Your baby is the size of an aubergine!
your baby this week:
Your baby continues to grow and mature at a fast rate. The blood vessels in their lungs, which are necessary to breathe outside of the womb, are developing and their lips are becoming more distinct. The bones in their middle ear have started to harden, and their wrinkled skin is getting a splash of color and creating a skin tone, thanks to pigment deposits.
Your little one is moving around a lot, and it feels pretty cool. Have you picked on up a sleeping schedule? If you are having multiples, they may have separate sleeping schedules. Some parents have claimed their newborns kept to their in-utero sleep schedule after they were born. Why shouldn't you have a decent sneak peak of what lies ahead? Try to notice and keep track of when your baby is calm and note how much time passes before the shenanigans begin again.
By week 23, your body has gone through a lot of changes, for many women this includes thicker hair, fingernails that grow faster, and their skin might have that pregnant glow - which is great! However, many women also experience changes that take away a bit of that glow and happy, such as increased body hair, stretch marks, and larger feet.
As far as your extra body hair may be concerned, your pregnancy hormones are once again at fault. Specifically, the androgens are to blame for any little hairs showing up on your belly, chin, arms, and back. Safe solutions to these undesirables include tweezing, waxing, or shaving. Bleaching, however, is not a safe option.
Are you having multiples? Talk to your medical provider about symptoms of pre-term labor, as carrying multiples puts you at a risk for premature birth.
At week 23, your feet may have already increased by half a shoe size, and they may continue to grow. Swelling, called edema, accounts for some of this growth. You can guess who the other culprit responsible is. That's right, it's your dear ol' pregnancy hormones! Your hormones are relaxing and loosening ligaments and joints, and this sometimes causes some women's feet to spread. Don't squish your feet into shoes that are too tight! On top of everything that already aches and pains your body, the plethora of issues associated with wearing shoes too small for your feet do not need to be added? Purchase a new pair of shoes! And because gravity is real, you should really be putting your feet up three to four times a day. Wear compression socks. And ask your partner for a foot and ankle massage. All of these things will increase your circulation and help disperse the edema.
If you have any new stretch marks, which are tiny tears in the supportive tissue located just beneath the skin, they may look dark right now, during this pregnancy. The good news is these marks tend to fade over time. Many pregnant women use ample amounts of various oils, creams, butters, and lotions to prevent stretch marks. Right now, there isn't a product out there that's medically proven to cure, prevent, or eliminate stretch marks. A woman can dream...
Are you having back pain?
Your body isn't used to additional weight it now carries; and there's a good chance that because of this, your posture has likely changed. Talk to your doctor about your options, before taking any pain medication, and try to maintain correct posture.
Louise Broadbridge - Our Expert Midwife
Hi, my name is Louise, I am a Registered Midwife, founder of Let's Talk Birth and Baby and the face behind Instagram's The Honest Midwife. I have worked in health settings for the past 30 years, the majority of which have been working in children and family settings.
your tips & to do's:
Have you started a baby registry? A fun distraction from all negative symptoms of pregnancy at week 23 is starting or working on your baby registry. Have fun browsing the many adorable baby products available nowadays. A registry is s a great way to let your friends and family know exactly what you need - and want - for your little one. You may be drawn to the toys or clothing, but be sure to include supplies, such as diapers and baby wipes. You'll be amazed at the number of diapers your baby will go through!
You've also been literally connected with your little one since the first moment you discovered you were pregnant. After carrying your baby, every hour of every day for about ten months, it may be difficult to put any distance between you two after birth. There is a product you can add to your baby registry to ease your mind and any separation anxiety: a baby monitor. The most basic type of baby monitor has a transmitter, which stays near your baby and pick up any noises made, and one or two receivers, which allow you to listen. Some models include flashing lights and battery powered portability in its the design. Other upgraded models come with a sensor that fits underneath the crib mattress and detects movement, even sounding an alarm if movement stops altogether for a specified period of time.
Finally, there are video monitors.
With these, when you hear a noise, you can peek in on your baby and actually see what’s going on. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Will hearing every noise make you want to visually check on things throughout night? If your baby scoots away from the sensor and sets off the alarm, will it cause more anxiety than necessary or wake the entire house? Or do you see yourself sitting, staring at your cute little angel sleeping in the other room, for hours? Consider your needs to find the best choice for you. Do your research and ask other parents what they used.
Another great product to research and select this week is your baby's car seat!
Write in your pregnancy journal.
Here is a list of some symptoms you could experience this week.
- Swelling, or edema, in your ankles and/or feet
- Stretch marks and/or unwanted hair growth
- Thicker hair
- Stronger nails
- Braxton Hicks
- Bleeding and/or swollen gums
- Interrupted sleep
- Backaches and/or leg cramps
- Crazy dreams
- Fetal activity
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