Week 23 of Your Pregnancy
In the 23rd week of gestation, your unborn baby continues to work on growing big and strong. You can also tell by the fact that your belly is bulging more and more.
Rapid weight gain and lung maturation -The physical development of your little belly resident is so far completed, in the next few weeks until birth it is now “only” about fine work. With the sometimes quite violent boxes and kicks, the baby also becomes “visible” to dad: with a small bulge on mom’s belly, it then says “Hello!”. If you suffer from dizzy spells, put your feet up as often as possible and talk to your gynecologist about a possible iron deficiency.
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The baby at 23 weeks gestation
In the 23rd week of pregnancy, the baby measures 11.4 to 11.8″ in crown-heel length and weighs about 1
pound (about the size of a large mango).
Compared to the previous week, his weight has thus increased significantly once again. He is continuing his movement program and reflex training and is becoming even more active than in previous weeks. The movements are becoming more coordinated. Sometimes the baby turns in the belly, which can not only be felt by the mother but may also be visible from the outside. When this happens, a small bulge – usually the buttocks of the “belly dweller” – moves in waves from one side of the belly to the other. The baby’s boxers and kicks may also have gained strength and are now and then clearly visible through the abdominal coverings.
The baby’s perceptual abilities continue to form this week. His brain waves in the 23rd week already resemble those of a newborn baby. The first memories – of the parents’ voices, music, or stories – are stored.
Physical development also continues to progress rapidly.
During this week, the nostrils, which were previously closed, open. The lungs, as well as the pulmonary circulation, develop. In parallel, the baby is “breathing in” and “breathing out” the amniotic fluid with increasing intensity. Since its diaphragm will not develop completely until after birth, it often hiccups as a result.
In the ultrasound image, the baby now already looks almost like a newborn infant.
The first fat pads can also be seen in the meantime. However, it will be some time before they are fully developed, and the baby is able to regulate the body’s heat balance on its own. If the child is already born now, it will also need support in this process for a long time to come.
The sixth month of pregnancy is a quiet, pleasant time for most women. Although pregnancy symptoms such as heartburn, frequent urinary pressure, and back and ligament pain are now more noticeable, the baby bump is not yet so large that it places a heavy burden on the mother in her everyday life.
The upper edge of the uterus is now palpable about three centimeters above the navel. Incidentally, the belly button bulges out strongly in many women now, but its original shape quickly returns after birth.
In the 23rd week of pregnancy, the mother is in intensive physical and emotional contact with her child; she can clearly feel its activities around the clock.
From the 23rd week of pregnancy, many women suffer from sudden drops in blood pressure and attacks of dizziness, which are most apparent when getting up from a lying or sitting position. Due to the larger blood volume, the dilated vessels that have been loosened by the pregnancy hormones, and the growing strain caused by the weight of the uterus and child, the circulatory system finds it increasingly difficult to pump the blood from the extremities back to the heart.
The dizzy spells usually last only a few seconds – as soon as the body is in motion, the circulatory attack is also over. They are not dangerous for the baby because its blood circulation functions largely independently of the mother’s circulatory system.
Frequent severe dizzy spells, which may even result in unconsciousness, belong in the hands of the doctor. The reason for this is often an iron deficiency, which can be quickly compensated by the additional administration of iron preparations – please only after a doctor’s prescription.
In everyday life, it helps against attacks of dizziness to elevate the legs both when lying down and sitting up, in order to relieve the circulation when standing up. At the next check-ups, the doctor will also increasingly look for signs of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia symptoms in order to intervene early in the event of pregnancy complications.
In addition, preparation for birth is now becoming more important. The decision on the place of birth – as home birth, in a birth center, or in a hospital – should be made as early as the 23rd week of pregnancy. The doctor and midwife will advise the pregnant woman in detail on this question – all three options are possible for younger women and problem-free pregnancy.
Many women also bring their partners to the check-up appointments, who can of course ask their own questions. The birth is also an exciting and fascinating experience for the father-to-be, and he should be a real help to his wife. Women whose partner or husband cannot be present at the birth, or who do not currently have a partner, should think during the 23rd week of pregnancy about who can accompany them in his place during the birth – for example, their own mother or best friend.
A birth partner is important in any case – in the delivery room he or she also accompanies the woman in labor emotionally in an intensive way and of course, also supports her with practical help.
23rd week of pregnancy: Your symptoms
Common signs and symptoms
The urge to urinate increases
Long distances and stays without going to the toilet are no longer possible because the urge to urinate increases.
The weight of the uterus presses on the bladder, which reduces its volume. Consequently, you need to go to the toilet more often.
Nevertheless, drink enough and do not reduce your fluid intake. This is because your body needs a lot of fluids for pregnancy.
Tired and weak
If you feel tired and lacking in energy very often, even though no special effort has preceded, then an iron deficiency could be the reason. About 20% of pregnant women in the 23rd week of pregnancy suffer from this. Your gynecologist can detect such a deficiency in your blood.
You then feel dull, the skin shows pallor and even rest does not bring the desired new energy. An iron deficiency can be compensated with an iron-rich diet or special preparations. This should also be done so that your baby continues to be supplied with sufficient oxygen. Read more about iron and learn which foods are particularly rich in iron.
Likewise, your blood pressure could be responsible for you not really getting going and having little strength. Many pregnant women suffer from low blood pressure, especially in the middle weeks of pregnancy. This is because the circulatory system is busy with increased blood flow and supplying the placenta. A regular check of your blood pressure with your doctor or midwife will provide information about your values and ways to counteract the low blood pressure.
- Get a pregnancy camisole – it supports the belly.
- Find out about different diapering techniques and diapers.
- Adult coloring books or mandalas bring peace and relaxation.
- Ask your midwife for breastfeeding supplies and literature.
- If you have a craving for sweets, eat fruits and vegetables more often.
FAQ - Twenty Third week of Pregnancy
Not only your wife will feel it, but it will even be visible from the outside, as the belly will bulge in waves. As a rule, these are the buttocks that your child is stretching out towards you at that moment. Sometimes a smaller, elongated dent can also be seen on the abdominal wall.
It sits about three inches above your belly button, which by now is bulging outward. Don’t worry, after birth, it will slide back to its original position.
What does it feel like? During exercise contractions, the abdomen becomes hard, but otherwise, they are actually painless. Some feel them as a slight tugging, others feel nothing at all. This depends on the one hand on how you feel personally, and on the other hand on the external circumstances.