Your Guide to Being 23 Weeks Pregnant:
How do you feel at 23 weeks?
Your baby is still small enough to move around freely in the womb, but by this stage many have already settled into a head-down position. This is the best position for birth but if she’s still head-up, there’s plenty of time for her to turn.
You may have noticed that she already has regular waking and sleeping times, and she might follow the same routine after the birth. She might also become more active if you play loud music or eat a sugary snack, like ice cream – proof that she’s ever more connected to the outside world.
What’s happening to you
You’re carrying around a pint of amniotic fluid, and the entire amount is completely refreshed every three hours – just one reason why it’s important to stay hydrated in pregnancy. Your belly button may be flattening or even popping out by now. Yes, it looks weird, but it’ll get back to normal after the birth.
You might well be experiencing regular Braxton Hicks (practise contractions) at this stage. They help to prepare your cervix for labour, and often become stronger if you exercise, have sex or even become slightly dehydrated.
By now, you should be feeling your baby move regularly, and so should your other half, if he places his hand on your bump.
As your bump grows, it’s common for your skin to feel dry, stretched and itchy. Keeping your skin moisturised can help to ease the discomfort – olive oil is renowned for its skin-soothing effects, if you don’t mind smelling like a chippie!
When to check it out
Intense itching, particularly on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet, can be a sign of obstetric cholestasis, a rare but serious pregnancy-related liver condition. So always mention itchiness to your midwife. She can arrange a simple blood test to be on the safe side.
‘To do’ this week
If you haven’t booked antenatal classes, do it now – you should aim to start them around the 30-week mark. Some areas offer free classes on the NHS, but in others, you might have to pay for a private course. Ask your midwife for information.
Wow! Did you know…
Your baby’s hair is starting to darken to the colour it’ll be at birth – although chances are this baby fluff will fall out in the early weeks and be replaced by hair of a totally different colour.