Week Twenty Three of Pregnancy

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Your baby at week twenty three of pregnancy

Now around 29cm in length, the size of a small aubergine, and weighing around 454g, your baby will spend the next few weeks gaining a significant amount of fat to fill out their wrinkly skin, and take over the job of insulating their little body.

Your baby’s skin has yet to lose all of its transparency, and their organs, veins and bones may still be visible. Further deposits of fat will ensure that the skin becomes opaque and gains pigment, as well as filling out the loose skin, which grew at a much faster rate than the rest of his or her body.

The very exciting news this week is that you can now hear your baby’s heart beat through a regular stethoscope!

There is still just about enough room in your womb for your baby to do a somersault – you might even be able to see some of these movements against your bare skin of your belly! But not for much longer, as the baby’s growth rate shows no sign of slowing, and there will not be room for such antics, although you will see elbows and knees pressing against your belly!

Your body at week twenty three of pregnancy 

With all the nutrients that are being absorbed by the placenta and baby. It could be wise to start taking extra doses of certain vitamins and minerals, for example, your body needs 30 milligrams of iron every day to produce enough red blood cells to prevent severe fatigue and potentially anemia. Although iron deficiency may not harm the baby, it will certainly not do you any good, and cause you to feel completely drained of all energy. Seek medical advice if you are considering taking any extra supplements.

If you haven’t already had it, don’t be alarmed if you see a dark line spreading down your belly, this is the linea nigra, and will fade away completely after birth.

You may experience pins and needles in your hands and headaches are common during this stage of pregnancy, make sure you stay hydrated.

Vaginal discharge may increase; as long as the discharge is colorless, odourless and not itchy then don’t worry, if you have any of these additional symptoms check with your doctor to make sure it is not a yeast infection.

What you may be feeling at week twenty three of pregnancy

As your tummy grows you may be feeling more excited about the impending arrival of your baby; it is usual to feel more connected to your baby now as you can see your bump grow and feel them moving around inside. It is often the best time of pregnancy so go ahead and enjoy it. You may find your partner more connected to your baby too now that they can see your growing bump and possibly feel your baby move.

It is common at this stage in pregnancy to start experiencing weird and wonderful dreams which you remember vividly the next day. You may have anxiety dreams which could even include the baby. Don’t worry these dreams mean nothing more than the anticipation of the unknown and are just a normal symptom of pregnancy for many women.

Common symptoms at week twenty three of pregnancy

  • A blue tinge to your legs (this is related to hormones and not blood supply, it will settle after delivery
  • A dark line from your belly button to your pelvic bone (linea negra)
  • Breast increase and darkening of the nipples which will be enlarging
  • Nosebleeds due to increased blood-flow and sensitive nasal passages
  • Shortness of breath
  • Body aches
  • Stretch marks
  • Skin pigmentation
  • Anxiety about the birth and parenthood
  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • Intense and vivid dreams
  • Leg cramps
  • Increased vaginal discharge

Tips for week twenty three of pregnancy

  • If you are experiencing increased vaginal discharge, an everyday panty liner will help manage this.
  • Try to incorporate some stretching exercises into your bedtime routine which will ease your aching body and aid restful sleep. Make sure you use an even floor surface with nothing you can trip over.
  • Invest in some cooking books designed for freezer cooking or some magazines. It is a bit soon to be cooking for your freezer and your upcoming busy time but it is fun to get some ideas and get organized.

If you have any symptoms that concern you it is important to consult your doctor as soon as you can.

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