23 Weeks Pregnant

image001Significant changes occur during week 23 of pregnancy as both mother and baby gain weight. This also marks the crucial time when mothers must go for regular antenatal checks with their obstetrician or primary care provider to ensure they are healthy as well as their infants. Prenatal testing procedures must be conducted to check fetal development and make sure that nothing is wrong as it enters the third trimester. This article will help you know what to expect when you are 23 weeks pregnant and other useful tips on pregnancy.

What Are the Pregnancy Symptoms at 23 Weeks?

Regular checkups let a mother know about how long she must wait before her due date. However, several physical signs can also indicate if the mother is already at her 23rd week of pregnancy. Common signs include bleeding gums and nosebleeds. Hormones that are active during pregnancy can cause gum inflammation and ultimately lead to bleeding particularly when brushing the teeth.

Dealing with bleeding gums is simple. Brush and floss your teeth gently and try out solutions that can soothe bleeding. These products must be natural solutions that are safe to use even for pregnant women. Practicing good dental hygiene is paramount at this stage to prevent any gum disease. In addition, look for free dental treatments to ensure that your teeth and gums receive regular checkups without adding burden to your expenses.

How Does Your Baby Grow?

Signs of physical development can be easily appreciated at this point of pregnancy. Sense of movement is fully developed at this point and your baby will feel your movements if you sway or dance to a song playing on the radio. Physical growth is also easily appreciated as your baby is now around 11 inches in length and weighs approximately a pound. Its movements are noticeable even while wearing maternity clothes. Pulmonary or lung vessels are developing in preparation for independent breathing once born. Sense of hearing becomes sharper as it starts to pick up sounds, which is vital post-birth. Several loud noises are more familiar to your baby. This familiarity will keep the infant from being startled once it is out of the womb.

While there is a general pattern noticeable when it comes to development, it is undeniable that some infants show different developmental changes.

You can watch this video and get more information about how your baby grows at 23 weeks pregnancy:

How Does Your Life Change?

Significant changes on fetal development become more noticeable inside the womb. However, mothers also experience other physical changes on top of their expanding belly.

1. Swollen Ankles and Feet

Swollen ankles and feet will become more prominent as the months go by, particularly on a specific time of the day or during the hot summer season. This swelling, or also known as edema, is caused by slow blood circulation to the legs and blood chemical changes result in water retention, which will subside after giving birth. Excess water accumulating in the body will be flushed out through frequent urination and excessive sweating, which is often noticed post-delivery.

2. Treatments of Ankle and Feet Edema

Ankle and feet edema can subside by lying sideways on your left side or by placing a pillow under your legs for elevation. Avoid sitting or standing for a long time and sit with your legs stretched out.

Regular exercise can promote blood circulation and keep the process from being sluggish. Wearing a support stocking immediately upon waking up can also help. Wear shoes or slippers with larger sizes or wider space for comfort.

In contrary to popular opinion or impression, drinking plenty of water will keep your body from retaining fluids and remain hydrated. Do not avoid drinking water once you notice swelling.

3. Call Your Doctor If Necessary

Edema is one of the physical changes pregnant women experience. Nevertheless, excessive swelling is also indicative of preeclampsia, a serious condition among expectant mother that may cause complications and even death when not picked up immediately. Call your care provider or midwife upon noticing severe swelling or excessive puffiness on hands or face.

What About Diet at 23 Weeks Pregnancy?

Maintaining a healthy diet is vital during pregnancy to ensure that both mother and baby receive their needed nutrients. However, some nutrients must be taken in greater quantity during mid-pregnancy as the following:

Nutrients

Functions

Sources

Calcium

Calcium strengthens bones and teeth.

Good sources of calcium include yogurt, milk, cheese, spinach, white bread, chick peas, kidney beans, and spring greens.

Iron

Iron is a helpful nutrient in promoting energy and avoiding exhaustion.

Best iron sources are meat, fish and poultry meat. This nutrient can also be obtained from non-meat sources such as lentils, beans, dried fruit, broccoli and spinach.

Zinc

Zinc is a remarkable growth and health aid.

This nutrient can be found in seeds, anchovies, wheat germ, sardines, milk, eggs, nuts and shellfishes.

Vitamin B2

This vitamin is responsible in promoting healthier eyes and skin.

Famous sources include Quorn, meat, mushrooms, yeast extract and almonds.

What Can You Do at 23 Weeks Pregnancy?

You can do several practices during your 23rd week of pregnancy in improving health and development as the following:

1. Remain Cheerful

It is important for you to remain happy and cheerful. Stress can affect your baby and its development significantly. Establish a solid support system comprising a family member, a support group or a friend in times of need. Even if your days are good in general, having them around can be helpful in dealing with difficult or extremely challenging days.

2. Build More Activities into Your Daily Routine

Activities are not limited to actual workout routine. Your body during this term feels great and it is advisable to do some activities as part of your daily routine. Common practices include parking your car farther from the baby store entrance, go up the second or third floor of a building through stairs, or other activities that will keep you on your feet regularly.

3. Buckle Your Growing Belly Properly While Driving

Buckling up properly is important whether you are going for long or short drives. Wrap the belt below your growing belly and let it rest across the pelvis and thighs to maximize safety and comfort. The other part of the strap should be over your shoulder resting diagonally on your sternum or space in between breasts.

4. Believe in Yourself Rather Than Statistics

Numerical values in terms of weights and lengths of your developing baby on articles are based on the general medical statistics and studies. Hence, they are only used as rules of thumb or references. Fetal and mothers’ physical developments vary in terms of rates and it is best to trust your body than settling on text book references.

5. Write to Your Baby-to-be a Letter

Having this journal is a treasure both you and your baby will cherish. Write according to your inspiration and your feelings. Start your letter by describing emotions or feelings as your baby grows inside you. Indicate the activities you plan to do with your baby. List down your dreams and wishes for your beloved child. Finally, state your gained insight about motherhood and how you plan to support your baby.

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