23 weeks pregnant is a milestone to celebrate and savor. Find out what to expect when you’re 23 weeks pregnant, find out whether you can feel baby yet and what your uterus looks like. What size is a 12-week-pregnant uterus? What are the 8th week symptoms? When does baby start to move?
Your baby at week 23 of pregnancy
Even if your bowel movements aren’t regular, your baby may be developing a rhythm, such as being more active at night and quieter during the day. Though her internal systems could use some further development time, they are all in place and functioning.
Her vestibular system, the region of the brain that registers movement, is one of the earliest to develop, and it is already acutely aware of your every motion. Additionally, Baby’s hearing is getting better and better. Scientific research has shown that babies who are exposed to loud noises in the womb (such as dog barks or the dryer beeping) are less likely to be startled by them after birth.
To put it simply, if Baby were born this week, she would have a fighting chance. The March of Dimes estimates that just 25% to 35% of kids born at 23 weeks make it to their first birthday. With just an extra week or two, that percentage rises dramatically: between 50 and 70 percent of infants born at 24 to 25 weeks make it. And of those babies born between 26 and 27 weeks, 90% make it.
23 weeks pregnant is how many months?
When you are 23 weeks pregnant, you are officially in 6 months of your pregnancy, just another 4 months to go! Congratulations, you’ve already made great progress!
How big is your baby at 23 weeks pregnant?
At 23 weeks your baby, also known as a foetus, is currently about 450g (15.8 oz) in weight and around 28 cm (11 in) in length from head to bottom. That’s approximately the size of a grapefruit or squash. They are growing quickly and are about to have a growth spurt. They will roughly almost double in size over the next month.
23 weeks pregnant baby position
During weeks 21 to 24, your baby is still small enough to change positions a lot – head down, feet down, or even sideways. Your baby sleeps long hours every day, about 12 to 14 hours, although it might not seem like it to you.
23 weeks pregnant: baby’s development
21-27 weeks baby developments
As early as 23 weeks after conception, the fetus exhibits a blink-startle response to sudden sounds. Some experts have dubbed this a “squint-startle” response because the fetus’ eyes are still mostly closed. As shown in children and adults, this response continues to develop until 30 weeks after conception. Interestingly, girls are more likely than boys to master the startle reaction first.
Breathing is the most challenging aspect of life outside the womb. The lungs of an unborn child begin producing a chemical called surfactant about the 20th or 22nd week after conception. When a newborn exhales, the surfactant prevents the two ends of the airway from sticking together.
The developing fetus produces enough surfactant to ensure its own survival by the time it is 24 to 26 weeks old. In order to keep the alveoli open and increase the likelihood of survival in infants, doctors have created a synthetic surfactant. This has led to a dramatic increase in the age at which children can be saved. The use of steroids prior to delivery has also been shown to hasten lung development and the production of surfactant, both of which improve the baby’s chances of survival.
44 Breaths Per Minute
In another study, researchers found that while carbon dioxide levels in the mother’s blood were greater, the fetus’ breathing rate also increased, much as adult breathing rates would increase when exposed to high amounts of carbon dioxide. This demonstrates that the fetal processes required for a rise in breathing rate in response to changes in blood gas levels are already in place.
There is a significant increase in the number of rods and cones, the light-sensitive receptors in the eyes, by week 25 of development. Small amounts of light, as well as light in the periphery, can be detected by the eyes thanks to rods. Cones, on the other hand, are responsible for acute, vivid vision and primarily detect light in the visual center. Each of an adult’s eyes contains 100 million rods and 7 million cones.
During pregnancy and the first year following birth, cones migrate into the fovea while rods leave it.
A fetus in the womb will respond to light at 26 weeks following conception, the same as a premature baby born at 24 weeks. Pupils change size after birth to let the right quantity of light into the eye. This development in pupil size is initially recognized in the fetus at 27 weeks after conception, and it is regularly present in preterm infants at 31 weeks following conception.
Your body at 23 weeks pregnant
There isn’t a baby in there; rather, it’s an amateur boxer giving you a good pounding. Now that she has your relatives and friends’ attention, she is much more likely to resort to punches, jabs, and kicks (and your internal organs and rib cage are taking a beating). This tiny person is making full use of the available space since there is plenty of room to roam.
To assess the likelihood of premature labor, a cervix internal exam may be scheduled for sometime soon. However, we recognize that this is easier said than done. Emotions tend to intensify and swing wildly throughout pregnancy, with worries turning into crippling anxiety and joys becoming uncontrollable elation. You’re up at 4:30 a.m. because the emotional ups and downs of the day, along with the pain in your ribs, have made it difficult for you to go asleep.
Headed for Bed Rest?
Did I just hear a contraction? Seven percent of pregnant women go into labor prematurely, usually in the third trimester but occasionally in the second. Preterm labor is defined as the onset of contractions leading to cervix opening before 37 weeks gestation.
Early labor can be managed by increasing fluid intake and getting to bed earlier. However, if your contractions get too intense, or if there are any other issues, you may be required to take a bed rest. The pressure on your cervix will decrease if you relax and prop your feet up. Being horizontal also improves circulation, making it less work for the heart to pump blood around the body.
