23 Weeks Pregnant | Pregnancy Week By Week
23 WEEKS PREGNANT
Only 17 weeks to go! At 23 weeks pregnant you’re busy planning and preparing for your little one’s arrival. You’re picking out nursery colors and narrowing down the baby names you like in an effort to find one that fits your baby to a T. You might be having mild arguments with the baby about not kicking the crap out of your ribs when you’re trying to sleep and begging the baby to change positions to take the pressure off your bladder before you pee yourself. You’re sending your significant other out on 3 a.m. runs to the grocery store to get your favorite ice cream because your craving is keeping you from sleeping. You may not think so now, but these will be the things you think about the most when you look back on your pregnancy after the baby is born – not the aches and pains and throwing up.
Now that you’re 23 weeks pregnant, your baby is the size of a grapefruit! The baby should measure around 11.4 inches from head to toe and weighs about 1.1 pounds. Did you notice that says pounds and not ounces? Baby has reached a milestone this week!
PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS WEEK 23
Symptom-wise, you’ve had it pretty easy the last couple of weeks, but in week 23 the pregnancy symptoms become a bit more uncomfortable.
- Braxton Hicks contractions. These are known as practice contractions. You’ll feel your belly get really tight and hard. It’ll be uncomfortable and maybe a little painful but, thankfully, each of these practice contractions come and go pretty quick. Your body is gearing up and preparing for the real contractions that you’ll experience when you go into labor. Sounds fun, right?
- Swollen feet and ankles. A little swelling of the feet and ankles is normal during pregnancy. You will develop the dreaded “cankles” at some point before the end of your pregnancy. Sitting when you can and putting your feet up should help to decrease the swelling. However, if the swelling is severe or comes on suddenly, contact your OB right away as this could be a sign of a condition called preeclampsia that is very dangerous in pregnancy.
- Bleeding and swelling gums. You may notice, especially when you brush your teeth, that your gums begin to bleed and swell up. This is due to the increased blood flow during pregnancy. Switch to a softer bristle toothbrush if your gums become sore and visit your dentist at least once during your pregnancy for an exam and a cleaning.
- Backaches. Backaches will continue to plague you for the duration of your pregnancy thanks to your growing belly. You might consider carrying a small pillow around with you to prop behind your back whenever you sit. You could always get a cute little tote bag to haul it around in – an excuse to shop!
23 WEEK BABY BUMP
That baby bump of yours seems to get bigger by the day at this point, doesn’t it? At 23 weeks pregnant, the fundal height of your belly (which is measured from the top of the uterus down to the pelvic bone) should fall somewhere between 21 and 25 centimeters for a singleton pregnancy. If you’re having twins (or more!), the fundal height usually isn’t measured because there are too many babies in there for an accurate measurement!
If you’re pregnant with just one baby, you’ve probably gained somewhere around 12 to 15 pounds so far. If you’re having twins, your weight gain will be a little more than that – maybe about 20 pounds give or take.
As the baby continues to get bigger and has less room to move around in your belly, you will begin to see the baby’s movements as you watch your belly. It’s really neat actually. When the baby rolls, your whole belly will move with the baby. As the baby jabs you with their little elbow or a foot, you’ll see it trying to poke through your belly. This is why you probably shouldn’t use your belly as a table because one strong kick or movement from the baby could send that plate of food you have balanced there flying!
23 WEEKS PREGNANT ULTRASOUND
If you were to have an ultrasound at 23 weeks, you’d see a much tinier version of what your full-term baby will look like. The baby’s face is completely formed with eyes, nose, mouth, and even eyebrows. Over the next few months, it’ll become chubbier as the baby gains fat throughout its body.
The baby’s nipples are forming, and his lungs are continuing to develop and grow stronger so he can breathe on his own once he’s born. Right now, the baby’s skin is thin and transparent so all the bones and organs can be seen through the skin. This will change in the coming months as the baby gains more fat deposits.
Because your baby can hear noises in the womb, he may become startled at loud noises such as hearing you sneeze or hearing a horn honk loudly. Your baby will sleep in patterns, so those times during the day when you don’t feel your little acrobat moving around a whole lot, that’s probably because he’s snoozing away.
WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING AT 23 WEEKS PREGNANT?
There’s so much to plan and prepare for before your baby is born that it can seem overwhelming at times. The best time to get the most important things done is while you’re still pregnant because once the baby is born you’re going to be too busy cuddling and loving on your new little one to do much of anything else, at least for the first few weeks when it’s all brand new.
Here are a few things you should be doing at 23 weeks pregnant while you have the time:
- Call your health insurance company. You should make a call to your health insurance company to find out what things will – and won’t – be covered for the delivery and hospital stay when the baby’s born.
- Start a savings account for the baby. Now is a great time to get a savings account going for your baby. You don’t even have to start with much money. Then you can make small deposits here and there to get some interest accruing over time.
- Make or update your will. If you don’t already have a will, now is the perfect time to make one. If you do already have a will, you should update it to reflect the recent and upcoming changes in your life. Better to be safe than sorry!
- Sam C's Editorial Team