By the time you are 23 weeks pregnant, it’s likely that you’ve developed a noticeable bump as your baby prepares itself for the outside world. Your baby is starting to look more and more like a little human every day and is making remarkable developmental progress. Changes may be happening to your body, too, as you make your way through the second trimester, or “honeymoon phase”, of the pregnancy.
This article aims to answer any questions that you may have about being twenty-three weeks pregnant. How big is my baby? What are the pregnancy symptoms at week 23? Read on to find out the answers to these questions, and more.
23 Weeks Pregnancy Symptoms
Symptoms that you experience during the second trimester are usually more subtle that in the first trimester. Yet, many women do still notice some signs of pregnancy at week 23. The most common symptoms at this stage are:
- Bleeding gums
The increase in blood flow that accompanies pregnancy can lead to swollen or bleeding gums. If you experience this, try experimenting with a softer bristled toothbrush and, if symptoms persist, consult a medical professional for advice.
- Increase in libido
Differing levels of sex drive are very common during the pregnancy cycle due to the rapidly fluctuating hormones coursing through your system. In the second trimester, particularly, it is likely that your libido will increase, as this is usually the time when symptoms are at their least intense and you may have more energy.
- Braxton Hicks contractions
A fairly common sign of pregnancy at 23 weeks is the occurrence Braxton Hicks contractions. These contractions are your body preparing for the pregnancy and, although they can be uncomfortable, they usually go away quickly. The best way to ease this symptom is to change positions as often as possible, drink plenty of water, and stay comfortable.
- Baby movements
What was once a tiny little embryo inside your womb is now a rapidly developing fetus. At 23 weeks pregnant, this fetus is large enough to move around and test out its newly formed muscles. As a result, you may feel some baby movements inside your belly at this point.
The level progesterone (a pregnancy hormone) in your system is very high during pregnancy, and this has a slowing effect on the digestive tract. As a result, it is common pregnancy symptom at 23 weeks pregnant to experience bloating and gassiness.
If you find yourself snoring for the first time in your life, or more than usual, it may be a result of the pregnancy. The increased blood flow can cause nasal congestions and, consequently, impact your sleeping habits.
Your Body at Week 23
One of the recognisable changes to your body at this stage of the pregnancy is your baby bump. This bump will continue to grow from now until the day of birth, as the uterus expands to accommodate the growth of your baby at 23 weeks inside the womb.
Another possible sign of pregnancy at week 23 is skin discoloration. It is common for a black line, or linea nigra, to appear across the abdomen region during pregnancy. This is caused by an increase in pregnancy hormones and is completely harmless. The discoloration normally disappears within the first few months after the birth of your baby.
Aside from the baby bump and skin discoloration, other things may be happening to your body at 23 weeks pregnant. Pregnancy hormones can often leave women feeling discombobulated or slightly confused, and this “pregnancy brain” is common symptom throughout the entire gestation period. Stretch marks may be appearing on your inner thighs, buttocks, and abdomen region, and your ankles and feet may be slightly swollen.
Baby Size at Week 23
Your baby is now as big as a grapefruit. It measures between 20 to 22 centimetres and weighs over half a kilogram. With 17 weeks to go, the baby will continue to grow and develop its features. It is also probable that your baby will start to gain weight at an increased pace now.
The fetus at 23 weeks old has a lot more coordination and strength in its muscles, it’s eyes and ears are starting to look more distinguishable, and the body is getting more proportionate to the rest of the limbs as each day passes.
Week 23 Pregnant Ultrasound
Mid-pregnancy scans are usually scheduled in the previous weeks, but it is not unheard of to have an ultrasound at 23 weeks pregnant. If you have had a scan scheduled for this week you will be able to see the remarkable progress your baby has made. Now, you can hear the baby’s heartbeat, make out its limbs and body shape, and maybe even be able to distinguish some facial features.
How does your stomach feel at 23 weeks pregnant?
You might notice some baby movements inside your belly at week 23 of the pregnancy. It is also possible that your stomach could feel bloated and gassy.
What to expect at 23 weeks pregnant?
As you are still within the “honeymoon phase” of the pregnancy, you should expect this week to be relatively easy, especially in comparison to the first weeks of the pregnancy.
How do you feel at 23 weeks pregnant?
Despite the easing off of pregnancy symptoms in the second trimester, it’s still possible that you could feel slightly nauseated, confused, and bloated as a result of the fluctuating hormones in your body.
What does your stomach look like at 23 weeks pregnant?
A lot of women start to look noticeably pregnant at this stage of the pregnancy, as your baby is the size of a grapefruit inside your womb.
Tips for Week 23 of Pregnancy
- Do Yoga or Pilates
Special pregnancy exercise classes are available in most areas, and it is a good idea to take advantage of then. Strengthening and stretching the muscles is beneficial for carrying the extra weight and dealing with any aches and pains that may occur because of the pregnancy.
- Stay Hydrated
Keeping thoroughly hydrated throughout pregnancy is vital in order to account for the increased blood, amniotic fluid, and other bodily liquids that are produced throughout the pregnancy.
Getting a good night’s sleep can do wonders for both your mental and physical health. It is especially important when you are pregnant, as you are resting for two people, one of which requires a lot of energy to develop all of their new features.