2023 Author: Josephine Shorter | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 04:34
23 weeks pregnant
The 23rd week of pregnancy is five and a half obstetric months, which, unlike the lunar months, consist not of about 29.5 days, but exactly 28 days. The term is already quite impressive, but the first meeting with the baby is still far away. Therefore, while you need to enjoy your position, not forgetting that a new life is ripening inside.
- Fetal development at 23 weeks gestation
- What happens to the expectant mother?
- Causes of pain at 23 weeks
- What happens to the stomach?
- What happens to the uterus?
- Do I need to do an ultrasound at 23 weeks pregnant?
- What tests need to be done at 23 weeks?
- Allocations: norm and pathology
- Is it ok to have sex?
- The principles of good nutrition
- Weight gain
- Answers to popular questions
Fetal development at 23 weeks gestation
- Now the child's weight is about 0.5 kg, and his height can reach 29 cm.
The 23rd week of pregnancy is characterized by active growth of the fetal brain. In just 2 to 5 months, the brain increased in size by 10 times. At the moment, his weight is about 24 g, and in the next two weeks he will get 5 times heavier. Therefore, it is so important that the baby does not experience oxygen starvation, which can negatively affect the development of the brain. Given this factor, a woman should spend as much time as possible in the fresh air, making daily walks. In addition, you need to try to protect yourself as much as possible from stressful situations.
- By 23 weeks, the child has a fully formed digestive tract. He has his own stomach, liver, esophagus, pancreas, intestines. Moreover, this whole complex system is already working. The child constantly swallows amniotic fluid, making about 60 respiratory movements per minute. Sometimes the baby even hiccups, which is quite clearly felt by the expectant mother. The pancreas continues to actively develop, which produces insulin.
- After the amniotic fluid enters the fetal esophagus, sugar and water are synthesized from it. The baby's first feces, meconium, is formed from sugars, which will also consist of bile.
- The baby's skin is covered with wrinkles, it has not smoothed yet. The first brown fat began to accumulate under it. Lanugo - the hairs that cover the body of the fetus - darken at this time.
- Gradually, nails form at the fingertips.
- At 23 weeks, the spleen is first included in the work. It is engaged in the production of red blood cells and destroys those that turn out to be "substandard".
- Boys have developed scrotums, and girls have ovaries, which already contain millions of eggs needed to produce their own offspring.
- Most scientists are of the opinion that the baby begins to see his first dreams precisely from the 23rd week of intrauterine life. Although the child is asleep most of the time, he wakes up briefly every hour.
What happens to the expectant mother?
At the 23rd week of pregnancy, a woman fully feels the movements of the fetus. If earlier they could be confused with the work of the intestines, now all doubts fade into the background - this is really a child moving. As a rule, the fetus is most active in the evenings and at night. Now you can try to “calm down” him by talking to the child in a quiet and even voice, or by singing a lullaby to him. In parallel, you can lightly stroke the stomach.
The expectant mother is worried about heartburn, because the growing belly begins to press on the stomach. To reduce the discomfort, it is recommended to drink a glass of milk, eat a few slices of quality chocolate, or nibble on sunflower seeds. Do not use baking soda to eliminate heartburn. Its use will lead to the fact that the unpleasant feeling will only intensify and begin to arise more often.
At the 23rd week of pregnancy, a woman experiences certain breathing difficulties, which are understandable to the wave. They arise due to the fact that the enlarged uterus puts pressure on the diaphragm, compresses the lungs and expands the sternum. Although there is nothing critical in this, you need to try to master special breathing techniques that will allow you to fully provide your body and child with oxygen.
There are more frequent trips to the toilet to empty the bladder. Moreover, as pregnancy progresses, the pressure on this organ will increase. So that the desire to urinate does not bother at night, it is necessary after six in the evening to limit the amount of fluid you drink.
It is possible that in the morning a woman will experience slight swelling, since the body retains excess fluid in order to provide the placenta with it if necessary. When the swelling becomes very severe, you need to reduce salt intake, but you should not completely abandon it.
Hormonal surges that occur every day in the body can lead to the fact that the skin of the hands will periodically redden. You shouldn't worry about this, as soon everything will pass.
The skin of the body may become drier and flaky. Stretch marks often appear on it. To reduce discomfort, you need to use special moisturizers.
It is equally important to monitor the cleanliness of the breast, because the first colostrum can already be excreted from it. Teeth need special care as calcium consumption increases. Poor oral hygiene can lead to deterioration of the tooth enamel.
