Hey, mommy! How are you feeling? I truly hope you are more than fine, healthy and that you are enjoying your pregnancy. This is while you still have the chance. You are now 23 weeks pregnant, so the third trimester is on its way and it’s coming fast.
Fetus development at week 23
A 23-week fetus is about 11 inches (almost 30 cm) crown to heel and weighs a little over a pound (around 500 grams). At this point, a fetus at 23 weeks has the properties of a newborn, just skinnier. As I told you before, your baby does not have a lot of body fat. It will take a while until you can compare him/her with the Michelin guy.
The eyes, even if they are fully formed, still have no color. I explained it to you in the previous post. But soon your baby will be able to open them. Just a few weeks more. The skin is still translucent as it is very thin. This is why the baby’s bones and organs are visible. The lungs continue to develop. They are getting ready to practice breathing in the womb and for the first breaths after birth. Unfortunately, a baby born at 23 weeks would still have no chance of survival. A baby must reach at least 24 weeks for such a chance to occur.
Up until now, your baby would “float” around in your belly randomly. He or she wouldn’t know the difference between up or down, right or left. But this week, all these changes. As you may (or not) know, the sense of balance is directly related to the ears. This week, your baby’s inner ear will be fully developed and he or she will develop a sense and control of balance. From now on a 23 weeks fetus will know if he or she is upside down or right side up in the womb. Quite interesting, isn’t it?
The pancreas is working 24/7 to produce as many hormones as it can. Your baby needs them….badly. Most important is the production of insulin. Why? Because insulin is crucial in the breakdown of sugars. You know what that means: more body fat.
Enough technicalities for now. I know you have been enjoying your baby’s movements for quite some time, but now it is possible for you to see these moves under your clothes if the baby is particularly active. Speaking of gestures, your baby has just learned to suck. So every time you see your little angel sucking his/her thumbs, remember that this started much earlier than you would have thought.
A 23-week old fetus starts to become more familiar with the environment outside the womb. If before he or she would get startled if hearing loud and sudden noises, now it’s not the case. Not so much at least. Also, I suppose you heard before that classical music has the tendency to soothe newborns. Apparently, a scientist has concluded that this theory applies to babies in the womb as well. So don’t hold back and play some Bach!
Pregnancy changes at the 23 weeks
As for the changes that concern you, do not panic if you are gaining some weight. It is perfectly normal. You are creating life. You are a goddess who bestowed her body for the creation of another person. Your weight is the last thing you should be thinking about.
However, do not exaggerate what you are putting into your body. That “you are eating for two” crap is not real. Science tells us that a pregnant woman needs 200 extra calories to have a healthy pregnancy, so don’t stuff your face with sugary snacks and whatnot. You are allowed to eat something not so very healthy once in a while if you are craving it, but don’t make a habit out of it. You are not doing anybody any favor. You should eat fiber-rich, nutritious, healthy food.
Pregnancy at 23 weeks comes with a bigger baby bump, so there will be some pressure on your back. Again, it is normal. Your body is still adapting, but you should give it a rest whenever you can. A bad backache is not welcomed. The same thing applies to your legs and feet. They must be swollen and achy, so try to put them up when you get the chance. Also, if you are in the habit of wearing high heels, I recommend you put them aside for a while. Try to understand that your center of gravity has shifted, so heels will make your walking a lot more difficult. High heels are uncomfortable to wear even without the bump. You don’t need that while you are pregnant. But then again, it’s your choice.
As always, take care and be sure to check the article about the next week, week 24!