23 Weeks Pregnant
- July 15, 2021
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hey there, pregnant moms and dads-to-be! Welcome to your 23rd week of pregnancy! I just wanted to start off this weekly post with a thank you. This series has been so much fun to make — it’s been both a walk down memory lane with my previous pregnancies and a much needed reminder of what I’m going through. Having this series and being able to channel all the ups and downs I experience has truly been wonderful and I’m so grateful for your continued support and encouragement! Back to business — time to get the low down on Week 23 of your pregnancy!
23 Weeks Pregnant: Recurring Symptoms
23 Weeks Pregnant: Common Symptoms
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome During Pregnancy
During my pregnancy, I’ve begun to notice a distinct tingling feeling in my forearms that I’ve only felt previously after long periods of time at the computer. Pregnancy carpal tunnel syndrome is a common occurrence due in part to the increased swelling and weight gain within your body. This weight gain and swelling place pressure against your median nerve, causing the numbness, weakness, or tingling you may be feeling. Carpal tunnel syndrome while pregnant is definitely something to keep an eye out for. Reach out to your doctor if you are experiencing similar symptoms or have any concerns.
Enlarged Feet During Pregnancy
When I learned that I was pregnant for the first time, I expected my belly to grow significantly, not my feet! During pregnancy, a combination of the hormone relaxin — which loosens your ligaments — and weight gain causes the ligaments in your feet to stretch out. This means that your feet will undoubtedly grow during pregnancy, gaining up to a size or two. To prepare for this, purchase a pair of comfortable flats or sneakers that will accommodate your growing feet. Unlike most other pregnancy symptoms that disappear after birth, your foot size unfortunately will not go back to its usual size! I had a friend of mine who was really into shoes and she was so upset about this because she couldn’t fit into her shoe collection anymore and had to give all of her shoes away.
Leaky Boobs During Pregnancy
Did you forget to turn the faucet off? Oh no, it’s just your breasts? Trust me, I’ve been there. The weird yellow-y substance coming out of your breasts is colostrum, the food your baby will breastfeed off of in the early days after delivery until your milk supply comes in. I definitely didn’t think I would be leaking this early, but that may be because I’ve already been through five pregnancies. I’d recommend investing in breast pads to place between your bra and your breasts to help absorb some of the liquid. My breast pads have saved me from embarrassment so many times!
Snoring During Pregnancy
Have you given your partner insomnia with your earth-rattling snores? Before pregnancy, I was never a snorer. Not so true right now. During pregnancy, your upper airway narrows due to swelling, causing that signature snoring sound with which your partner is getting more familiar. I purchased nasal strips, which have stopped my snoring and allowed my partner to finally get some rest again. I would recommend talking with your doctor if you have any worries about your pregnancy snoring, as this condition can be associated with higher blood pressure and sleep apnea, which could impact your health or your baby’s.
Stages of Fetal Development: Baby Growth & Size at 23 Weeks
At week 23, your baby weighs 1.2 pounds and is 11 inches long, about the size of a grapefruit. This sort of surprised me when I read it because I feel a lot bigger than that. This is normal for most pregnant women since there’s a lot going on in our pregnant bellies apart from the actual baby, including fluids, the sac, and all the elements that support the baby. That aside, breathe a sigh of relief, because this week your baby’s lungs begin the process of maturing. This happens because around this week, your baby will begin producing lung surfactant, which is a substance essential to the functioning and maturation of the lungs.
Get ready, mama! Another growth spurt is on the horizon. In the next four weeks, your 23 week fetus will double in weight. Oh baby, it will soon be getting cramped in your uterus. In other news, your baby’s digestive system is beginning to perform peristalsis, which are contractions in the intestines that help move digested food.
Your baby’s skin continues to thicken as keratin is added. Make sure to keep talking to your baby, even if this entails a one-sided conversation (your child will talk back soon enough, believe me)! At this point, your baby can likely hear noises outside the womb, but these noises may be muffled or distorted.
Fun Fact About Pregnancy
Human babies are born with a higher fat percentage than any other animal — 15%!
My Pregnant Bump Progression
I’m getting rounder by the week. If possible, try have your baby furniture delivered and ready to go by at least week 36. I say this because I had all my babies a little early, between weeks 35 and 37, and there was just no time to wait until the last week of pregnancy. Check out my 6 months pregnant belly!
What is RhoGAM and why is it used?
Red cell incompatibility refers to the Rh protein and antigen that is carried by our blood cells. If you don’t have this protein (Rh-), but your baby does (Rh+), this could cause some problems in later pregnancies. If some of your baby’s blood cells make their way into your bloodstream, your body may mount an immune response against your baby’s blood. This issue is not present during your first pregnancy, while your body is still accumulating an immune response, but could cause problems with a second pregnancy. Here’s a guide detailing the process for how you can get tested and treated to prevent red cell incompatibility. A RhoGAM shot will be administered any time there is a risk for your blood and your baby’s blood mixing. These instances include: amniocentesis, CVS, trauma during pregnancy, an ectopic pregnancy, bleeding from the vagina, and an abortion.
Your Pregnancy at 23 Weeks: Prenatal Appointments
During week 23 of pregnancy, the prenatal test that remains available is cordocentesis.
Week by Week Pregnancy Food Guide
Quick, Healthy Meal Tip
Watermelon Salad: Add three cups of chopped watermelon, 1½ cups of chopped and de-seeded cucumber, and 1 tablespoon of chopped mint to a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of lime juice, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Combine the dressing to the large bowl and mix well. (Dinner at the Zoo)
Low Mercury Fish
While it definitely is a good idea to avoid raw fish, the FDA and the EPA actually encourage pregnant women to get between 8 and 12 ounces of low mercury fish that is high in omega 3 fatty acids each week. Some great choices include wild salmon, freshwater trout, catfish, cod, herring, and shrimp. Make sure the fish is thoroughly cooked throughout before enjoying!
How Many Months Is 23 Weeks?
At 23 weeks, you are around 6 months pregnant.
Week 23 Pregnancy Checklist
- Treat yourself to some prenatal yoga, pilates, or a relaxing massage
- Continue your Kegel exercise routine daily
- Learn about your health insurances’ policies to see what you are covered for
- Relax and pamper yourself!
- Stay hydrated and go when you gotta go to prevent UTIs
- Aim to finish your pregnancy checklist before week 36
- Research swaddling blankets (I recommend hospital burp cloths)
- What to Expect & What to Expect When You’re Expecting – 5th Edition (2016)
- The Bump
- Baby List
- The Mama Natural Week to Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth (2017)
- Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy – Second Edition (2018)
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists