may even start to feel pain in your ribs as your body adjusts to your baby bump. 

Furthermore, your breasts may start leaking colostrum. This is an early result of your body preparing to breastfeed.

Skin Discoloration

Another unique symptom that may arise during week 23 is some skin discoloration. Dark patches or spots, commonly called melasma or the “mask of pregnancy,” may appear on your face, abdomen, or other areas. 

You may also experience the “linea nigra”. This is a dark line that runs between your belly button down to your pubic area. These are more noticeable among darker-skinned women.

Skin discoloration around your body is caused by hormonal changes resulting in increased pigmentation. 

But don’t worry; these dark spots should disappear a few months after giving birth. 

In the meantime, keep your skin moisturized and apply concealer when necessary.

Symptoms You May Experience During the 23-Week Mark

Symptoms You May Experience During the 23-Week Mark

It’s important to remember that every pregnancy is unique. While you may experience some of these symptoms, others may not be affected at all.

Nevertheless, it is important to be aware of the common symptoms in week 23:

1. Increase Fetal Activity

Your baby’s movements are becoming more pronounced and regular. You may feel delightful kicks, punches, and rolls as your little one grows stronger each day.

2. Hearty Appetite 

As your baby’s growth demands more energy, you might experience an increase in appetite. 

Although it can be tempting, avoid eating junk food, processed meats, and other unhealthy food as much as possible.

Focus on consuming nutritious foods that provide essential vitamins and minerals to support both you and your baby’s well-being.

3. Bloating

Hormonal changes can affect your digestive system, leading to occasional bloating. You might even feel uncomfortable in your regular clothes when you feel bloated. 

Consider buying comfortable maternity clothes.

Eating smaller, frequent meals, avoiding gas-inducing foods, and practicing gentle exercises like walking can help alleviate bloating too.

4. Snoring

Increased blood flow, congestion, and weight gain can contribute to snoring during pregnancy. 

Sleeping on your side with a pillow to support your belly and using nasal strips or a humidifier may help alleviate snoring.

5. Bleeding Gums

Hormonal changes can cause your gums to become more sensitive and prone to bleeding, especially during brushing. 

I highly recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush and practicing gentle oral hygiene to keep your gums healthy.

6. Tingling Hands

As your body retains more fluids, you may experience tingling or numbness in your hands and fingers. This condition, called carpal tunnel syndrome, often improves after delivery. 

Wearing a wrist brace, practicing hand exercises, and avoiding repetitive motions may provide some relief.

Tips to Help You Manage Week 23

Tips to Help You Manage Week 23

Here are some helpful tips I’ve tried and tested that can help you manage through week 23:

1. Learn to Relax

Is your growing baby making you anxious? Take time for self-care and relaxation. 

Some activities to help you relax and unwind are gentle walks, indulging in a good book, binge-watching shows, and massages, whatever floats your boat.

Even if it’s a simple warm facial wash at the end of the day, or a 30-minute yoga session, prioritize your mental health.

2. Improve Your Sleeping Habits

As your belly grows, finding a comfortable sleeping position can become challenging. 

If you find it difficult to get comfy, consider using a pregnancy pillow or placing pillows strategically to support your body and relieve the pressure. 

Based on experience, relaxing bedtime rituals like drinking some ginger tea and practicing deep breathing exercises help me get a good night’s sleep. 

Keeping a consistent sleep schedule can also improve your sleep quality.

3. Bring Up Maternity Leave

When it came to work, I discussed my maternity leave with my employer.

Familiarize yourself with your company’s policies and make sure you and your boss are on the same page.

Do this even when you’re still weeks away from giving birth.

4. Always Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water helps prevent common pregnancy discomforts like constipation and dehydration. 

Aim for at least eight glasses of water per day!

5. Take Necessary Action to Prevent UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections)

Hormonal changes and the pressure of your growing uterus can make you more susceptible to urinary tract infections. 

Stay hydrated, empty your bladder regularly, and maintain good hygiene practices to reduce the risk of UTIs.

6. Rethink Hair Treatments 

Some hair treatments, such as chemical dyes and keratin treatments, may contain ingredients that are not recommended during pregnancy. 

Consider opting for natural alternatives or skip the salon completely.

7. Buy Organic Foods

You’ll never go wrong by choosing organic fruits, vegetables, and other food items for your diet. These can help reduce your exposure to pesticides and unnecessary chemicals.

But whether or not you buy organic, it is still advisable to thoroughly wash your produce before consuming.

8. Try Out Pilates

Pilates is a low-impact exercise method that can help improve core strength, flexibility, and posture. 

Look for prenatal Pilates classes or consult with a certified instructor to ensure safe modifications for your pregnancy. 

I also recommend using a pregnancy belly band to help support your body when doing these exercises.

Conclusion

There you have it, my dear mommies-to-be! Congratulations on making it to week 23, which means you have roughly 4 months to go.

At this stage, your baby is developing at a very fast pace. You might be feeling new symptoms you didn’t have early in your pregnancy.

Remember to listen to your body and practice the tips I shared in this article. I wish you all the best!

Nayna Llenos
Nayna Llenos

Hi, I’m Nayna!
I’ve always wanted to be a mother, and I’m lucky and blessed to have two wonderful children to care for and love.
Despite this blessing, there are times wherein I do wonder if I truly am the mother my children need. Am I giving them the right food, care, and discipline to them?
But that is the beauty of parenting — you grow along with your children as they flourish to be their wonderful selves!
I wish to share my experiences with motherhood and how these tips can help you in your parenting journey.
I hope my advices and experiences will prove useful to you and that you have a smooth and wonderful journey as a mother!