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Pregnancy Guide: Week 23

Right now, your baby’s skin is saggy, but as fat begins to form underneath, it will plump out. It also has a red tinge because of the arteries and veins visible just beneath the surface. If you watch closely, not only will you be able to feel your baby’s punches, but you may be able to see them from the outside. 

The placenta now transfers nutrients, blood, and oxygen as well as eliminating waste.

23 weeks pregnant is how many months?

You are now into the sixth month of pregnancy. You crossed over the five-month marker last week, and you now have a little more than three months to go.

Your Baby at 23 Weeks

Starting this week, your baby will gain some serious ground in grams. In the next four weeks, he will double his weight. He’ll begin to fill out his frame with fat, and by the time he’s born, he’ll be nice and plump, just the way a baby should be. 

He’ll have chubby cheeks cute enough to kiss. You can see your baby’s bones and organs through the skin now, but when the fat settles in, it’ll be less transparent.

If you put a stethoscope to your belly, you can hear your baby’s heartbeat. Keep in mind that you may have to search for a while to find it. 

In many cases, doctors advise against using Dopplers at home because when women can’t find their baby’s heartbeat, they begin to panic, and there’s no need. It’s not easy to find, but if you feel up to the task, do so at your own risk.

How big is a baby at 23 weeks?

Remember, when your uterus was only the size of a grapefruit? Well, now that’s your baby. He is 30.4 centimetres long and weighs 568 grams.

Your Body at 23 Weeks

Pregnancy has consumed you from tip to toe. Not only are your feet swelling, but you’ve probably lost your head most days. Your mind is fuzzy (we’ll call this pregnancy brain), your skin is prone to heat rash and stretch marks, and your ankles and feet look like a sasquatch minus the fur. You don’t know whether you are hot or feeling cold when pregnant and perhaps can’t decide if you need a lie-down or to get up and move about. This can cause some irritation which is completely justified and sometimes can lead to fights that expectant couples might have, but as long as you try and consider each other’s feelings, it’s usually going to be ok.

It’s not the most glamorous you’ve felt, but hopefully, you still have your gorgeous locks and long nails. At least you have something going for you at this point, but that pregnancy glow everyone is talking about is probably just sweat.

Your skin is welcoming more than just heat rash. You may have the linea nigra—a dark line running down the centre of your belly. You have skin discolourations everywhere, and you may have noticed a new mole or two.

If you have discolouration in your face, it’s called melasma, or the mask of pregnancy. It happens more in dark-skinned women, but it can happen to anyone. It’s not forever, but in the meantime, you may want to use some concealer and lots of sunscreen.

It’s more important now than ever to learn to calm your nerves. Practice some relaxation exercises and deep breathing to help you relieve some stress now and make it through labour later. These exercises will come in handy, and if you take a childbirth class, they’ll teach you plenty of them.

Yoga is relaxing and can help stretch out a sore back and legs. It’s also a great low-impact exercise at this stage of pregnancy. Pregnancy meditation can happen anywhere, and if you close your eyes and imagine peaceful scenery, you can focus on relaxing from head to toe, taking deep breaths along the way. Even a few minutes is better than nothing at all.

dry mouth pregnancy green mug


You’re getting used to your baby’s gentle somersaulting, but those kicks are going to start getting more powerful and perhaps painful soon. When you get kicked in the ribs, it hurts!

Your healthy appetite is never-ending, so keep stocking your pantry with healthy snacks you can take with you on the go.

You may be eating everything in sight, but even if you weren’t, you’d still feel bloated as if you were. Your hormones are causing your digestion to slow, producing bloating, heartburn, and plenty of gas.

Your congestion and swelling nasal passages may cause some snoring, so sleep with a warm humidifier and prop your head up to lessen your spouse’s annoyance with this new habit. You can also try nasal strips to open your nose up.

Keep brushing and flossing to keep your sore gums healthy. Don’t eat sticky sweets and make sure you visit the dentist once during your pregnancy.

As your pregnancy puts pressure on nerves all over your body, you may start to notice that your hands are tingly, especially if you work at a computer all day. Take breaks and stretch your hands and wrists.

Tips/Things to do

A full night’s sleep may elude you most of the time but get as much sleep as you can now. Go to bed early, put a pillow between your legs to increase your comfort, and sleep on your left side as much as you can.

Start speaking with your boss about maternity leave. Make sure you both connect with human resources to have a plan in place that everyone supports.

Carry a bottle of water with you everywhere you go. You can maintain blood volume, reduce swelling, and alleviate pain and cramping just by staying hydrated.

Your bladder is under a lot of pressure from your uterus these days. It can’t hold as much urine as it used to, which is why you’re still going to the bathroom a lot. 

It’s also prone to UTIs now, however, so keep up that water intake and go to the bathroom when you need to instead of holding it. Keep yourself clean and wear knickers that breathe.

Keep up the low-impact exercises and maybe give Pilates a try. It’s a tremendous core-strengthening routine that engages your mind and your body. It elongates your muscles and is the perfect way to stretch what’s sore. 

Just be sure to let the instructor know you’re pregnant so she can give you safe modifications if necessary.

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