At 23 weeks pregnant, your baby keeps on gaining weight. But she still remains skinny and does not look like a well-fed baby. She rather looks like an old man, due to a red wrinkled skin with an insufficiently developed subcutaneous tissue.
The fetus’ motor activity increases. He does not just move, but actively works with his arms and legs: he touches his body and face, pulls the umbilical cord and pushes away from the walls of the uterus. Also the baby swallows the amniotic fluid. Sometimes this causes hiccups, which the woman feels like rhythmic jerks inside the abdomen.
However, a baby sleeps most of the day. Surprisingly, scientists have proved that babies can have dreams at this time!
Your baby is now as big as an eggplant: her height is 20 cm; her weight is about 450 g.
You can more and more clearly see the nose on the baby’s face, the eyelids are fully formed, she begins to open the eyes, and the eyebrows already are there above them. The ears gradually take their usual place rising from the neck up. It’s still a long time before the childbirth, and your baby already looks like you or her dad!
The speech breathing is being improved. The baby already performs constant 50-60 respiratory movements per minute.
Senses get more complicated and developed. Therefore, the baby should recognize your affectionate words and gentle stroking.
Not only ultrasound can determine the baby’s heart beating, but also an ordinary stethoscope attached to a woman’s tummy will help to hear it.
Bones now become denser due to the deposition of calcium salts in them.
In the intestine, meconium is accumulated – the first feces. The immune system of the body is developing. Now it “memorizes” the pathogens the fetus gets from the maternal organism, and immunity to them is formed.
This period is a time for a woman’s calmness and well-being. The early toxicosis is left behind. The mom-to-be already feels her child, enjoying her unity with him. Baby’s movements are still slight, but an expecting woman can clearly feel some of them.
Sometimes unpleasant feelings are still possible. A woman can experience heartburn, fatigue, headaches, swelling, varicose veins of the lower extremities. If you experience some of these problems, discuss them with the doctor. Remember: self-medication undesirable in general and during pregnancy even more so!
Constipation can bother an expecting woman. This appears due to both the action of the progesterone hormone, and to the pressure of the enlarged uterus on the intestines. A certain role plays here a decrease in motor activity by some women. And if you can do nothing with the first two reasons, it’s easy then to cope with hypodynamia. If there are no any contraindications, be sure to walk leisurely outdoors every day. You can invite your dad-to-be to walk with you.
Size of your abdomen
At the 23d week of pregnancy, the abdominal girth is about 75-80 cm. Height of standing uterus at this time should be within 22-25 cm. The doctor will measure your tummy when you visit him. Do not get scared and do not worry if you have some other indicators. This is all quite individual and depends on your height and weight before pregnancy.
Heartburn at 23 weeks pregnant
Not all people are prone to experience such a trouble as heartburn. And during pregnancy, this malaise can bother any woman, even if she didn’t suffer from heartburn before.
Often, overweight people experience such a discomfort, as well as when you do some physical exercises like bending, abs workouts.
During pregnancy there’s absolutely other situation. At 23 weeks pregnant, a growing baby begins to squeeze her mom’s internal organs. The later the stages the stronger the pressure, and the higher the probability of getting unpleasant sensations in the esophagus. The second trimester is the time when heartburn occurs. But sometimes, moms-to-be experience this malaise earlier.
When does heartburn occur?
Every expecting woman is individual.
Some moms-to-be can experience heartburn right after having meal.
An expecting woman can experience heartburn when lying.
Also, discomfort in the esophagus can occur regardless of situations (a mom-to-be can experience heartburn always, no matter whether she ate something or not).
Vaginal discharges at 23 weeks pregnant
At 23 weeks pregnant, when your vaginal discharges are clear or milky white, in small quantities, without an unpleasant odor or pain, that’s okay. Your pregnancy proceeds as expected, no need to worry worryю
If the discharges are of another color, abundant, accompanied by acute pain and unpleasant odor, immediately visit your doctor.
Your stomach gets hard
At 23 weeks pregnant, a mom-to-be can feel her tummy getting hard, which is due to uterine tone or, so-called, Braxton Hicks.
Before the onset of labor, the body can prepare a woman for the upcoming process, by using the false contraction, which Braxton-Hicks described for the first time in 1872. During this process, irregular uterine contractions occur, the interval between which does not decrease, and the intensity of contractions does not increase, as during real labor contractions; discomfort and pain are most often absent. The main difference is that during this process, the uterus doesn’t contract and, accordingly, the cervix does not open. But at that moment the blood flow to the placenta is improving, and all the muscles of the uterus are trained, preparing it for this forthcoming childbirth. Also Braxton-Hicks contractions are useful for the emotional state of an expecting woman, they help her to control attention and restrain the fear of the forthcoming labor.
Most often, such contractions begin to bother a woman during the second or the third trimester. No need to be afraid of this process, the feeling of both false contractions as well as their absence is the normal state of things.
What can cause false contractions?
• Excitement and stress of a mom-to-be.
• Severe bladder fullness.
• Active physical exercises of an expectant woman.
• Orgasm during intercourse.
How to reduce discomfort
– drink a glass of water, this will replenish the water balance;
– walk around the room;
– walk in the fresh air is also a good option;
– take a warm bath, it relaxes the body well;
– or simply change the position of the body. For example, lie down on your left side;
– during Braxton Hicks contractions, you can practice breathing exercises and use the knowledge gained during the prenatal training.
In order not to confuse false contractions with the real ones, especially if this will be your first baby, you need to know the symptoms of real contractions:
• leaking fluid;
• pressure in the vagina;
• pain sensations similar to menstrual pain;
• painful sensations in the back and spine.
At 37th-38th week of pregnancy, false contractions can become stronger, and you need to listen to your body more carefully at this moment. If the intensity of the contractions has increased (more than 4 times per hour), they are accompanied by pain and spotting, you should urgently contact the doctor, but rather call an ambulance.
Ultrasound at 23 weeks of pregnancy
You’ve already had the first ultrasound and now you know a little about what is happening inside you. The baby develops and grows fast enough. It’s time for the next study.
Gynecologist schedules the second ultrasound shortly after the first one. It is necessary to learn about both your condition and your baby’s development.
Such an ultrasound a woman can get starting from the 20th week of pregnancy.