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23 weeks pregnant

Katie de Klee
All you need to know at this pregnancy stage, what changes to expect, and some great tips for the week ahead.
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5 things to look forward to at 23 weeks pregnant:
1.     Your baby’s face is fully formed.
2.     A (very) healthy appetite.
3.     Swollen hands and feet.
4.     Bleeding gums.
5.     Feeling topsy-turvy. 
How your life will change this week:
Now that you are well and truly in your second trimester, you might notice some more physical changes. Your centre of gravity would have shifted a bit over the last couple of weeks, as your belly grows, and you may feel a bit off-balance or clumsy.

Many Moms-to-be notice that around this stage of the second trimester they start getting hungry – really hungry. It’s perfectly normal (you are growing a baby in there, after all) so just remember to stock your home with healthy, nutritious snacks so you’re not tempted to go for the bad stuff. Also around this time you might see that when you brush your teeth your gums bleed slightly – teeth and gums are often more sensitive during pregnancy.

Swollen hands and feet are normal in pregnant women, but if the swelling becomes severe and uncomfortable for you, it’s a good idea to call your doctor. Lying on your left side can help, as can putting your feet up and stretching out your legs whenever you sit. Weirdly enough, plenty of liquids helps prevent water retention, so be sure to keep a glass of water at hand.

Your baby’s development this week:
Your baby’s face is fully formed now, but still a little thin. It will fill out as they put on a little more fat. Around week 23 your baby will start to hear sound properly. That means that your baby is starting to listen to your voice and will learn to recognise the sound, in and out of the womb. They will also be listening to the sound of your heartbeat and to noises that your tummy makes. Studies show that babies love the sound of classical music, but don’t limit their musical exposure just to classical – why not put on a few of your favourite songs and see if your baby moves? Research also shows that loud noises the  aby hears in the womb (like your dog barking, for example) are less likely to startle them once they are born.

This week’s To Do list:
  • Have you thought about taking a holiday? If you haven’t, now is a great time.
  • Play some of your favourite classical music for your baby to listen to.
  • Buying a cot is one of the most important purchases. Here are some tips in our Cot Buying Guide.
If you have 5 minutes… Pregnancy top tip.
If you’re finding it difficult to sleep through the night, you’re not alone! Many pregnant women find a  alf-hour walk in the afternoon can help with sleep, and give you some precious alone time to catch your breath.

Curious about next week?  
Click here to find out what happens next week… And the week after.

Share your thoughts and concerns
Chat with other Moms-to-be in your area or at the same developmental stage as you in BabyGroup Forums.

BabyGroup says:
This article has been checked by Andrea Klinkenberg, Midwife. A member of the BabyGroup Medical Council.

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