Pregnancy Week 23

Fetal development in pregnancy week 23:

Your baby has now reached the 1-pound mark and measures about 11 inches long.  You may be smaller or larger than other people that are 23 weeks pregnant, but what is important is that you have steady growth and that you are taking care of yourself.

This week your baby’s nostrils will open and the enamel that will cover baby’s teeth is forming.  Surfactant, which is a substance that helps the lungs expand after birth, has begun to develop and the air sacs inside the lungs are growing.

All the nerve cells are all in place now and will begin to join together to fully form a nervous system.  Baby is moving around a lot now, and you’re probably feeling the full force of their movements.  This daily movement helps them work out their developing muscles.

Keep eating a healthy diet, including calcium and iron.  Your baby’s bones are absorbing calcium as quickly as they can so they can be strong and healthy at birth.  Fat is continuing to accumulate, but the skin still appears very wrinkly.  Once your baby has filled out a little the skin will appear less loose.

Maternal Changes

By 23 weeks pregnant you are probably still experiencing some drastic mood swings at times. Don’t worry if the McDonald’s Christmas commercials send you into a fit of tears. This is relatively routine for most pregnant women. Take some time during the next few weeks to enjoy your baby’s movements. Your baby is likely to be more active in the upcoming weeks than later in your pregnancy when he runs out of space to move about so freely.

Dad

Mom may actually feel Braxton Hicks contractions, or she might just happen to notice with her hand a slight tensing of her abdomen. This is just her uterine muscle preparing for birth. The uterus actually contracts at all phases of a woman’s life, however, we rarely notice this unless our uterus is full! Though it is handy to know the signs of premature labor to help protect your baby.

Maternity Clothes

Any pregnant woman will tell you that overalls and rompers are among the most comfortable items a woman can have in her maternity collection. One of the best things about overalls and rompers is that they can be worn before, during, and after pregnancy. In fact, overalls and rompers are particularly useful in the postpartum months when you don’t quite have your pre-pregnancy shape back just yet. They provide room to expand and breathe throughout your pregnancy. View a wide selection of maternity clothes at Destination Maternity

Pregnancy Health Tips

Many women start feeling Braxton Hicks contractions or false labor pains, during the second trimester. Braxton Hicks can be scary if you aren’t able to differentiate them from the real thing. So how do you do that?

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Braxton Hicks contractions happen when the muscles in your uterus tighten periodically, usually for 30 to 60 seconds. The primary differentiating feature between Braxton Hicks and regular contractions is that Braxton Hicks are usually random and painless.

If you have never had a baby before, it may be difficult for you to tell the difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and regular contractions. Braxton Hicks are far less painful, less regular, and less frequent than true labor contractions. Also, true labor contractions will increase in frequency, length and start hurting more as time progresses. So if your contractions are not intensifying over an extended period of time, you are probably not in labor.

As you get farther along in your pregnancy, you will probably start experiencing more frequent Braxton hick’s contractions. Some physicians refer to them as false labor. They do actually serve a purpose, helping to prepare the cervix for the process of effacement and dilation. This describes the process whereby the cervix thins out and opens up in preparation for delivery.

If you notice that your contractions stop when you change positions or relax, you are probably having Braxton Hicks contractions and not true labor contractions. Drink a glass or two of water if they become bothersome, because dehydration can sometimes increase the frequency of contractions.

Call your doctor if you notice any of the following, which may be signs of pre-term labor:

  • Contractions that increase in frequency and duration.
  • Contractions that are longer than 60 seconds and occur less than 5 minutes apart for an hour or more.
  • Contractions accompanied by bloody or watery discharge.
  • Contractions accompanied by lower back pain.
  • More than four contractions an hour or any contractions occurring at regular intervals.

More than likely you’ll find that you come to recognize Braxton Hicks easily enough, and welcome them as a sign that your body is preparing for the momentous task of labor to come several weeks down the line.

Twin Tips

Picking a baby name can be a lot of fun, picking two or more baby names is twice the fun and the hassle. Remember when choosing names that multiples might not always want to be a part of a set when it comes to names. Try to pick stand-alone names as you would for any sibling.


Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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