Your baby has now reached the size of a large grapefruit and continues to put on weight. Your body keeps changing as well, and you might be experiencing lower back pain, trouble sleeping, bleeding gums and heartburn.
23 Weeks Pregnant – Fetus
Your baby keeps growing and gaining weight, now measuring 10.9 in/ 27.8 cm, the size of a large grapefruit, and weighing about 1.1 lb/ 513 grams. She has grown so much that when she kicks, you can occasionally see your belly move. She can hear loud voices and noises much better now, and her eyes, though still lacking color, are fully formed. The lungs are developing to prepare her for breathing, and tiny nipples are appearing on her chest! She’s still skinny and wrinkly, and if you could see her, you’d notice her skin is still partly translucent and reddish, but she’s posed for a serious weight gain in the following weeks, and her color will soon change, too.
23 Weeks Pregnant – Symptoms
At this stage you probably feel your baby squirm and kick multiple times a day. She has grown considerably during the past weeks, and though her size still allows her to enjoy some somersaulting, this is soon to change.
The growing size and weight of your belly may already cause you some lower back pain and make everyday tasks like stooping or lifting relatively heavy items unpleasant. You might also experience an unpleasant, burning or pulling sensation in the skin on your belly as it continues to stretch to accommodate your growing uterus. If this happens mostly at night, sleeping with a pillow under your belly might help. You may find that applying a wet, cold towel (or any other cold item) to your belly eases the discomfort.
If you notice that your palms and soles became red and your hands are tingling, hormonal changes are to blame. Pregnancy hormones are also responsible for making you feel much warmer than usual. There’s nothing much to do about it other than wait.
Your gums might feel more sensitive, and maybe even bleeding and/or swollen. Choose a toothbrush with softer bristles and brush gently.
Possible changes in your skin condition may include stretch marks, the darkening of your face and areola and the appearance of linea nigra on your abdomen. You may find it difficult to fall asleep, and don’t be surprised if your partner complains about your snoring. Snoring is common during pregnancy (particularly in the third trimester). Sleeping on your side with your head elevated may help reduce the snoring.
Heartburn is a common condition, and avoiding acidic, fatty foods, eating small, frequent meals, drinking a lot of fluids and moving sitting may ease it.
Are your feet swelling? This is edema, caused by slower circulation and water retention. Exercising (and generally moving as much as possible) may help, as well as wearing support stockings and comfortable shoes and lifting your legs up whenever possible. Although edema is nothing to worry about, excessive swelling of your ankles or feet and swelling in your face or hands might be a sigh of preeclampsia. Call your caregiver immediately if you notice any of the symptoms above.
23 Weeks Pregnant – Questions
You still got time until your baby arrives, but here are a few important issues to consider.
1. Should I Bank my Baby’s Cord Blood?
Cord blood is considered extremely valuable, as it contains stem cells. These cells can develop into any other type of cells, that can be used to treat multiple diseases and to repair and heal damaged organs and tissues.
Collecting cord blood is a swift and painless process. After the blood is collected, it will be frozen and stored for potential future use. You can either donate it to a public cord blood bank for public use, or choose to pay for it to be stored in a private cord blood bank for your family. If you decide to bank your baby’s cord blood, talk to your doctor and/or hospital during your second trimester, to help you choose a reliable private bank or a hospital for a donation to a public bank, as not every hospital allows cord blood donation.
2. Should I Choose Disposable or Cloth Diapers?
There is no question that cloth diapers will save you money. They are also much more beneficial to the environment – no disposables, no waste. Plus, cloth diapers need changing more often, which probably means your child will suffer less from diaper rashes, as many parents say. On the other hand, if you choose to cloth-diaper, bear in mind that your washing machine will work around the clock, which means you’ll pay much more for electricity and water, so unless you have a laundry service nearby, this might be a messy affair. If you know nothing about cloth-diapering, talk to an experienced parent or find a cloth-diapering-related forum to help you decide whether this option suits you.