At week twenty-three, your baby is about the size of an eggplant! On average, a twenty-three-week old fetus measures about 11.5 inches and weighs a little over a pound. Just a few inches from being an entire foot long, your baby is getting bigger and stronger as the days go by.
You are officially five months pregnant, and your baby is in the midst of undergoing even more physical changes. Right about this time, their bone marrow has taken on the principal role of red blood cell production, while their little heartbeats vigorously, pumping blood throughout the entirety of its diminutive body.
At this point in your pregnancy term, your baby starts to experience hearing that is much more evolved than in previous weeks. Clearly able to hear nearby sounds, your baby is also to hear sounds that are far away, in addition, to recognize the sound of your distinct voice.
This is an opportune time to take advantage of the familiarity your baby has with your voice by singing, talking, and cooing to him or her, as they become further acclimated with your voice and comforted by its sound. When your baby is born, he or she will be instantly soothed and settled by the very recognizablesound of your voice.
Read on below to learn more about week twenty-three of pregnancy and all of its many amazing aspects!
Table of Contents
Your Physical and Emotional Health
23 Weeks Pregnant
At week twenty-three you may be feeling quite sluggish from constipation issues caused by the pregnancy hormone progesterone. When a woman is pregnant, food is digested far more slowly through the gut, which can result in difficulty in passing stools. Worsening constipation issues is the intense pressure placed on your rectum by your growing baby, which results in a vastly slowed down digestive process.
Up to fifty percent of pregnant women experience issues with constipation, with some women having intermittent symptoms, while others find themselves contending with constipation for the majority of their pregnancy terms.
Constipation issues can be improved by making dietary choices that include eating fiber-rich foods and an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Additionally, drinking lots of fluids (particularly water) can assist in making stool pliable and easier to pass, in addition to lessening issues with bloating.
Engaging in exercise and generally staying active also immensely help with constipation issues, as the movement of your body will facilitate the passing of stools. As an added benefit, exercise will help you to become stronger, fitter, and gain endurance.
If you are doing everything you can to mitigate constipation issues but still find yourself frequently straining to go to the bathroom, it can result in anal fissures or piles, which can make the entire situation feel significantly worse. If you notice any bleeding while going to the bathroom, make an appointment with your healthcare provider to see what kind of solutions they can provide for you.
Symptoms commonly experienced in week twenty-three of pregnancy can include some new symptoms and some holdovers from last week:
- Bleeding gums: Like many other conditions, this is a result of pregnancy-related hormones. The hormones increase the flow of blood, which in turn make your gums prone to swelling and bleeding. Try brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your extra-sensitive gums
- Braxton Hicks contractions: A very tight feeling in your belly resulting from the flexing of muscles as they undergo preparation for the big birthing day. To help with the uncomfortable sensations, change positions frequently and stay well-hydrated.
- Backaches: Lingering, aching, painful pains in the lower back area are a common issue for pregnant women. Try to lessen the pain by taking warm baths, using a heating pad, and using special pregnancy-specific pillows
- Trouble breathing: You may experience trouble breathing, taking deep breaths, or catching your breath. Be prudent with your workouts by making sure they are not too strenuous. Make sure that you take lots of breaks and take opportunities to sit down and rest
- Facial hair: Very common for pregnant women, particularly in this phase of pregnancy facial hair can sprout up at various spots on the face. At the same time, the hair on your head is growing as well and may start to look particularly thick, lustrous, and healthy
- Mild swelling: When you are pregnant, you experience an elevation of fluids in your body which inevitably leads to mild swelling and bloating. Make sure that the swelling you experience is not severe or accompanied by blurry vision – it could be an indicator of pre-eclampsia and should be addressed by a health care provider immediately. Try to keep your feet up as much as possible and aim to take a thirty-minute walk per day to improve symptoms.
- Blurry vision: As is the case with swelling, blurry vision issues are resultant from water retention levels
- Weight gain: Weight gain will be ongoing during this period in your term
- Increased vaginal discharge: Many women will experience increased vaginal discharge that is a result of elevated blood flow
- Increased sex drive: Related to wildly fluctuating hormones, pregnant women in this part of their term may experience an increase in sex drive
- Condition of skin: Due to your body retaining an increased level of moisture and high levels of flowing blood, your skin’s condition may improve drastically and result in an overall glowing look
- Appearance of the “outtie”: Out of nowhere, you may suddenly discover your belly button has went inside out, and you have now got an “outtie.” A result of your rapidly expanding belly, it will revert back to an “innie” in time.
Your Baby’s Health and Status
23 Weeks Pregnant
At twenty-three weeks, your little baby is beginning to form adorably tiny nipples!
Fully entertained while enshrouded in your womb, baby is still gyrating around, dancing, writhing, wriggling and somersaulting until his or her heart’s content.
In the midst of all the baby aerobics your baby is taking part in, he or she will be intermittently hiccupping, swallowing, and gulping in amniotic fluid, in addition to now also sucking their thumb as a self-soothing mechanism.
Now with the added ability to clearly hear sounds, your baby is also engrossed in listening to your voice, the pounding of your heartbeat, and the gurgling of your stomach in addition to barking dogs, honking cars, and many of the other various sounds of outside life
Tips, Tricks, and Knowledge
23 Weeks Pregnant
- Strongly consider opening a savings account for your baby. Now is as good time as ever to open an account and start making small deposits on a regular basis. Even the smallest of deposit can mean a lot on the grand scheme of things, especially when you factor in the time/value concept of money – the earlier you make deposits into your savings account, the quicker that money compounds.
- Studies show that children who have a savings account are far more likely to attend college
- Many experts estimate the cost of raising a baby until adulthood (age eighteen) to be well over $229,000.
- In the coming weeks, you will find yourself busier than usual with prenatal appointments; however, the surge in energy that you recently experienced might significantly decline. Thus, now is a great time to get important tasks out of the way while you have the energy and stamina to do it all.
- Consider other financially-related concepts such as establishing a will or living trust
Week 23 To-Do List and Reminders
23 Weeks Pregnant
Your Primary Goals Should Be the Following at This Point:
- Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Ensuring you’re getting enough iron, vitamin D, and vitamin C
- Keeping well hydrated and drinking plenty of water
- Engaging in low-resistance, low impact exercise
- Practicing pelvic floor exercises
- Staying away from harmful chemicals and cleaners
- Keeping a lookout for any severe symptoms
- Maintaining a positive attitude
Other Goals Right Now Include:
- Getting your life insurance in order
- Opening a savings account for your baby
- Creating or amending your will or living trust
- Getting your baby’s nursery prepared for their homecoming
- Stocking up on baby supplies such as diapers, wipes, and more
Braxton Hicks contractions: These contractions can begin as early as the second trimester of pregnancy but are most commonly prevalent in the third trimester.
Often referred to as practice contractions, they are movements that prepare you for the “real” birthing event. Infrequently occurring and completely irregular in terms of intensity, Braxton Hicks contractions involve the muscles of the uterus tightening for up to sixty seconds, with some contractions lasting as long as a minute and a half and more.
Creating More of an Uncomfortable Feeling Than Actual Pain, These Contractions May Begin to Intensify in Frequency and Intensity As the Delivery Date Becomes Closer.
Cool Things to Know
- The Mozart Effect: While it won’t make your baby any more intelligent, playing classical music for your baby will soothe them, provide stimulation for their eager ears, and may even turn them into a fan of classical music as they grow up.
Ready to find out what’s next in your pregnancy journey?