23 Weeks Pregnancy: Symptoms, Baby Development, And Tips

23 Weeks Pregnancy: Symptoms, Baby Development, And Tips

26 Dec 2016 | 10 min Read

Sudeshna Chakravarti

Author | 274 Articles

At 23 weeks pregnant, your little one is going to have a major growth spurt and is likely to double in size in the next month or so. By this week, your baby’s face will be fully formed too, and you can notice their facial features during an ultrasound scan.

In terms of bodily and emotional changes, your pregnancy hormones may continue to go on overdrive, and you may experience a set of new pregnancy symptoms along with the ones experienced in the previous weeks. You may also experience frequent brain fog during this week, a condition better termed as “pregnancy brain”, which may make you feel hazy and forgetful. 

Let’s find out more about your baby’s development and growth progress, and the common symptoms that you may experience during the 23rd week of pregnancy. 

Your Baby’s Development at 23 Weeks

At 23 weeks of pregnancy, you are six months pregnant and will be entering the third trimester in a few weeks. This also means you have only three months to meet your little bundle of joy. By this week, your baby’s arms and legs will pack more of a punch too, and you can even see them poke through the outside.

Let’s have a look at some of the other interesting facts about your baby’s growth progress and development in the 23rd week of pregnancy. 

How Big is Your Baby at 23 Weeks?

At 23 weeks of pregnancy, your baby is the size of a large mango. They will measure about 28.9cms (11.38 inches) in length and weigh around 500.1gms (1.1lb). 

If you are curious to get a deeper insight into your baby’s development and size progress each week, you can follow the posts published under the pregnancy week-by-week section by BabyChakra. These posts will give you all the details about your baby’s weekly development, common pregnancy symptoms that you may experience, and self-care tips to maintain good health.

These posts also discuss the prenatal tests and check-ups, such as ultrasound that you may need weekly during your ob-gyn appointment.

Foetal Development at 23 Week Pregnancy

23 weeks pregnancy
Your baby will have a major growth spurt this week, and they will also begin to respond to your touch now / Image source: WebMD

The following section discusses more about how your baby’s body develops in the 23rd week of pregnancy, and also the common growth milestones that they are set to achieve in this week.

  • Lungs: Their lungs continue to develop this week. Alveoli continue to grow as well and start producing surfactants that help your baby stay inflated after a breath. 
  • Face: Your baby’s face is fully formed now, and you can notice their facial features during an ultrasound.
  • Nipples: Their nipples continue to develop this week.
  • Bone marrow: The bone marrow begins to make blood cells.
  • Skin: By the 23rd week of pregnancy, fat starts depositing beneath your baby’s skin, which is loose and wrinkled.
  • Reflexes: By this week, your baby will start gripping and gets startled as well.
  • Eyes: Rapid eye movements begin during this time.
  • Hair: Their hair begins to develop colour.
  • Pancreas: Your baby’s pancreas will start developing insulin starting this week.

Common Symptoms That You Will Experience This Week

Remember the early signs of pregnancy that you experienced? Some of the symptoms felt this week are going to be similar. Apart from that, the other common symptoms that you are likely to experience include:

  • Weight gain: Your doctor may recommend an average weight gain of 550gms-700gms per week during the second trimester. However, this rate may differ according to your BMI. If you are slightly underweight, then your recommended weight gain might be a bit higher, and vice versa for those who are overweight. 
  • Increase in appetite: Your growing baby demands more nourishment and that may cause an increase in your appetite with frequent hunger pangs. 
  • Edema: Due to increased water retention in your body, edema or swelling in your hands and legs might occur. Usually, this condition is harmless, but if you notice a sudden increase in swelling, consult your doctor immediately for guidance.
  • Nasal congestion: Due to hormonal changes, the nasal membranes secrete more mucous than usual. This causes congestion in your nasal cavity, and sometimes even breathlessness.
  • Frequency of urination: The growing uterus puts a lot of pressure on your bladder leading to an increase in your urge to pee.
  • Snoring: As your nasal passage remains congested due to swollen mucous membranes, you may experience snoring while sleeping.
  • Backache: You may continue to experience backache in the 23rd week of pregnancy. The extra weight of your baby puts more pressure on your lower back causing pain. It may be more painful for women carrying multiple babies. 
  • Bloating: Your body releases progesterone hormone during this time that relaxes the gastrointestinal tract and slows down digestion. This causes the food to remain in the tract for a long time, making you feel bloated.
  • Bleeding of the gums: The hormonal fluctuations during this time cause your gums to sell or loosen, which can further to occasional bleeding. 
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: Swelling during pregnancy, puts a lot of pressure on the nerves of your wrists and hands, causing a tingling sensation, also known as carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Headaches: Dehydration and staying hungry for a long time can lead to occasional giddiness or headaches. These symptoms can also bring in emotional and physical changes in your body.
  • Varicose veins: The increased blood flow to the lower part of your body causes the veins in your legs to swell up, resulting in varicose veins.

