Congratulations, you are now 23 weeks pregnant. 23 weeks pregnant marks a little over the halfway point of many normal pregnancies. This means that you just a little under 17 weeks away from meeting your little bundle of sweetness. Today, we are going to take a look at all the different changes that are going on with your body at 23 weeks pregnant. Not only that, but we will take a look at some of the many drastic changes that are going on with your little one as you work your way through the second trimester. Let’s get started.
When it comes to your body, 23 weeks pregnant is right around the time where you will begin seeing some changes happening. Here are some of the top symptoms to look out for at 23 weeks pregnant.
1. Swollen Ankles and Feet
Do not be alarmed if you notice that your hands and feet begin to swell up. In fact, as you progress in your pregnancy, your body will accumulate some puffiness. Some soon to be moms see it in their faces while others see it in their hands and feet. While a little swelling might be uncomfortable, it is completely normal, so do not be alarmed. The good news is there are ways to relieve yourself of the swelling. Try making small adjustments like putting your feet up or taking regular walks. The goal is to keep your blood circulating so moderate physical activity can be a great help. Along with this, giving yourself leg massages, and warm leg rubs can be super helpful too. Finally, make it a point to drink plenty of water throughout your day. This will help regulate your body and keep you from getting dehydrated.
2. Braxton Hicks Contractions
For some expectant moms, the 23rd week of pregnancy can bring with it the onset of Braxton Hicks contractions. Braxton Hicks contractions are your body’s way of preparing itself for the real deal. Braxton Hick contractions are different from real contractions in the fact that they are neither regular, painful, nor strong. Often times, you may not even notice you are getting a Braxton Hicks contraction. The way you can tell is if you feel your belly getting really hard. This is your uterus tightening up to practice for the real deal. Braxton Hicks contractions are essentially harmless, but you will notice the frequency of them continue as you progress in your pregnancy.
A common pregnancy symptom of 23 weeks pregnant is backaches. If you are a new mom, then chances are your body has never had to deal with a sudden surge of weight over a short period of time. When it comes to your body, your back will feel the brunt of that toll. Along with the weight, your growing baby will start to push against your spine and stress out some of your major back muscles. Because of this, you can expect to have occasional or even consistent back aches throughout your pregnancy. If you are pregnant with twins, then you can expect your chances of having back aches to go up significantly as well.
4. Swollen and Bleeding Gums
Another common symptom at 23 weeks pregnant is swollen and bleeding gums. While it may sound strange, your pregnancy can actually take a toll on your mouth. For starters, any stomach bile from your morning sickness can be the cause of cavities and tooth decay after you give birth. However, when it comes to your 23 weeks pregnancy, you will want to keep an eye out for your gums. You may notice that your gums will begin to swell up and may even bleed. For the most part, this is because your body retains a lot more fluids when you are pregnant.
Along with that, your blood volume increases as well to accommodate for your little baby. While swollen and bleeding gums may be uncomfortable, there are some precautions that you can take. For starters, try swapping out your toothbrush for one that has softer bristles. Softer bristles will be less irritating on your mouth. However, be sure to continue with your normal dental routine. This means brush every night and floss every night as well. Finally, if you use any dental medications such as a prescription toothpaste, be sure to check in with your dentist first. Prescription toothpaste that has elevated levels of fluoride may not be safe depending on your pregnancy.
5. Stretch Marks
You may have noticed a couple of stretch marks or more making their debut on your body. As your belly expands, so does your skin. For the most part, the stretching of the skin is what causes stretch marks. However, genetics do play a significant role in whether or not you will get them as well. There are some things that you can do to help fight against stretch marks, however. For starters, you will want to stop scratching. Scratching can rip the skin and cause a stretch mark to form. Along with that, you will want to drink plenty of water. When you drink water, you help build the elasticity in your skin so that it can stretch a little more easily. Finally, you can hydrate your skin by applying a skin moisturizer. Although there is no cream that can help you get rid of stretch marks or prevent them from coming. Helping to moisturize your skin can do wonders from the overall look and practicality of it. A great skin moisturizer to start with is the Bella B Tummy Honey Butter.
Your Baby’s Development
As your belly begins to grow, so does your little one. Here is everything you need to know about the little bundle of joy that is waiting to make his or her debut.
1. How Big is Your Baby?
At 23 weeks pregnant, your baby is about the size of a grapefruit. Along with that, your baby will be measuring in at a little over 11 inches from head to foot. If you think that is impressive, then relish the fact that your little cuteness is weighing in at just over a pound as well. What’s even better is the fact that your baby is just entering the phase of packing on the pounds. At this stage in your pregnancy, your baby’s focus will be to add some cushion to cover those cute little bones of his.
2. Your Baby’s 23 Week Milestones
At 23 weeks pregnant, your baby is hitting plenty of major milestones. For starters, she will begin her journey of building her lungs’ blood vessels. This will help her for when it comes time to breathing when she's born. Along with that, her bone marrow is starting to build blood cells as well. In fact, if you hold a stethoscope up to your belly, you may even hear her heart beating away. How cool is that?
3. Your Baby’s Sleep Cycle
Chances are, you have started getting a grasp of when your baby is awake and when your baby is asleep. At this point in your pregnancy, your baby has developed a sleeping habit that is fairly consistent. The downside is, your baby’s sleeping habits are most likely quite the opposite of yours. For example, you may notice that when you get too bad at the end of the day you may notice her start picking up her kicking and punching. This is because your movement throughout the day gently rocks her to sleep. While her kicking might make it difficult for you to fall asleep, you can use that time to feel your baby’s movements and bond with her.
4. Your 23 Weeks Pregnancy Ultrasound
If you are scheduled to have a 23 weeks pregnant ultrasound, then you will be pleasantly surprised. At this ultrasound, you can expect to see your little baby all fully formed. Her face will resemble that of a cute little baby minus the pudgy cheeks. Her cheeks will come soon once she has finished filling them in with her accumulation of fat that is yet to come. Along with that, you will notice that your baby may move or kick when he or she hears sudden noises. This is because sounds from the outside world will be muffled to her little ears.
5. Begin Planning for Your Baby’s Arrival
At 23 weeks pregnant, your body has probably gotten over the morning sickness phase. If you are still suffering from morning sickness, then it would be wise to check in with your doctor or midwife. Severe complications such as hyperemesis gravidarum can take a toll on you and your baby if gone untreated.
When you have the time, one of the best things to get done during your 23 weeks pregnant is getting in touch with your healthcare provider and insurance company. Now is a good time to square away all the details of what your insurance will cover and what you will need to set aside for your baby’s arrival. If you plan on breastfeeding, not is a good time as ever to take advantage of the free breast pump that insurances are required to offer thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act. If you are able to, it is even a great idea to begin setting up a savings account for your little one. Beginning the habit of setting aside a couple of bucks every month can be a great way to plan for the financial stability of your child’s future.
At 23 weeks pregnant, you are well underway in your pregnancy. 23 weeks pregnant is great because this marks the point in your pregnancy or changes will become more evident and more prominent. As you progress through your pregnancy, make it a fact to begin taking things slowly. For example, do not overexert yourself physically. Take it easy on your body so that you stay safe and healthy. Not only that, but this is the perfect time to let your partner stress over all the little things in life. 23 weeks pregnant is it time for you to enjoy and bond with your baby. Because before you know it, you will be that much more closer to getting to meet your baby.