23 Weeks Pregnant

23 Weeks Pregnant

Revathi V Gopal
By Revathi V Gopal
You have now reached the twenty-third week of pregnancy, and it is a milestone that is worth considering. During this time, you have to be careful and take care of your well-being. Several bodily changes will be taking place similar to the previous weeks.
Besides, when it comes to your precious one, your baby will be practicing breathing during this time. Other than that, your little one will be developing a pattern of sleeping as well. Here, we will look into the different things that happen during the twenty-third week of pregnancy. Along with that, we will offer you some practical tips to consider during this stage of pregnancy.

What Happens During the Twenty-Third Week of Pregnancy?

Here, we will look into the hormonal and bodily changes happening during the 23rd week. We will examine different pregnancy symptoms and your baby's development as well.

Hormonal Changes and Other Symptoms

When you are in the 23rd week of pregnancy, you will notice hormonal changes happening in you. Since there is an increase in pregnancy hormones, you will have a foggy and hazy feeling. It is a condition called pregnancy brain, which can affect your ability to focus and concentrate. Other than that, there will be skin discolorations happening because of the pregnancy hormones. Some changes include the darkening of areolas, changes in the skin tone of freckles present in your arms and legs. Besides, there will be other skin-related concerns depending on your skin color, and remember that they are pretty common during pregnancy.

Constipation is also a concern that can affect you while you are twenty-three weeks pregnant. It is because of the decrease in motility during your pregnancy.

Migraines or headaches can affect you as part of a pregnancy symptom. It is because of the muscle tension in your upper back, shoulders, and neck. The reason behind this is the change in your spinal cord to adapt to your baby's growth and development. These are the hormonal changes and some of the main symptoms you can notice while you are twenty-three weeks pregnant. If you think your health is worsening, you can seek assistance from a medical professional.

Bodily Changes

Similar to the previous week, one of the noticeable changes in your body is with your belly. Here, your baby bump will be visible, and your little one will continue to grow inside you. Your baby bump will be around 21 to 25 cms during this time of pregnancy. For some of you, you might notice that your cervix has started to decrease in size. However, it may not be the same for all of you. For instance, if the cervix has become considerably short, it could be a sign of early labor. In such cases, it is best to speak with your medical professional for expert advice.

Other than these changes, you might have rib pain, which is due to its expansion. It takes place as a way to provide enough space for your bump. Besides, your breast will also be big and will result in leaking of the colostrum.

Since your body weight increases, you might get cramps in your leg muscles in regions close to your calves or feet. Along with the changes happening to your skin, one of them is the presence of stretch marks. They might come on your body, especially if your mother had them during their time of pregnancy. If you get them, they will be present in your hips and belly. However, you have to remember that it is normal. It is something happening as part of the stretching happening in you.

Besides, you have to take good care of your dental hygiene as you might notice bleeding gums while brushing your teeth. You can speak with your doctor and gain the required assistance. When it comes to weight gain, there would be an increase of around 10lbs. However, it will depend on different factors such as your current weight, number of babies, lifestyle, etc.,

Fetal Development

When you have stepped into the 23rd week of pregnancy, your little one will weigh around 0.54 kg. Your baby will be 28 cm long from its head to the bottom during this time. Other than that, several developments are taking place in your little one, including the thinning of skin cellophane. Besides, there will be blood vessels developing below the skin. Along with that, there is the formation of a protective protein known as keratin, which gets added to your little one's skin cells. Due to this change, your baby's skin will become thicker than before.

When it comes to internal changes, your baby's lungs will reach maturation as small capillaries forms. Besides, there will be the development of a set of ling cells called pneumocytes. Until your baby's lungs become mature, there is a need for special care and attention. Even though there are chances of your little one surviving if you have a delivery at this time, it is best to take the necessary care to protect your baby. Other than that, your baby will undergo a tremendous change in size in the coming few weeks, which will lead to an increase in your body weight.

At this stage of pregnancy, your little one can listen to sounds vaguely. Hence, your baby would respond to voices as well.

If you have an ultrasound scan at this time, it will be exciting for you to meet your little champ. You can notice your baby's facial expressions and other features too. It is an excellent way to ensure that your little one has a healthy growth.

Tips to Take Care of Yourself During the Twenty-Third Week of Pregnancy

Here are some tips that can help you to take care of yourself during the 23rd week of pregnancy.

Maintaining a Healthy Diet

When you are pregnant, you have to drink plenty of water as it helps you to stay hydrated. If you are looking out for how much water to drink per day, it is best to stick to eight to ten-ounce glasses per day.

Other than water, you can have other fluids such as fresh fruit juices, smoothies, soups, etc. When you do so, it is best to avoid having those drinks with additives or preservatives in them. When you stay hydrated, it will assist in maintaining your additional blood volume. Besides, it will also help renew the amniotic fluid, which is an essential component for your little one. Another benefit of drinking water is that it enhances milk production, which will be beneficial after you give birth to your little one.

Besides, you have to maintain a healthy diet as well during the 23rd week of pregnancy. For that purpose, you can have fruits, vegetables, which are organic. You can also try to reduce having caffeine, and it is best to stay away from alcohol.

Take Care of Your Physical Health

Even though it is best to stay away from intense workouts, you have to stay physically active. Here, it is best to go on short walks, try out pilates, and take part in prenatal yoga. Joining a fitness class or a pregnancy group can also be helpful when it comes to practicing these exercises regularly. You can try out light stretching exercises that can help in lowering the pain or discomfort you might have. They can also assist in reducing muscle cramps and lower back pain if you have them.

However, you have to ensure that these exercises are safe before you try them out. When you try pilates, it can bring in mind and body discipline. It is because the focus is on strengthening your core and enhancing your flexibility. These are some of the exercises you can try out when you are twenty-three weeks pregnant. However, you should not overdo any form of physical activity that can risk you and your baby's well-being.

Enhance Your Mental well-being

When you are in the 23rd week of pregnancy, you might be feeling anxious and confused. One of the primary reasons is that you are approaching your due date. Even though each person handles situations differently, you have to find out ways by which you can overcome these concerns. Here, you have to focus on stress management techniques that would work for you and help you relax your mind and body. Because of anxiety, you might face challenges in sleeping and even insomnia. There are chances of having vivid dreams that can be disturbing as well. Hence, it is best to seek help if you find it a necessity. Besides, you can always speak with your loved ones and gain support from them.

Other Tips

  • You can ask your doctor about your glucose screening test, which helps you know if you have gestational diabetes.
  • You have to take steps that assist in the prevention of UTIs during this stage of pregnancy. For that purpose, drinking cranberry juice can be beneficial.
  • You can apply for your maternity leave and start preparing for your delivery as well.
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