23 Weeks Pregnant
At 23 weeks pregnant, Braxton Hicks contractions may start appearing now. They are usually tightenings in your lower abdomen similar to menstrual cramps. These contractions may last from 15 seconds to one minute, keep track of them. You need to inform your doctor if they last longer than an hour or become more intense. Their purpose is to begin preparing your body for labor and birth.
As you get closer to your delivery date you may have trouble sleeping. Anxiety, frequent urination, heartburn, indigestion, leg cramps, and general discomfort can contribute to sleeplessness. Because your hormones are in overdrive, you may also be experiencing mood swings. As your belly grows, your skin may become dry and itchy. Remember to hydrate yourself and your skin. Drink lots of water and use a good lotion on your belly to help prevent itching and stretch marks.
Many doctors recommend that pregnant women sleep on their sides (not their backs or their stomachs), so that blood flow to the placenta is not restricted. If you find this uncomfortable, try placing a pillow between your knees to relieve the pressure of your weight while lying on your side. A pregnancy pillow is wonderful for this, they are specifically designed for a pregnant woman's body and provide comfort to the places you need it most.
If you are experiencing aches in the small of your back, lying down, getting massages, and applying a heating pad or hot water bottle to the area can help.
Your Baby's Growth
At 23 weeks pregnant, your baby weighs a little over one pound and measures about 11.5 inches from head to toe. Your baby will begin to move the muscles in its fingers, toes, arms, and legs more regularly, which may cause you to feel more forceful movements in your abdomen. From this point on your baby will start gaining approximately 6 ounces of weight per week.
Your baby's eyebrows and eyelashes are forming, and the facial features such as lips and eyes are becoming more distinct. The bones in your baby's middle ear begin to harden. Your baby's body is becoming more proportioned.