23 Weeks Pregnant
Week 23 of pregnancy may bring more excitement as you continue to feel your baby move on a regular basis. Your little one is bigger and stronger, so you can feel her twists and turns. Hopefully, you still feel pretty good and are enjoying picking out a name and setting up your baby’s nursery.
What’s happening with your body?
You’re in the middle of your second trimester and might feel pretty energetic. Your baby bump is growing a bit each week, but you might not be so big that you’re uncomfortable. If you have not experienced Braxton Hicks contractions, they may start this week.
At 23 weeks, it’s common to have some pregnancy discomforts, such as swollen feet at the end of the day. Fluid retention may be worse in warm weather or if you are on your feet all day.
It may help to put your feet up and place a cool washcloth on your ankles or feet. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water. You might think more water will cause increased swelling, but the opposite is often true. Staying well hydrated can decrease water retention.
As your belly gets bigger, you may have a little trouble sleeping. If you don’t have sleep problems now, they may develop when you hit your third trimester.
Your growing tummy may have forced you to change your sleep position, which may make drifting off to dreamland more of a challenge. Plus, you probably have a lot on your mind, which also can contribute to trouble sleeping.
It may help to develop a relaxing sleep routine, such as taking a warm bath or meditating before bed. Investing in a good pregnancy pillow that supports your body may also make you more comfortable.
Also, don’t be surprised if your partner lets you know you’re snoring at night. About 30 percent of women snore during pregnancy due to increased swelling in their nasal passages.
What’s happening with your baby?
Baby is roughly 30 centimeters and about as big as a mango or a small grapefruit. Her skin is still wrinkly and saggy, but in the coming weeks, your little one will gain more baby fat and fill out. In fact, your baby will probably double her weight in the next month, which will not only make her cuter, it makes her skin less transparent.
You might have noticed your baby is becoming quite the mover and shaker. That’s because her legs and arms are getting bigger and stronger. In the coming weeks, you might see your baby’s foot or elbow moving across your tummy.
Although she still needs several more weeks before she is ready to breathe on the outside, her lungs are maturing every day. Blood vessels are continuing to develop in her lungs, as well as cells called pneumocytes, which help prepare your baby to take her first breath.
Things to keep in mind
In another four months or so, you’ll have a new little roomie who is here to stay for at least the next 18 years, which means you need some stuff. While it is fun to shop for your baby, it can also be overwhelming. There are so many gadgets and baby items available, how do you know what you need?
Start by choosing the items you’ll need from day one. For example, must have items for newborn care include a car seat, diapers, clothes and feeding supplies, such as bottles. Additional feeding supplies you’ll need depend on whether you’ll be breastfeeding or formula feeding. For example, if you are breastfeeding, a breast pump is a good idea to store breast milk for future use.
Your little one also needs a place to sleep. You can invest in a crib right away or buy a bassinet or co-sleeper to use the first few months.
If finances are an issue, after you buy the essentials, you can hold off on buying other items until your baby is a bit older. For example, a high chair is nice to have to feed your baby, but you won’t need one for several months.
As your baby gets a bit older, other items that you may want to consider include a baby carrier, stroller, changing table, swing and activity mat. Be careful if you buy used items or accept hand me downs from friends. Some older items may not be up to the current safety standards.