Wow - can you believe that your baby is now a whopping 1.1 pounds? That's about the size of a small baby doll that you might purchase for a little girl. Your bundle of joy is now around 11 inches long (only an inch away from being a foot long!). It's amazing to think that your baby used to weigh less than one ounce!
- Though your baby's skin is still quite red and heavily wrinkled, this will soon change, as more fat deposits underneath his/her skin. It won't be long before your baby is an adorable, chunky "monkey!"
- With each week that passes in your pregnancy, your baby continues to fill out and look more proportional.
- Turn on the radio or play your favorite song. Sway to the music. Or better yet, dance with your significant other. Your baby's sense of movement is well developed by 23 weeks, so he/she can feel you dance. Since your baby is bigger now, you might even be able to feel (or see!) his/her reaction to your dance.
- By pregnancy week 23, your baby can pick up noises from the "outside," so don't be surprised if you feel your baby squirming around a bit when you're vacuuming or you are in a loud setting. His/her ears are almost completely developed this week, and the bones in the middle ear are starting to form.
- The blood vessels in your baby's lungs are developing this week. The lungs are one of the last organs to mature, and they won't be fully mature and ready for life on the outside until after 37 weeks of pregnancy (or when your baby is "full-term").
- Your baby still has plenty of room to move around freely in your uterus. His/her movements are probably quite strong at this point. You will probably feel lots of flipping and flopping, and you might even notice your stomach moving about sometimes.
If your baby were born prematurely this week, he/she would have between a 10 and 20 percent chance of survival. With each day that your baby stays in the womb, his/her survival rate increases 3 percent.
As your uterus continues to grow and expand, you may have gained up to 15 pounds by pregnancy week 23. (However, keep in mind that some women will gain less and others more.) Your uterus is probably about 1.5 inches above your navel.
With all the extra weight that you're carrying around, you may find that you're feeling less graceful on your feet. You might even feel very unbalanced. Remember to take it easy and to get as much rest as you can.
At 23 weeks pregnant, you should take some time to yourself and enjoy feeling your little one moving about in the womb. Since baby can now hear, rub your belly and talk to your baby. This is a wonderful way to bond with him/her. Plus, rubbing your belly in a circular motion may even help ease the tension on your skin and prevent stretch marks.
If you're genetically disposed to stretch marks or if you've gained a lot of pregnancy weight very quickly, you may start to notice that these unattractive pink or purple lines appearing on your belly around pregnancy week 23. Though unwanted, stretch marks are common during pregnancy, especially in the second and third trimesters, and they affect over 50 percent of all expectant mothers.
Unfortunately, there is no 100 percent foolproof way to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. But there are certain stretch mark creams and lotions (such as Belli Skin Care's Elasticity Oil) that you can slather on trouble areas, and these may help improve the look of your skin. Plus, Belli Skin Care is completely safe during pregnancy and it contains almost all-organic and natural ingredients.
In addition to stretch marks at pregnancy week 23, you may start to experience swelling in your ankles and feet, especially at the end of the day. This is called "edema," or swelling during pregnancy. It's caused by the slugging circulation in your legs, paired with changes in your blood chemistry (i.e. you have more blood flow when you're expecting baby). Not to worry - this swelling will go away after you deliver your baby.
To help you cope with swelling during pregnancy, you should avoid sitting or standing in one place for too long, pop up your feet when you're sitting or lying down, exercise regularly to help improve your circulation, and wear maternity support stockings.PREGNANCY 411
Dealing with Emotional Issues During Pregnancy
In the second trimester, you may find that your physical changes are the least of your problems. Your significant other and family members may find that you are hard to live with, due to your rollercoaster of emotions. You may find that it's difficult to control your emotions when you're expecting. You may be happy and normal one second, sobbing hysterically the next, and full of rage minutes later.
While this whirlwind of different emotions may exhaust, it is just another normal pregnancy symptom. You may feel very emotional in the second trimester due to your worries that you won't be a good parent, or that you don't know if you can handle caring for more than one child at a time. Or you may be nervous about labor and delivery. Your baby may seem more real to you now, since you can now feel him/her moving around in your belly.
To help yourself feel better as you handle this flood of emotion, you may want to share how you're feeling with your partner or a close friend, or perhaps a pregnant friend who is going through the same thing. If you don't have any other pregnant friends, consider joining a childbirth class or prenatal class, where you can meet other pregnant women like yourself.