Drugs are available to help when bed rest isn’t enough to stop the onset of labor too soon. You may be hospitalized for round-the-clock monitoring if medication fails to alleviate your symptoms.
It may sound appealing to stay in bed all day, but the reality is that doing nothing but eating candy, watching television, and checking email may grow boring really quickly. You should keep this bed rest survival guide close by if you ever find yourself confined to bed.
23 weeks pregnant tips and advice
Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated is important. Your body uses more water during your pregnancy to fuel your increased blood supply (necessary to get your baby-to-be plenty of nutrients) and other body functions. Taken to extremes, dehydration can lead to preterm labor pains. So bring a water bottle to work with you—and drink it.
Use the bathroom—often
Drinking more water means more trips to the bathroom. Add to that, your kidneys are working overtime to filter impurities from your increased blood supply. To avoid stares from coworkers, plan discrete potty breaks. Go when you first get to the office and take a break on the way from meetings or other times when you’re already up so your trips will be less noticeable. Putting off a trip to the bathroom is a bad idea—it makes you uncomfortable and puts stress on your bladder, which can lead to bladder infections.
Bring light snacks
Food may not be appealing, especially if you’re experiencing nausea. Skip a full-blown lunch and opt for lighter fare throughout the day. Keep in mind that some pregnancy comfort foods are dead giveaways, such as crackers. If you’re trying to keep your pregnancy a secret, try less notorious foods that still comfort nausea but that don’t shout, “I’m pregnant!” Opt for foods high in protein, such as string cheese, almonds, or milk.
Wear comfortable clothes
You’ve probably packed away your tight-fitting pants already. If you haven’t, now’s probably the time to say goodbye to your hip-hugging ensembles until after your baby’s arrival. Avoiding tight clothes isn’t just about hiding your baby bump. Your body may be retaining water to fuel your increased blood supply, and constricting clothes are not only tight on your skin, but the blood that’s trying to flow underneath.
Watch your posture
Take time to get off your feet and walk around. Staying in the same position for too long allows the blood to pool in the lower part of your body, potentially making you light-headed. Put your feet up whenever possible to keep your blood flowing properly.
Having Trouble Sleeping at 23 weeks Pregnant
Having difficulties sleeping is a common pregnant symptom, and it’s especially common in the second and third trimesters, when other pregnancy symptoms peak and a growing belly makes it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position.
When you’re 23 weeks pregnant, it could hurt to sleep on your stomach, but studies indicates that lying on your back puts more strain on the vena cava, the main blood vessel that returns blood to the heart.
Your blood circulation will increase if you sleep on your left side, which will also be good for your uterus, kidneys, and fetus. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, try placing a pillow between your knees and another under your stomach. If the problem persists, consult your doctor.
23 weeks Pregnant: Wellness and Nutrition
What should you avoid during pregnancy? Doctors agree that you should avoid the following:
- Activities that may cause you to fall, or that place pressure or force on your belly
- Intense, overly vigorous exercise – if you’re too out of breath to talk, you’re probably exercising too hard.
- Drinking alcohol, smoking, and caffeine (ask your doctor how much caffeine you should consume each day)
- Sweeteners such as saccharine and herbal sweeteners (ask your doctor if artificial sweeteners are appropriate)
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications (check with your doctor about what’s safe during pregnancy)
- Paint, cleaning products, and solvents can expose you to chemicals and fumes. Acrylic and latex paints are generally considered safe. However, you should consult your doctor before helping around the house or in the nursery.
- Saunas and hot tubs
- Chemical treatments for your hair, such as dye and perms
week 23 unsightly pregnancy symptoms
Your body undergoes many changes to give your baby-to-be enough room to grow. Some of these changes are comforting—your rounded belly and your full breasts, for example—while other signs can be troubling. Keep in mind that many of these physical changes will last only until your baby arrives.
You should expect to gain 25 to 35 pounds during your pregnancy. As distressing as weight gain can be for some women, those pounds are necessary for your growing baby. Much of the weight is extra fluids (such as blood), tissues (like your breasts), and of course, your baby. If you eat a sensible pregnancy diet and stay fit, you should be able to lose much of your pregnancy weight after your baby’s birth. (Some women are able to shed pounds in a matter of weeks; others need as much as a year to get their bodies back in shape).
Breast changes and tenderness
Tenderness and slight alterations in the shape of your breasts are common pregnancy symptoms around the 23rd week. The hormones estrogen and progesterone are responsible for these alterations, which help your body get ready for breastfeeding after giving birth. You might find that your breasts are more sensitive to touch and feel fuller than usual.
Fatigue (constant tiredness or weakness)
One of the most typical symptoms of early pregnancy is fatigue, which frequently starts at this point. Although there are many causes of exhaustion during pregnancy (including changes in hormone levels), some research indicates that inadequate sleep brought on by nighttime awakenings from unpleasant sleeping positions may also be a role.