Many women report that their hair becomes thicker and healthier during pregnancy. The fact is that the blood supply to all organs is increased, so the hair follicles receive more nutrients. However, you should tune in to the fact that after giving birth, the hairstyle may thin out.
Sweating increases, which is often the cause of acne and other defects on the skin. To avoid this, it is necessary to wipe the problem areas with antiseptics. Taking a shower regularly can help you deal with unpleasant odors.
Causes of pain at 23 weeks
At the 23rd week of pregnancy, a woman may begin to experience pain in the back. The load on the lower back and on the spine as a whole increases. The pain is also caused by the expansion of the pelvic bones, which is aimed at facilitating the passage of the child through the birth canal.
Sometimes leg cramps may appear. This is especially true against the background of a lack of calcium in the body, so its reserves must be replenished daily. The doctor may recommend calcium supplements for the woman.
Since the center of gravity is shifted to the stomach, a woman needs to be especially careful. Even the usual activities need to be done more carefully, such as getting out of bed, bending over and squatting.
Wearing high-heeled shoes should be discarded. This is not only unsafe, but also puts an increased strain on the back.
It is best to lie on your side while sleeping. Sleeping on the stomach is uncomfortable due to its impressive size, and it is not recommended to sleep on the back because of the possible deterioration of blood supply to the placenta in this position.
The abdominal pain can be caused by muscle tension, which is especially felt when making sudden movements, as well as when coughing and sneezing.
Wearing a prenatal brace helps to reduce the strain on the back and maintain the correct posture. To find the right product, you should consult a doctor.
What happens to the stomach?
The appearance of the abdomen changes, a dark stripe often appears in its center from the navel to the pubis. This is due to the fact that a lot of melanin is produced in the body of a pregnant woman. Sometimes it also leads to darkening of the areola of the nipples and increased pigmentation of the vulva. As a rule, after childbirth, everything returns to normal.
The skin of the abdomen may begin to itch due to its tension. You can use olive oil as a natural moisturizer.
Severe cramping pains in the abdomen and lower back, which occur against the background of vaginal discharge with blood, fainting, fever and vomiting, must necessarily be a cause for concern. In this case, it is necessary to call an ambulance as soon as possible.
What happens to the uterus?
Now the uterus rises above the navel by 4 cm. From time to time it can contract slightly, exercising before the upcoming birth. Sometimes this process is accompanied by the appearance of mild pain. Such training fights do not last long, and sometimes they are even isolated. They are also called Braxton-Higgs contractions. Perhaps their strengthening after intimacy. To reduce the intensity of such contractions, you need to change your body position, and it is better to lie down on your side.
Training contractions should not escalate or cause vivid painful sensations. If they become frequent, then an ambulance team should be called.
Do I need to do an ultrasound at 23 weeks pregnant?
The second planned ultrasound examination can be prescribed precisely at the 23rd week of pregnancy. During an ultrasound scan, the doctor will assess the development of the fetus, its motor activity, heart rate and other important indicators. In parallel, the uterus and placenta are examined. Sometimes the doctor indicates that the placenta is lower than it should be. You should not worry about this, it can rise, since the uterus will still grow and expand.
An ultrasound scan, carried out at 23 weeks of gestation, will determine the sex of the unborn child, if the baby does not turn the booty towards the sensor. However, one can never be 100% sure about this issue, since errors occur even when conducting research on the most modern equipment.
What tests need to be done at 23 weeks?
At 23 weeks, a woman may have a visit to the doctor, so she will need to pass certain tests. It is possible that she received a referral to them even earlier. Most often, the results of a general blood and urine test, as well as a blood test for sugar, clotting, hCG and other hormones are required.
If protein and salts are found in urine, it will be necessary to undergo a number of additional studies, since these data may indicate an infection, abnormalities in the development of the fetus, etc. The level of chorionic gonadotropin and progesterone in the blood is of no small importance. Therefore, if any abnormalities are found, the doctor will prescribe additional tests.
If the blood sugar level is exceeded, it will be necessary to adhere to a diet, as the risk of excess weight in the fetus increases. It is possible that a woman in this case may require specific therapy.
It is equally important to control the level of hemoglobin in the blood, which allows timely detection of iron deficiency anemia. It is very common in pregnant women and causes health problems.
It should be understood that on the basis of any one "bad" analysis, the doctor will not be able to diagnose a particular problem. As a rule, pathology will be indicated by deviations from the norm for several indicators at once. Therefore, you do not need to worry in advance.
