At the 23rd week, the uterus has grown so much and baby bump is about 1.5 inches above the belly button. You are struggling to get balance as the center of gravity keeps shifting. The movements of the baby are even more and will give you all the joy to feel and talk to the little one.
Baby’s growth and development in week twenty three
In this week, the baby’s growth is rapid and geared toward maturity. He/he has reached about 10.5 inches and weighs about 1 pound.
The baby’s nervous system continues to develop and become coordinated. Many actions that were previously out of reflex will become coordinated in the week. For example, the baby will keep sucking the thumb regularly but out of will.
Lanugo (soft hair that covers the body of unborn baby) is being shed as new one appears. The hairs help to keep the baby warm because he/she does not have a fully developed skin or body fat. Lanugo will be shed permanently in the last week of pregnancy and a new type of hair will grow. However, if a kid is born prematurely, he/she will still have the lanugo on the body.
Changes to expect in Mom’s body during week 23
On the 23rd week, the uterus continues to grow and has reached about 1.5 inches above the belly button. The growing baby bump keeps shifting the center of gravity and you will keep feeling less graceful.
The baby is having a lot of space and movements are becoming stronger week after week. The flipping and flopping are enthralling and it is time to enjoy the great moments. It is important to get a lot of rest to allow the developing baby grow properly. The common problems, in this case, include leg cramps, unquiet mind, stress and frequent urination.
If you are a first-time mom, chances are you will start becoming emotional about delivery. Many moms start worrying whether they will make good parents while others are very worried about pain related to delivery. For experienced moms, the concerns may be about children rivalry or how other older kids will react. It is because of these concerns that you end up becoming more forgetful and even disorganized.
On the 23rd week, you should expect a roller coaster of emotions because of the elevated hormones. The hormones and emotions will make you feel cheerful at one moment and very sorrowful the next few seconds. Make sure to let your partner understand about these emotions so that he can provide all the support you need.
By the close of the week, you will have gained about 15 pounds since the beginning of the pregnancy. By the close of the pregnancy, you will have added a total of 35-40 pounds. However, note that this is the average weight. Some ladies could gain more and others less depending on their body weight.
False Labor (Braxton-Hicks contractions)
Though the false labor pains are common in the third trimester, you can start feeling them as early as the second trimester in the 23rd week. The contractions are painless though they come with some pressure. The false labor feels like tightening of uterus muscles that come at irregular intervals. In the third trimester, the contractions will become even more irregular and are used by the body to prepare for delivery.
The main difference between false and true labor pains is that real labor pains come regularly (intervals of about 30-80 seconds). Besides, the true pains intensify with time. However, false labor occurs irregularly and keeps fading very moment. Indeed, the contractions will get away if you change positions or take a resting position.
While false labor can start as early as the second trimester and should not worry you much, you should know when to call the doctor. If you are unsure about the nature of contractions, do not hesitate to call the doctor immediately. This is because you are better safe than being sorry.
Though it is rare to have babies born by the 23rd week, the chances of survival would be only 50% because most of the organs are not fully developed. The more the baby stays in the uterus, the higher the chances of survival. You should, therefore, do everything possible to take care of yourself and the baby.
- Causes of premature birth/preterm delivery
- Bleeding in the uterus
- If you are carrying multiple babies
- Amniotic sac or uterine infection
- Excess stress
- Problems common with preterm born babies
If a baby is born before term, he/she is faced with a lot of problems including;
- Trouble staying warm because the skin and heat regulation system are not yet developed
- Breathing difficulties because the lungs are still developing.
- Heart-related problems because the blood vessels were still developing
- Risk of infections because the immune system is still not fully developed
- Other complications include yellowing of eyes (jaundice), bleeding in the brain, and problems in the digestive system.
- How to tell if you are about to have preterm delivery
There are two tests commonly used to tell if you will deliver before term.
- Fetal fibronectin test: Doctors test the presence of fetal fibronectin (a protein present in amniotic membranes) on the vaginal discharge. If the substance is missing, chances are you will experience preterm delivery.
- Cervical length test: This is an ultrasound measurement to predict chances of preterm delivery. The shorter the cervix, the higher the chances of preterm delivery.
- When to call a doctor
The best thing is ensuring that you call the doctor when you start feeling anything strange you are unsure.
- Regular tightening of the uterus
- Increased watery, blood, and thick vaginal discharge
- Abnormal constant back pain
- Water coming out as a trickle or rushing out from the vagina.
Things to do during the 23rd week
- Continue shopping for more maternity clothes
- Take simple exercises such as yoga and walking
- Ensure to update your diary on every sign and change in your body.
- Have an electrician test your ventilation system to keep pollutants low
- Take most of the time resting to reduce chances of complications and even preterm delivery
- Take a Fetal fibronectin test and another ultrasound scan that tells risk of preterm delivery.
- Take more time feeling the baby together with your partner. This will keep you feeling blissful and help counter negative moods that emerge because of elevated hormones.
- Review your baby shower plans and baby’s names.