In the twenty-third week of pregnancy, the baby is growing rapidly and the mother may have already begun to experience Braxton Hicks contractions. As the baby moves lower in the mother’s abdomen, her center of gravity is shifting as is her posture. Here are some of the other changes that may occur during this time.
The Baby: This is the time when the baby is almost seven inches long and weighs about one pound. Its skin is still wrinkled and covered with a waxy substance called vernix. The baby is also busy practicing sucking, blinking, and making other simple movements.
The Mother: At this point, the mother will be feeling the baby’s movements and may be able to distinguish between its kicks and punches. Most women also experience heartburn and indigestion, as well as some swelling in their hands and feet.
Fetal Development: The baby’s bones are continuing to harden and its internal organs, like the kidneys, are starting to mature. Its lungs are also developing rapidly and the baby may begin to practice breathing.
At this point, regular ultrasounds may be recommended to monitor the baby’s growth. The mother may also have regular checkups to determine the baby’s position and her own progression. Both mother and baby should be given third trimester blood tests to check their health.
Though the first trimester can be a stressful time, this twenty-third week marks a milestone for the mother and baby. Even though the third trimester won’t be easy, this is the time when the mom and baby can bond and share their special journey together.