What’s going on?
By this week, your baby is looking more and more like a newborn – he/she just need to add on the fat. You, on the other hand, might start noticing a host of changes taking place to your body, which may require some changes to your lifestyle.
Baby at Week 23
At Week 23, your baby is approximately 30cm long and weighs around 500g – that’s about the size of a grapefruit. Although your little one looks like a newborn baby right now, he/she will need to bulk up on fat before making his/her debut on delivery day.
Right now, your baby still has some space to turn and do somersaults, but this won’t be the case for long as he/she grows bigger over the next few weeks. If you look closely, you might be able to see your baby squirming under your clothes on his/her active days.
The blood vessels in your baby’s lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and loud noises that he/she can hear is starting to get familiar by now. From your barking dog to the whirring sound of the vacuum cleaner, chances are, these will not bother him/her at all once he/she is born.
Here’s an interesting fact you’d want to know: While you have heard your baby’s heartbeat through a Doppler during your doctor’s visits, by now you can also hear it through a standard stethoscope.
What is mum up to?
As your baby starts to get cosy in your womb, you’ve probably noticed how pregnancy affects the way your body functions. Some of these changes include being forgetful (or better known as ‘pregnancy brain’ – thanks to progesterone), increasing shoe size, heat rash and skin tags. Stretch marks are also starting to show up in shades of pink and purple on various skin surfaces, particularly your belly and thighs.
Right about now, you might find your weight increasing steadily, which is why it is important to fuel up on fibre-rich, nutritious food to keep you full until the next meal. Your burgeoning bump might also put more strain on your back, leading to backache. You can ease the effects of this by taking care of your posture and adjusting your chair properly if you are sitting at a desk to work during the day. Do remember to take regular breaks to stretch your legs, and putting your feet up when you have the chance could help to take the weight off them.
Top tips for Week 23
As your baby grows, he/she will need more of the vitamins and minerals passing through your body. This usually calls for an extra dose of supplements such as iron in addition to your prenatal vitamin. The extra dosage may help to protect you against anaemia, a health condition whereby your body does not get the recommended 30mg of iron needed to produce red blood cells. This can bring about symptoms such as extreme tiredness, weakness, shortness of breath and dizziness.
In most cases, anaemia will not harm your baby, but it can deplete your energy levels rapidly. Do contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the symptoms highlighted above at any point of your pregnancy.