The big day is not that far away. You are a little over halfway through the process. By now, your baby bump is showing and you have started to fit into maternity clothes. Your skin is glowing and you’ve started to look fresh. People around you might be noticing the changes and also commenting!
23rd Week Of Pregnancy: Changes, Symptoms, Foods & Care Tips
Your little human is possibly the size of a large mango/eggplant now. The baby has been growing slowly and steadily now but will start gaining weight faster over the next few weeks! Stay tuned till the end to know what to keep in mind and what to expect.
What to expect during this week?
- Your routine weight gain continues.
- You might not feel like moving at all, but you should, to make sure you are fit.
- You are going to strongly feel the movements of your little one.
- You will feel hungry but be careful not to overdo.
Changes in your body
- You should be gaining around 12 to 15 pounds which is normal. So get ready for the obvious stretch marks on your belly, breasts, and thighs. This weight gain will hardly be spotted from the First to the Sixth Week of Pregnancy.
- Your feet and ankles might also start swelling now. Do not worry about these stretch marks. At times they do not show up this early either, If some appear at all, they will probably become less noticeable with time.
- Your breasts might start to produce colostrum this week. It is an early form of breast milk which is slightly thicker than what will probably come out after birth. This is normal. Also, at times, no colostrum is developed by the mother until closer to delivery.
- Your little champion has possibly crossed the 1 pound mark, maybe slightly more.
- The baby is nearing the mark of 1 foot in length and is about the size of a big mango or a grapefruit, roughly.
- Things have been slow and steady till now but over the upcoming weeks, your baby will start putting on some good amount of weight.
- Your baby is practicing breathing motions as the lungs are starting to develop but they are not ready yet to work on their own.
- Your baby has started to wander inside its little world now.
- The movements are according to the baby’s body clock and not yours.
- Stay alarmed as your baby will probably sweep you off your feet with some dance skills and moves when you lie down or go to sleep. This is tentative. So, do not worry.
The next time you have an ultrasound, you will probably be able to notice the Lanugo turning darker. Lanugo is the soft, fine hair that is present almost all over the baby’s body. As a mom, you can start considering Unisex Names for your baby by this time.
23 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider:
Change in Sodium Levels:
If you are accustomed to having a meal that is high in salt, it is time to check the amount of sodium going into your diet. There is no need to stop consuming salt but you will have to bring in some moderation. Try and avoid high sodium foods like processed meats and canned soups. Try and have a teaspoon of salt at max in a day.
Save yourself from Food Poisoning:
You need to take proper precautions to save yourself from having food poisoning as it can be dangerous for your baby. Recognize the signs of it early to avoid it at all costs. The major symptoms of food poisoning mostly include diarrhea, vomiting, chills, aches, fever, and also abdominal cramps.
If you suspect having food poisoning at all, consult your doctor right away for early and proper treatment. The best you can do is to avoid food poisoning by following some of the tips below:
- Make it a habit to clean kitchen surfaces thoroughly after cooking.
- Raw vegetables and fruits need to be washed before consumption.
- Wash your hands well thoroughly with soap and water after preparing a meal and before eating.
- Uncooked or Raw Seafood and eggs are a BIG NO NO!
- Cold Cuts, Smoked and pickled fish and deli meats need to be avoided unless cooked until steaming hot.
Keep An Eye Out For Preeclampsia
If your blood pressure is just too excessive, your doctor may also keep an eye fixed out for preeclampsia, a worry of being pregnant characterized with the aid of high blood strain, edema (swelling), and protein in the urine. Though this condition is extra commonplace within the 1/3 trimester, it can arise any time after 20 weeks, and catching it early is crucial.
Your healthcare provider might be able to diagnose preeclampsia by checking your blood pressure. If you have any of the signs of preeclampsia, along with vision issues such as seeing spots, a continual headache, surprising swelling on your toes and arms, feeling nauseous, surprising weight gain, or are having problems in breathing, call your healthcare provider straight away.
If left untreated, preeclampsia can result in reduced blood drift for your placenta and might have an effect on your kidney, liver, mind, and eyes.
Preterm Labour: What To Expect?
Also, keep an eye out for Preterm labor. Preterm labor is labor before the end of the 37th week of pregnancy. Your doctor may be able to postpone the delivery to give your baby enough special time in the womb to grow and develop if he or she recognizes early that you have gone into labor.