Your Body at The 23rd Week of Pregnancy

23 weeks pregnancy
You will continue to notice stretch marks and skin pigmentation during this week

In the 23rd week of pregnancy, you will continue to experience certain physical and emotional changes. These changes, however, are more rapid than the ones experienced in the first trimester. You may notice the following changes:

Physical changes:

  • Discolouration of the skin, with some dark patches developing due to increased melanin
  • Stretch marks on your belly
  • Darkening of the linea nigra
  • An enlarged belly with a protruding navel
  • Areola getting darker and bigger

Emotional changes:

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Weird dreams related to childbirth and labour

In case you experience any other symptoms than these and feel that they aren’t typical of pregnancy, consult your doctor right away. 

23 Weeks Pregnant Belly

Will your baby’s rapid growth, your belly will appear bigger at this stage, and you can even notice occasional kicks from outside. Additionally, the frequency of your baby’s movements will now become more prominent and you will feel them wiggle throughout the day, especially at night when you are trying to sleep.

In case you are curious to know more about your baby’s activity inside the womb, and how it will change in the upcoming weeks, you can consider using the pregnancy month calculator for information.

Do You Need an Ultrasound at The 23rd Week Of Pregnancy?

23 weeks pregnancy
The doctor will conduct an ultrasound scan to detect any congenital abnormalities in your baby

When you are 23 weeks pregnant, you will have a routine prenatal check-up with your doctor. They will check your weight, blood pressure, and also determine the foetal heart rate using a feotoscope. The doctor may also recommend an ECG cardiac check-up to understand your cardiac health.

In addition to this, you may also have an ultrasound to get comprehensive details about foetal anatomy. However, it may not give you details about all your baby’s organs. It will just help detect any congenital abnormalities or defects in your baby.

Self-care Tips for 23 Weeks Pregnancy

In this section, we have discussed some essential self-care tips for the 23rd week of pregnancy that will keep you safe and comfortable.

  • Ensure to drink plenty of fluids, and 8-10 glasses of water to stay hydrated.
  • Consume home-cooked foods which are rich in fibre and omega-3 fatty acids like seafood, avocado, sweet potatoes, and green leafy veggies.
  • Take doctor-prescribed vitamin supplements with folic acid and iron.
  • Keep stress at bay and get enough rest.
  • Engage in mild exercises like walking and prenatal yoga to stay energetic.
  • Wear loose, breathable clothes to avoid discomfort during hot flashes.
  • Avoid exposure to toxic chemicals and use pregnancy-safe skincare products.
  • Reduce mobile phone usage, and avoid keeping your laptop on your lap.

Pregnancy Checklist at 23 Weeks

Here’s a set of checklists for the 23rd week of pregnancy:

  • Book an appointment with the sonographer for the next ultrasound scan.
  • Schedule a prenatal appointment with your ob-gyn for the next week.
  • Use a baby name finder to narrow down a set of names for your little one.
  • Start setting up your baby’s nursery and make a list of other essential items you need to purchase. 

What to Ask Your Doctor?

When you are in the 23rd week of pregnancy, you begin to practice more caution to keep yourself and your little one safe. You might also be curious to know about certain things that will help maintain your health. Some of the crucial questions to ask your doctor are:

  • Is my weight gain healthy?
  • How is my baby’s growth progress?
  • What did you find in my ultrasound scan?
  • Do I need to take additional vitamin supplements?
  • Is it still safe for me to indulge in mild exercises?
  • What foods should I avoid at this stage?

Conclusion

When you are 23 weeks pregnant, you are considered six months pregnant and have only 3 months left to meet your little one. At this week, your baby will undergo a major growth spurt, and achieve certain growth milestones in the womb, such as functional reflexes and responding to your voice. 

Apart from this, you may continue to experience certain unpleasant pregnancy symptoms, such as headaches, forgetfulness, swelling in your hands and legs, and bleeding gums. If any of these symptoms are felt in excess, make sure to consult your doctor right away.

Keep an eye on your baby’s movements and also practice a healthy lifestyle to ensure both you and your little one’s health. 

FAQs

Is my baby fully developed at 23 weeks?

At 23 weeks, your baby’s face and certain other body parts like the respiratory system are fully developed and functioning. The remaining body parts, such as the lungs continue to develop.

Are you six months pregnant at 23 weeks?

Yes. You are considered six months pregnant at 23 weeks.

What should I feel at 23 weeks of pregnancy?

You may feel an increase in your baby’s kicks and movements. You may also experience common pregnancy symptoms like backache, swelling, bleeding gums, and headaches.

Can my baby feel my touch at 23 weeks?

Your baby starts to feel sensations starting weeks 23-26, and they can feel your touch at any point during this time.

Does rubbing my belly comfort the baby?

Yes, rubbing, patting, and touching your belly can soothe your baby.

Can I lay on my back when pregnant?

You should avoid sleeping on your back starting the 18th week of pregnancy. Instead, sleep on your side and use maternity pillows to support your back and legs and offer comfort. 

Also read:

Ovulation calculator: Check out this post to know why you should be using an ovulation calculator while planning your pregnancy.

24 weeks pregnancy symptoms: Are you 24 weeks pregnant? Click on this post to know the common symptoms that you might experience during this time. 

Featured image: Freepik.com

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