The amniotic fluid surrounding your baby provides warmth, buoyancy, and protection from infection — a perfect home. Have you signed up for childbirth classes? Get the scoop on pregnancy week 23.
Your Baby at 23 Weeks Pregnant
Hearing voices. Now that bones in her ears have hardened, your baby can hear your voice. Give her a daily treat by reading, talking, or singing to her. The more your baby hears your voice, the more familiar it will be when she's born.
Super sac. The amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby is the perfect place for her to grow into a healthy newborn. The salty fluid keeps her warm, protects her from infections, and is buoyant enough for her to exercise her developing body. Right now the amniotic sac contains about a pint of fluid, which is refreshed every three to four hours.
Measuring up. Your baby looks like a tiny, thin newborn. She now weighs close to a pound and measures 9 to 10 inches, about the length of a Barbie doll.
Your Pregnancy at 23 Weeks
Get to class. Many childbirth-education classes are designed to start with the 32nd week of pregnancy. It's a good idea to sign up for a course that ends at least a few weeks before your due date, in case your little one decides to make an early appearance.
Iron it out. Many women are slightly anemic before they get pregnant, and 20 percent of women are treated for iron-deficiency anemia during pregnancy. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, and fainting spells. Treat an iron deficiency by eating iron-rich foods like liver, red meat, blackstrap molasses, lentils, and leafy greens like spinach and collard greens. Most women will also need to take supplemental iron, which is usually given as part of a prenatal vitamin.
Preeclampsia check. If your blood pressure is too high, your doctor may keep an eye out for preeclampsia, a complication of pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure, edema (swelling), and protein in the urine. It affects about 7 percent of pregnant women. Catching it early is crucial: If left untreated, preeclampsia can cause decreased blood flow to your placenta. If you notice any symptoms of preeclampsia, including blurred vision, headaches, or sudden swelling in your feet and hands, called your healthcare provider immediately.