By this week of pregnancy week 23, the baby weighs one pound and is about 8 to 11 inches long. The baby’s bones, muscles and organs are growing. The baby’s lungs also continue to develop. There’s also a lot activity in baby’s brain. The eyes are closed, but the colour of the eyes starts to develop. The baby also develops a pattern of waking and sleeping. The baby is active at night when the mother is still and sleep during the day when the mother moves around. At this pregnancy week 23 the baby is capable of hearing noises from outside the mother’s womb. The baby’s middle ear also develops by this week. The skin of the baby is quite red and wrinkled. The bones located in the middle ear are also formed. The baby will also gain considerable weight over a period f month. Insulin is produced by pancreas which helps the baby break down and use sugar. If the baby is exposed to high blood sugar levels, then the pancreas will respond by increasing the level of blood-insulin.
By this week of pregnancy week 23 the uterus continues to grow and expand. The uterus is now about one inch above the navel. The baby has lot of space to move around and hence the baby’s movements are quite strong now. The total weight of the mother at this point of time should be around 10-15 pounds.
Women might experience edema, swelling, which occurs in feet and ankles which can be relieved by elevating the feet while sitting. Edema might become worse by the end of the day, if standing continuously. Heartburn could also be a problem at this stage. Spicy or fatty foods should be avoided and should eat several meals during the day. Having a glass of milk everyday before bed will also help ease heartburn at night.
Some common symptoms experienced during pregnancy week 23 are: Changes in breast that is breast becoming tender, full and dark, frequent urination, constipation, indigestion, occasional headaches, stretch marks, itching, round ligament pains and hemorrhoids.
Emotions and mood swings are also typical at this point of pregnancy week 23 due to hormonal changes. Mood swings remain till the end of the pregnancy period. Due to changes in the body during pregnancy back pain can be experienced. The weight of the body increases with the growing baby. Changes in the joints are caused by pregnancy can also make the back ache. To avoid back pain regular exercise should be taken, sleeping on a firm mattress also helps, should sit up straight and avoid lifting heavy objects, should not sit cross- legged which strains the lower back. To avoid symptoms of constipation and hemorrhoids mothers should increase the intake of fiber and drink lots of water.
At pregnancy week 23, protein plays a vital role in the development of the mother and the baby. Hence the mother should ensure the intake of protein in her diet. 75 grams of protein a day should be aimed at. Proteins play a very important part during pregnancy as they are the basic building blocks of the mother’s body as well as the baby’s body too. The different sources of protein rich food are: beans, nuts, legumes, cheese, yoghurt, eggs, milk, meat and fish. Eating three or four servings of protein a day will ensure that the protein intake is sufficient.