23 Weeks Pregnant: Baby Movement, Belly Size and More

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

Pregnancy is one of the wonderful times in a woman’s life. It is the time for relaxation, maintaining a healthy diet and concentrating on the preparation to meet the newborn. As the first few weeks of pregnancy embark the developmental stage of fetus’ growth, the 23rd week marks the time of the mother’s noticeably bigger belly and the baby’s ability to survive in the outside world if preterm labor occurs. This article provides* an overview of the fetal development, maternal changes, signs and symptoms and some interesting facts about the 23rd week of pregnancy.

Although expert medical assistance is required during preterm labor, at 23 weeks the baby has all the organs ready to help him or her survive outside the womb.

Height of the baby: 11.38 inches
Weight of the baby: 501 grams

What Happens to the Baby?

At 23rd week of pregnancy, the baby is about the size of a mango. The baby has already developed his/her sense of hearing, so start telling him/her a story. The baby also has increasing* keen ears that the baby can pick up environmental noises such as a bark of the dog. Baby at 23rd week moves a lot and you might sense him/her dancing inside the womb. Don’t fret since it is completely normal and a sign of good fetal health/ However, the lungs at this period are still developing. While a baby born during this period can survive the outside world, he/she is still most likely to be placed in heated incubators for weeks to months.

What Happens to the Maternal Body?

23rd Week Pregnancy

For the mother, the 23rd week signifies a prominent weight gain in the abdominal region. The baby will start to fill out in the next weeks which will create more pressure on the bladder from the weight in the uterus that is located on top of it. Trips to the bathroom will be taking place more frequently due to that pressure. Larger fluid intake will be needed to keep the mother and the baby hydrated and thus, ensures proper nutrition is delivered. So, be sure to drink plenty of water and avoid dehydrating agents such as sodas and coffee! Mothers may also notice visible fluid usually signifying amniotic fluid being released from the pressure of the uterus onto the bladder. Technically, the amniotic fluid is colorless and odorless and should not contain any trace of urine and should not smell like it. Sleep positioning also starts to matter at 23rd week because the belly enlarges and creates uncomfortable feeling to the mother.

23 Weeks Pregnant

Tips on Dealing with Pregnancy Discomforts

  • Sleep on the sides (on the left one more so) for the better* blood flow to the placenta, a nutrient-filled sac where your baby is getting his/her “food” to grow.
  • Do brisk walking. Taking regular walks is a good physical activity for pregnant mothers unless contraindicated. Walking also helps relieve swollen feet.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions feel like abdominal cramps. Having them may not be exactly comfortable but they do help in preparing a woman’s body for labor.

Additional Information: Getting Rid of Excess Hair During Pregnancy

Pregnant mothers may notice abnormal hair growth in the face, abdomen, and other body parts. Hair underarms may likewise appear coarser and darker. A condition so called pregnancy-induced hair growth is common in mothers during pregnancy as a result of increasing* levels of androgens in the body.

These unwanted hairs can be removed using shaver or tweezers. To ease* hair removal, apply conditioner on the region and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes to soften the hair strands. Prescription drugs for removing* excess hair (e.g Vaniqa) and the use of bleach are not recommended during pregnancy since chemicals from these products may harm the baby.

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Author

Expert Author : Peony C Echavez (Consumer Health Digest)

Peony is a registered nurse, and former Director of Nursing services for a large nursing facility. She has written web content for a large health education website, and currently creates content for a number of health practisioners.