23 Weeks Pregnant
Your Pregnancy Week by Week
Your Baby at 23 WeeksSize: 11.38 inches (28.9 cm) - crown to heel
Weight: 1.10 pound (501 grams)
While the development of a baby is never commonplace, this week your baby is perfecting his or her everyday skills. Moving, stretching, and reaching - your baby is preparing its body for life outside of you, while at the same time organs, bodily processes and hormones start to function and regulate. This week is much about the same practices as the week before, as baby's main focus is on gaining weight and defining the basic functions that will keep your baby strong after birth.
At the start of this week, your baby weighs around a pound (about the weight of a large mango) and is around 11-12 inches long - about the length of a green onion.
Despite the rapidly passing weeks, baby is making the best of them and by the end of this month your baby will begin to pack on enough body fat to begin filling out his or her saggy skin. Right now, your baby is almost transparent in appearance but coming weeks will bring on twice the weight gain - helping him look more like the baby you have pictured.
Right now, your baby can hear just about anything outside the womb. It is truly an amazing time in your pregnancy as baby will be able to recognize familiar tones of voice or react to very loud noises. You may even feel your baby jump in response to especially loud sounds. If you are interested in playing music for your baby, or reading to them, this is a great time to start.
The baby's pancreas is developing and has started to provide insulin to help regulate blood sugar levels and help with growth. Your baby will adjust his or her blood sugar and insulin output based on what is given from you.
Mom at 23 Weeks PregnantAt this week in your pregnancy, the uterus is now about 1-1/2 inches above the belly button, and your pregnancy is pretty hard to hide. If it hasn't started already, your belly button may start to stick out in response to pressure from the expanding uterus behind it. Don't worry - it will return to normal after delivery. While energy is at a premium during your second trimester, make an effort to enjoy some light exercise even if you notice a bit more swelling in your feet and ankles at the end of a long day.
While you have more energy than you did during those early weeks, a nap is beginning to feel like a pretty good idea at times. 15 to 20 minutes of rest should be enough to restore your energy levels and get you back on track for the rest of your day. If you can't manage a full nap, simply shutting your eyes and resting quietly may be enough to rejuvenate you.
Thanks to shifting hormone levels, you may notice your linea nigra developing during this week. Where your abdomen was once smooth, you may awake to find a dark brown line running from your belly button down to your pubic bone that wasn't there before. Some women find their linea nigra running from the top of the uterus all the way down the length of the abdomen. Caused by the hormones that darken patches on your face, as well as the nipples, this vertical line will disappear in the months following delivery, and is perfectly normal. Don't have one yet? Some women never develop one at all.
Forgetfulness may bring about some frustrations this week - but do your best to keep the mood light as you wander the parking lot looking for your car. Related to pregnancy hormones, this "pregnancy brain" will lift after delivery.
You will soon start visiting your doctor every two weeks for checkups, and more testing that will help your doctor detect and intercept complications like hypertension and gestational diabetes. Remember to keep all appointments, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet in the coming weeks.
Every woman will be on track to gain a little more or a little less weight depending on what your starting point was. Averaging a weight gain of around 15 pounds now, be aware of your diet and exercise patterns and remember to pace yourself - do you really need that whole pan of brownies?
Create a journal. If you haven't already started a journal, this is a great time to do so. Writing down how you feel, what you are doing, and what your baby is doing are great ways to connect with your little one. Write down your feelings about your baby, what you are looking forward to, and any thoughts your partner has so that you can look back on them later.