Reaching week 23 of pregnancy is worth celebrating. It is because if, for some reason, your baby needs (hopefully not) to come out of your womb during this week in pregnancy, he has at least a 25 percent chance of survival.
Aside from your baby’s chance of survival, your baby’s weight and height have also increased. Since you are in week 23 of pregnancy, your sweet baby would be as heavy as half a kilo of sugar and less than an inch shorter than a foot long candy cane.
Your baby’s brains continue to develop in week 23 of pregnancy. This physiological development can be adversely affected when the mom is stressed out during pregnancy. Steering clear from stressful situations and stressed out people, thinking happy thoughts, and watching feel-good movies are some of the things that you can do in order to help make sure that your baby’s brains continue to have a healthy development.
Babies inside 23-week-pregnant women will begin to have tighter skin around this time. However, their organs and bones can still be seen through their slightly translucent skin. Their senses are getting more and more developed. So much so that they are presently able to feel their mom’s movements (thanks to their functioning vestibular system); and pick up sounds from the outside world. According to research, most babies who are familiar with loud sounds (door slamming, dog barking or vacuum cleaner revving) while they are still in their mom’s tummy will come out better adjusted to sudden and startling sounds.
This week in pregnancy you may notice that your baby has established a sleeping pattern. That is, asleep during day time and awake at night time or vice versa. When your baby is awake, it tends to be active too. For this reason, you will have the pleasure of feeling AND seeing your baby’s movements in week 23 of pregnancy.
Unfortunately, your swollen feet and ankles, linea nigra, and itchy belly are not as pleasurable to see or feel as your baby’s movements. They are pregnancy symptoms that most 23-week-pregnant women will have. Your feet and ankles swell because of the poor blood circulation and water retention in your lower limbs. This swelling is called edema. No need to shriek if you see a dark vertical line on your tummy. That line is called linea nigra. Blame it to your pregnancy hormones. Don’t worry though as this line will disappear a few months after you give birth. For your itchy belly, you can’t put the blame on pregnancy hormones. Instead, blame it on your growing belly. Your skin loses moisture as it gets stretched.
Here are some ways to address your week 23 of pregnancy symptoms. No matter how busy you are, take time to get up, exercise and stretch your legs or put them up to help circulate blood in your body. These will help stop or lessen the swelling. Also, be sure to drink lots of water to avoid water retention and dehydration. Be vigilant of too much swelling though because this may indicate that you have preeclampsia.
With regards to your linea nigra, there is no need to worry or spend money on it. It will voluntarily disappear months after your delivery. And you can treat your itchy belly problem by applying a generous amount of moisturizing lotion on the affected areas.
There is no need to call your doctor if you start feeling infrequent and painless – and sometimes uncomfortable – contractions when you are in week 23 of pregnancy. You are not in labor. Those contractions are called Braxton Hicks contractions. And dealing with them is quite easy. You will need to be relaxed and well-rested. You have to have a good control of your breathing, make sure that you are tucked in bed early, and endeavor to have enough rest during the day. Keeping yourself hydrated and having warm baths may also help lessen the discomforts.
However, you do need to call your doctor if the interval of your contractions is getting closer and closer, or the abdominal pain and cramps are getting more and more intense. You must immediately contact your doctor when, along with the said contractions, you have blood-spattered vaginal discharges and lower back pain before, during, or after your week 23 of pregnancy.