Week 23 of Pregnancy
Your Baby in Week 23 of Pregnancy
Your little doll-sized babe is about to chub up a bit. His saggy skin will start to fit his frame as fat deposits fill things out. Beginning this week, he’ll start to pack on the pounds (which means you will too!) and by month’s end he’ll be double the weight he is now (though you won’t be — whew!). 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. But once those fat deposits settle in, he’ll become less transparent.
Learn more about your baby in week 23 and fetal weight gain.
Your Body in Week 23 of Pregnancy
If you’re suddenly sporting a dark line down the middle of your tummy, say hello to the linea nigra. That line has actually always been there, but you probably never noticed it until pregnancy hormones caused hyperpigmentation (the same phenomenon that may have darkened your areolas and the area around your forehead and cheeks). Other (less than delightful) skin changes on your body in the sixth month may include red palms and soles, bluish blotchy legs, heat rash, and skin tags. Oh, and don’t forget that itchy belly (keep slathering on those creams!).
Learn more about your body in week 23 and the linea nigra.
Week 23 Pregnancy Tip: Relaxation Techniques
Is your growing bundle of joy making you a quivering bundle of nerves? Breathe, baby! (Yeah, you!) Now’s a great time to learn some soothing relaxation techniques — not just because they can help you cope with pregnancy worries (and sooner than you think, with labor contractions), but because they’ll come in handy in your life as a new mom (for the times when the baby’s on a crying marathon, your spouse is working late, you just burned the last clean pot, and your mother’s on the phone…again). Yoga’s a fabulous de-stresser, if you have time to take a class (plus it can help you learn how to focus on breathing, something we just do automatically). But here’s a technique you can use just about anywhere, anytime, to soothe your soul. Sit with your eyes closed and imagine a beautiful, peaceful scene (a sunset over your favorite beach, waves gently lapping the shore; a serene mountain vista, complete with babbling brook). Then, working your way up from your toes to your face, concentrate on relaxing every muscle. Breathe slowly, deeply, only through your nose and choose a simple word (such as “yes” or “one”) to repeat aloud every time you exhale. Ten to 20 minutes should do the trick, though even a minute or two is better than nothing. Hey, wake up!!
Learn more about pregnancy and meditation.
Week 23 Pregnancy Symptoms
Fetal activity: You may be getting used to feeling your baby’s movements in the womb. Cherish these light kicks now before they get more pronounced (and painful) and before your little mover and shaker gets a foot caught in your ribs!
Hearty appetite: It’s perfectly normal to find yourself wanting to devour the contents of your kitchen cabinets and fridge (you have a growing baby to feed!). So try to stock your home with healthy snacks such as fruit, cut-up veggies, nuts, and whole-wheat crackers.
Bloating: If you can’t seem to shake that ate-too-much feeling, you’re experiencing the effects of progesterone. The hormone causes the gastrointestinal tract to relax and slow down digestion, so that the nutrients from the foods you eat have more time to enter your bloodstream and reach your baby. Help keep things moving through your system (and out of your already bulging belly) by drinking plenty of water.
Forgetfulness: Are you consistently forgetting your keys, appointments, and where you parked the car? “Pregnancy brain” is likely caused by those pesky pregnancy hormones — and since it’s completely normal (and temporary), try to laugh it off and refrain from being too hard on yourself.
Snoring: This fairly common (and annoying) pregnancy symptom can disrupt your sleep and your partner’s. Partly due to nasal congestion (caused by extra weight and swollen mucous membranes in your nose), you can alleviate the nighttime nasal noises by wearing a nasal strip at bedtime and running a warm-mist humidifier in your bedroom.
Tingling hands (carpal tunnel): Swelling during pregnancy can put pressure on nerves in the wrists and cause the aching and tingling associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. If you work at a computer all day, take frequent hand-stretching breaks and make sure your wrists are straight and your elbows aren’t higher than your hands when you’re at your desk.
Bleeding gums: Reduce irritation to your gums (which are swelling more than usual these days due to hormones), by avoiding chewy sweets, brushing and flossing regularly, and visiting the dentist at least once while you’re expecting.