23 weeks pregnant
Stretch marks are likely to occur during pregnancy so take care of your skin with lots of moisturiser and body cream.
Your baby at 23 weeks
Your baby is still covered in lanugo (soft, fine hair) but is steadily gaining the fat needed to keep warm after birth. The ears have developed to the point that your baby will be able to hear outside noises quite easily, which will also help with your baby’s sense of balance.
Muscle and reflex development means your baby will be quite comfortable performing acrobatics, so you should feel some definite kicking soon if you haven’t already!
Your baby is now around 11.5 inches from head to toe, about the size of a marrow.
Your body at 23 weeks
You might notice some swelling in your ankles at this stage, which is perfectly normal. You can relieve this by drinking lots of water and doing some light exercise, as this increases blood circulation. Another remedy is to simply put your feet up!
If you have pain in the pubic area, groin or hips then speak to your GP or midwife. You maybe suffering from SPD (Symphisis pubis disorder). SPD in pregnancy can occur at any time during your pregnancy or after giving birth. Many women notice it for the first time around the middle of their pregnancy.
Although there’s still a long way to go, you might start having Braxton Hicks contractions at this stage. These prepare your body for labour, and are more uncomfortable than painful. Normally, they last for roughly 30 seconds, so you don’t necessarily have to contact your midwife or doctor, unless they become prolonged and intense, as this means you could be about to give birth!
Your baby weighs about a pound right now – quite impressive considering he was the size of an apple seed 20 weeks ago!
How you’re feeling at 23 weeks
A restful night can help alleviate all the worries and anxieties that you’re likely experiencing at this point. It’s best for your baby if you sleep on your left side, as this will prevent restriction of blood flow to the placenta. Placing a pillow between your knees will make this more comfortable if it’s not what you’re used to.
At 23 weeks, if your baby is born prematurely, there is a 10% chance of survival. The chance of survival increases every day, though it’s possible that your baby may be born with disabilities. Sometimes there isn’t a clear reason why a baby is born prematurely, but certain factors play a role, such as being pregnant with twins, or triplets. Also, if you’ve already had a premature birth, the chances of having another one are increased.
To help prevent a premature birth, live a healthy lifestyle, such as quitting smoking, avoiding drugs and maintaining a healthy weight. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have an unusual vaginal discharge, as this can be a sign of infection, which can bring on a premature birth.
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