Heartburn or gas
There may be a rise in heartburn and flatulence during the 23rd week of pregnancy. This is because progesterone produces a decrease in the tone of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscle, which typically prevents stomach acid from entering the esophagus. This can cause heartburn and discomfort by allowing stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus. Try spreading your meals out more, staying away from items that are known to cause heartburn (such spicy foods), and drinking lots of water.
Mood swings and crying spells
The 23rd week of pregnancy is a vulnerable time for women, when they are more likely to experience mood swings and crying spells. Until your hormone levels settle, this will have an impact on your mental and emotional well-being. This is a common occurrence for pregnant women; one study indicated that 75% of women felt emotional shifts like irritability or depression in the first trimester.
Pregnant stretch marks
In the 23rd week of pregnancy, stretch marks, sometimes called striae gravidarum, may occur on the belly. Stretch marks form when the skin is forced apart and then stretched beyond its natural elasticity, as happens during rapid growth or weight gain (like pregnancy)
Indigestion, or constipation
During the 23rd week of pregnancy, you may suffer gastrointestinal issues like indigestion or constipation. Pregnancy hormones like progesterone and estrogen might increase the likelihood of gastrointestinal issues including indigestion. These hormones slow down digestion by relaxing the digestive tract, preventing food from being swallowed whole. You can reduce the frequency and severity of indigestion during pregnancy by cutting out on high-fat and sugary foods and eating more often, smaller meals (like sweets or fried foods).
Your body retains water to provide the necessary fluids for your growing baby-to-be. You can prevent much of this swelling from drinking plenty of fluids and keeping your legs up. You may also want to purchase socks designed to improve the circulation in your feet.
Your blood volume has increased dramatically to provide nutrients to your baby-to-be. This increase, along with swelling caused by pregnancy hormones, might make your gums bleed.
The skin’s pigmentation may deepen around certain parts of your body during pregnancy, such as your nipples and freckles. You may also notice spots of color on your face, called the mask of pregnancy or chloasma. These pigmentation changes will fade after your baby’s born.
No symptoms at 23 weeks pregnant
Yes, it is possible to be 23 weeks pregnant with no obvious signs of pregnancy at all! It’s important to remember that every pregnant lady is unique. If you’re one of the happy few who never gets morning sickness, for instance, you may relax and enjoy your pregnancy. But if you do have symptoms, you should definitely pay heed to them. If you are pregnant and have any health concerns, you should always consult your doctor.
23 weeks pregnant belly size (baby bumb)
Your pregnancy bump grows larger at 23 weeks.
Braxton Hicks contractions are also becoming more noticeable for some mothers.
This is your uterus contracting and relaxing. You’ve been having contractions since you were about 7 weeks pregnant. They are not painful and should not cause you concern.
Braxton Hicks will become more frequent and intense from now until the baby is born. If the Braxton Hicks contractions become uncomfortable, consult your doctor immediately.
You may have an irritated uterus, which implies you should take things slowly.
Braxton Hicks at 23 weeks Pregnant
At 23 weeks pregnant, you may find that your Braxton Hicks contractions are becoming more frequent and intense. You may feel them in your back or lower abdomen, and they may last anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes. If you’re having regular contractions, it’s important to talk with your doctor about any pain or discomfort you experience during them.
Braxton Hicks are common during the third trimester. You may not even notice them because they feel like mild discomfort or a dull ache in your lower abdomen. They’re also called practice contractions because they prepare your body for real labor by getting it ready to push out a baby when the time comes.
23 weeks pregnant ultrasound
Typically performed between weeks 18 and 22, the 20-week ultrasound is also known as an anatomy or anomaly scan. It can discover certain congenital problems by monitoring your baby’s organ and limb development. Discovering your child’s gender is usually possible.
The importance of prenatal vitamins during pregnancy
During pregnancy, you need a greater amount of folic acid and iron. Why? Here are some reasons:
Folic acid prevents neural tube defects
These defects affect the fetal brain and spinal cord in a significant way. Preferably, you should begin taking extra folic acid three months before you become pregnant.
The placenta and baby require iron to develop
The body uses iron to make blood to supply oxygen to the baby. Additionally, iron helps prevent anemia, a condition in which the blood lacks healthy red blood cells
It’s important to consult your doctor or healthcare provider to find out which are the best prenatal vitamins to take before pregnancy, and how to calculate your expected delivery date.
23 weeks pregnant hCG levels
At 23 weeks pregnant, your hCG levels can range from about 4,060 – 165,400+ mIU/m.
Explore more in your pregnancy week-by-week
Follow your pregnancy week-by-week to find out how your baby is growing and what is happening to your body.
First Trimester Weeks:
Second Trimester Weeks
Third Trimester Weeks
Pregnant Women Also Asked:
Got questions about week 6? Other ladies have wondered this…
- How pregnancy happens. (n.d.)
- Human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (HCG). (2018.)
- Knowing if you are pregnant. (2019).
- Navigating your pregnancy. (n.d.).
- Pregnancy. (2017).
- Pregnancy: Sensitivity and specificity. (n. d.).
- Pregnancy tests. (n.d.)
- Pregnancy week by week. Weeks 1–2. (n.d.).
- Stages of pregnancy. (n.d.).