This is why you need to watch out for the signs of preterm labor and let your doctor know right away if you think you are undergoing the symptoms, namely, a constant lower backache; watery/mucus-like, or bloody vaginal discharge; pelvic pressure; abdominal cramps; regular contractions; your water breaking and diarrhea.
Letting Your Older Children Know
Also, if you have older children, now is an ideal time to start preparations for the arrival of their sibling(s). Also, stay prepared for some obnoxious questions from them about how babies are born from your older children.
They will probably become very anxious about the event of having a baby brother/sister. If you want to know just how to maneuver through this area of questions and the best way to broach this topic, consult with your doctor. It is advisable to let them know that you are expecting.
Stay hydrated to avoid headaches, UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections), uterine cramping. Pale yellow or almost clear is a sign of adequate hydration, whereas bright yellow or orange-brown urine is a clear sign of dehydration.
23 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms
This is extremely common in the second and third trimesters. Try to massage your calves in longer downward strokes, and flex your foot vertically up and down. The stretch might help with the cramp almost immediately.
Slight Swelling in Feet and Ankles –
This is also common. You may develop slight swelling in your feet and ankles. This will probably be temporary.
Colostrum Production –
Colostrum is thicker than the milk that you will generate after delivery.
Increased Appetite –
Try and keep healthier snack alternatives around. Easy reach to healthy snack options will help you from staying away from chips or candy bars.
Nasal Congestion and Snoring –
This is very common among pregnant women and if it is disrupting sleep, try and sleep with a humidifier. Sometimes nasal strips also help.
Frequent Urination –
Another very common symptom. Keep yourself properly hydrated always.
When to call the doctor?
The bathroom will start becoming your friendliest place and you will take frequent visits. Your uterus is basically sitting right on your bladder causing you to leak a little, wither while laughing or coughing. At times, also simply because you don’t make it to the bathroom in time.
Some of the leakages may be amniotic fluid and not urine. This occurs usually when the membrane of the amniotic sac surrounding the baby ruptures. It is very unlikely to happen at this stage though.
Here are Some Frequently Asked Questions for 23rd Week of Pregnancy
What tests do I need to have this week?
You might need to undergo a glucose challenge test to check for gestational diabetes. You might also need to get screened for Rh antibodies. This is to make sure that your blood group is compatible with that of your baby’s.
When shall I start baby-proofing my house?
When you are about 23 weeks pregnant, it’s a good idea to start baby proofing your home given that you have the time, energy, and stamina. This is an ideal time for you to have a spike in energy and you are also giving yourself ample time to get things ready
How can I involve my older child/children in the process?
The subject of having your older child involved in the process of pregnancy is subject to their age. For little ones, it will be difficult to explain to them whatever is happening and why all of it is happening to your body. They will have an umpteenth number of questions about your physical transformations and your belly continuously growing. It is advisable to wait until the older child asks about it.
For older school-going kids, its ideal to share the news within your family before you share the news with others outside home. This will help you address any question that your older child might have.
How can I register for prenatal/maternity classes?
Breastfeeding, parenting, maternity and childbirth classes are usually available at your nearest local hospital or a birth center. Your doctor/healthcare providers can help you find a good one. Also, reach out to moms for this matter.
What all can I do to help ease my mood?
-It is a good time to set up your baby shower invitee list as your baby shower will possibly be right around the corner.
-Start searching for names for your little one to avoid confusion later. You could discuss with your spouse. This will also help you have some quality time and allow you to make your husband feel even more involved in the process.
-There is still some time to plan a babymoon. Search for some safe destinations online or talk to your kith and kin for some insights.
You’re nearing the big day! Take every step easy and carefully as you’re approaching the final phases of pregnancy. Drink enough water, keep a watch on the food that you’re eating, keep yourself stress-free by engaging in some creative activities, and consult the doctor in case of any trouble or confusion.
Your body will undergo a lot more changes in the upcoming weeks. Take care of yourself and your little champion. Once you finally look into the eyes of the cute little fellow that will come out of you, it will all seem worthwhile!
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Mother of Two children. I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for Good parenting. I understand child development and know how to develop activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.