Allocations: norm and pathology
Normally, discharge at 23 weeks of gestation should be light milky in color, odorless and free of impurities. Any deviations must be reported to the doctor. Signs of ill health are a change in the color of the discharge to yellow, green, earthy, brown, etc. The presence of curdled clots, flakes or foam in the discharge indicates an infection. It must be treated without fail, since many of the pathogenic microbes are able to overcome the placental barrier and infect the child's body.
Thrush is a fairly common occurrence during pregnancy. It is indicated by cheesy discharge, severe itching of the skin of the external genital organs. Candidiasis must be treated, otherwise there is a risk of infection of the child during his passage through the birth canal.
A woman should carefully monitor the nature of her secretions in order to notice possible leakage of amniotic fluid. In case of such a problem, you need to seek medical help as soon as possible. If you suspect water leakage, you should not be tormented by guesswork, it is enough to go to the pharmacy and purchase a special test for the detection of amniotic fluid.
At 23 weeks gestation, the risk of termination is significantly reduced compared to the first trimester. However, when bloody discharge appears, it is necessary to call an ambulance as soon as possible. The presence of blood may indicate erosion of the cervix, such discharge may occur after intercourse or gynecological examination. In any case, it won't hurt to consult a specialist.
Is it ok to have sex?
If the doctor does not indicate the presence of any contraindications to intimate life, then sex at 23 weeks of gestation is allowed. Moreover, it can give a woman special pleasure, since the sensitivity of the erogenous zones at this time increases, and the libido increases.
Doctors strongly recommend that women not change their sexual partner during pregnancy in order to reduce the risk of developing dangerous infections that can harm not only the woman, but also the child. Moreover, the microflora of the vagina at this time becomes especially sensitive to foreign bacteria.
Whatever types of sex the spouses practice, the main thing is to be careful. During intimacy, a woman should not experience pain or discomfort. Poses should be chosen that do not involve pressure on the abdomen.
If a woman has previously suffered a miscarriage, or when she is carrying twins, doctors strongly recommend that intimacy be abandoned. Other contraindications include placenta previa and the threat of premature birth.
The principles of good nutrition
- Protein dominates the menu of a pregnant woman. However, this does not mean that you need to give up fats and carbohydrates. First of all, the diet should be balanced.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables should be on the menu every day.
- On the table must be present foods rich in calcium - fermented milk drinks, cottage cheese, oatmeal.
- Spicy, pickled, salty, fried and smoked foods should be removed from the diet.
- Fresh water should remain the main drink throughout the day. You can also drink fruit drinks, compotes, juices, but you need to be careful with herbal infusions.
- When you want something sweet, it is best to replace chocolate and candy with nuts and dried fruits. You should not get carried away with them, since they have a high calorie content and can contribute to weight gain.
Video about proper nutrition in the second half of pregnancy. How can you prevent anemia? Mom's nutrition in the second trimester is just as important for the baby as it is at the beginning of term. You supply your baby with the necessary elements for his rapid growth and further development:
Weight continues to gain, but that's okay. On average, a woman at the 23rd week of pregnancy gains 5-7 kg. This increase is due to the weight of the fetus, placenta, amniotic fluid, etc. When the indicators on the scales are outside the normal range, you should consult a doctor about this.
Answers to popular questions
- I am 23 weeks pregnant, recently I began to notice that sticky spots appear on the bra, and the nipples all the time seem to be covered with a greasy coating. What it is? Colostrum may be released from the breast at 23 weeks of gestation, since its production began as early as 16 weeks. Most often, the first marks on a woman's clothes are noticed at 32 weeks of gestation and later. Nevertheless, if colostrum appeared earlier, there is nothing to worry about. You just need to wash your breasts more often with warm water, and then gently blot it with a towel. You can not specifically press on the chest and try to express colostrum, as this can provoke the onset of premature birth. A woman should remember that colostrum is a fertile breeding ground for bacterial microorganisms, so hygiene should be especially careful.
- How is toxicosis manifested at 23 weeks of pregnancy? Is it true that it is expressed in dizziness? Toxicosis in late pregnancy is expressed in increased edema, the appearance of traces of protein in the urine, blood pressure swings, headaches and visual disturbances. Therefore, when your head is spinning and there is at least one of the listed symptoms, you need to urgently contact a medical institution. Late toxicosis, or gestosis, can lead to serious problems - preeclampsia and eclampsia.
The author of the article: Lapikova Valentina Vladimirovna | Gynecologist, reproductologist
Education: Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynecology received at the Russian State Medical University of the Federal Agency for Healthcare and Social Development (2010). In 2013 completed postgraduate studies at N. N. N. I. Pirogova.
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