23 Weeks Pregnant
What’s happening this week and How is my baby developing?
You’re 23 weeks pregnant and your baby weighs about 600 grams and measures almost 28 cm from head to toe. Your baby’s skin is very wrinkly, but the presence of lanugo and vernix helps keep him warm and snug.
He can also suck on his thumb on purpose, as his movements get more controlled. You may also feel him jump in response to loud noise, as his ears are developing.
If something were to happen to you to cause premature labor, it’s reassuring to know that, with the help of modern medicine, there’s a small chance your baby would survive, however, there’s a high chance that your baby would have neurological or motor disabilities.
Doctors say that every week your baby stays in the womb, his chances of survival increase 3% until you are 26 weeks pregnant and after that, it jumps to 80% survival.
How is my body changing?
By 23 weeks pregnant your uterus sits about 4 cm above your navel and you may start to feel less graceful. Enjoy the next couple of weeks, when your baby still has enough space to move around.
Towards the end of your pregnancy, you won’t feel him as much, because of space restrictions. You may also be feeling incredible mood swings, and the appearance of stretch marks certainly won’t help you!
Unfortunately, 50% of pregnant women develop stretch marks, but if you try to gain weight steadily you may be able to avoid them.
Another common symptom is swelling, in particular legs, ankles, and feet. Opt to loose clothing and comfortable shoes and avoid standing for long periods.
At 23 weeks pregnant, your weight gain can be as high as 15 pounds or more. If you started underweight, you need to gain between 28 to 40 pounds.
Average size women should aim for a total pregnancy weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds, and if you’re overweight or obese, restrict your gain to just 15 to 25 pounds.
Your baby’s umbilical cord could save his life
You should start thinking now about what you’re going to do with the baby’s cord blood.
Umbilical cord blood is rich in stem cells, which are used in transplants to treat a variety of disorders including leukemia, sickle cell disease, and many others.
If you bank your baby’s umbilical cord blood now, if he ever needs it in later life, a transplant could be performed, but this can be expensive.
Another option is to donate your baby’s cord blood to a public bank, which is free.
If you don’t say anything to your healthcare provider before delivery, it will just be thrown away. Ask your doctor for more information.