It’s amazing to know that just after a week, other changes on your baby inside you can already be seen. Every change no matter how big or small they are is God’s miracle. The joy of seeing your angel move through an ultrasound or feel his punches are what every woman cherish in the journey towards motherhood.
Here are some facts you need to know and anticipate when nearing your 23rd week.
Your little one
Being 23 weeks pregnant which falls on the 3rd week of the 6th month, your baby will be a little more than 11 inches long and weigh more than one pound based on statistics. His or her senses will grow stronger each day. He can hear sounds even from outside your body especially if they are loud and can even react to them with a slight thump. But babies prefer soothing sounds that’s why letting them listen to classic music such as the likes of Mozart will help and as studies reveal, will even make him a genius someday.
Your baby will kick, reach and move around more inside your belly and open his eyes from time to time. He is more active at night and peaceful during the day. By this time, he will also start to have a grip, a sign that his bones are hardening. He will have reddish, less saggy and thin skin as fat starts to fit his whole frame.
Little teeth and nipples also start to grow and he can swallow now. His internal organs such as a very small heart, the lungs and brain will be in place. You can hear his heartbeat but with the use of an equipment. Moreover, his organs are already developing. This stage can be more exciting as you can interact with your baby more often.
You at 23 weeks
When a woman is 23 weeks pregnant, her belly becomes more protruded and round. The sight of a swelling ankle and feet is still there. To avoid this, refrain from sitting or standing for long periods. Wear comfortable flat shoes. Stay hydrated to flush out everything unnecessary to your body. If swelling occurs in your face to include puffy eyes, go see your doctor.
If you see a dark line below your belly and above your pubic areas called the linea nigra especially when you are dark-skinned, don’t be surprised. Pregnancy hormones are said to be responsible for this as well as the darkening of other areas of the body. This is not something to worry about as this will fade away after you have given birth. Expect red soles and palms too.
With all those eating, bloating can be inevitable. Be sure to drink water for easy digestion. And because of extra weight that may cause you to catch your breath occasionally, snoring can also happen when 23 weeks pregnant.
Bleeding gums caused by hormones may continue. Regular brushing, flossing, avoiding too many sweets, taking calcium supplements and visiting your dentist may help alleviate this.
As your breasts get bigger and with a big stomach to carry, you might find yourself having back pains. You will experience contractions as your uterus tightens and cramps particularly in your lower leg which is what will often wake you up at night. Remember that these and mostly all other kinds of pains are actually benefiting you as this prepare you for delivery such as the opening up of your pelvis. Doing light exercises including taking deep breaths may minimize these troubles and can even advance your baby’s brain. Straightening your legs and flexing them will relieve the cramps.
Headaches and prick-like pain in your palms will also be a usual scenario. Add to this, mothers usually lack energy. With enough vitamins and power naps every day, you can gather all the energy that you will need for you and your baby.
Contractions at the top of the uterus may be felt more especially after exercising, having sex or bending. This is nothing to be concerned about as this is just like practicing giving birth.
Iron is one of the vital vitamins of a pregnant woman as this is needed by her baby to produce blood cells. You can be anemic if you lack iron supplements or food rich in iron.
Sleeping may also be a problem. The remedy to insomnia is still exercise. Doing a little stretching and drinking hot milk before going to bed will aid. Find a safe and comfortable position that will not affect the baby you are carrying to make sleeping easy.
Meanwhile, expect more whitish and mucous-like vaginal discharge. If thick or yellowish, consult a doctor. Yeast infection can happen too that is itchy and has a burning sensation in the feminine area.
Emotionally, mood swings will still be around especially that carrying a baby in your tummy is not an easy thing. Feeling low or being sensitive even with the smallest things is normal. It would help if you look for ways to amuse yourself by talking to your baby or your husband, going out once in a while, watching movies or catching up with friends. There also support groups which moms-to-be can join to be able to hear stories and tips from others as well as share their own experiences or fears. Remember that your mood affects your baby because as the weeks progress, you and your baby are getting more connected to each other. Caressing your bump or having someone rub it makes it all the more intimate.
On the other hand, if you’re having twins the same things happen only that your stomach will be bigger and there will be more movements.
Still, not all may achieve an ideal healthy infant at 23 weeks. It all comes with proper nutrition and care. As they say, your baby is what you eat so watch out for every food you put in your mouth. Keep up with all your appointments with your doctor to monitor any development. And as for mommies-to-be, don’t fret because everything will be back to normal soon.