Welcome to your week 23 pregnancy update where we outline the changes you and your baby are experiencing.
At week 23 your baby Baby is 28.9 cm long from head to toe or 20cm from head to rump and weighs 501 grams. This week will begin a rapid growth phase for your baby’s brain. During this week, and for the next following weeks, billions and billions of brain cells will develop. These brain cells will control every aspect of your baby – from breathing to circulation, recognising sensory stimulation to movement, and everything in between.
The rapid brain growth will also make your baby’s head size grow – a little bit. His head will only enlarge by less than two centimeters as the head is the biggest part of baby to emerge from the birth canal.
Beginning this week, he’ll start to pack on the weight (and so will you!) and by month’s end he’ll be double the weight he is now (though you won’t — phew!). Right now, your baby’s organs and bones are visible through his skin, which has a red hue due to developing veins and arteries beneath.
Your baby may be enjoying Braxton Hicks contractions, which you may feel as ‘hardness’ or a tight band being pulled across your belly. Many women find Braxton Hicks painless and may be unaware of them but these ‘practice’ contractions tone the uterus and stimulate your baby. Every time your baby feels the uterus tightening around them it stimulates his circulation, similar to a brisk rub on his skin, or a massage!
Baby is moving around a lot now, and you’re probably feeling the full force of his movements. This daily movement helps him work out his developing muscles. Baby’s bones are continuing to strengthen and he will be absorbing calcium as quickly as he can so his skeleton is strong and healthy at birth.
Just like adults, all babies are different and develop at varying rates in the womb. This information gives a general idea of your baby’s development and progress.
The Mum Update
Do you sometimes feel a series of regular jumps coming from your baby? This is most likely because he has the hiccups!
Has everyone got an opintion about your size? They may say you must be carrying twins because you are so large. Or they may say you’re too small for how far along you think you are. As long as both your LMC and you are happy with progress, try to ignore the comments!
With the added weight your body is carrying your balance and posture will change. Those changes may throw your back out of its normal position, resulting in some minor aches and pains along the way. Check with your LMC before you take any medications to ease the pain. Other ways to ease the pain are to take short breaks through the day so you can get off your feet, wear good support shoes if you are on your feet for long periods and try to hold a good posture when you walk.
Symptoms you should never ignore
Choose a baby name you love
Essential pregnancy equipment
Tips for choosing baby names
Top 5 pregnancy exercises