23 Weeks Pregnant

Your baby is the size of an


Your excitement and anticipation are building week by week as you make your way through the second half of your pregnancy. Continue with your prenatal care appointments and seek your healthcare provider's advice when needed. At 23 weeks pregnant, your baby is growing steadily and developing in lots of ways. Keep reading for more information on common fetal developments at this stage, along with tips on symptoms and general advice for 23 weeks pregnant.

Highlights at 23 Weeks Pregnant

Here are a few key things to know and do when you're 23 weeks pregnant:

  • Your baby is about the size of an eggplant right now!

  • Little ridges are forming on your little one's hands and feet that will soon become fingerprints and toeprints.

  • Try singing or reading to your baby at 23 weeks—soon they may even respond to your voice with little movements.

  • If you’re experiencing aches and pains at 23 weeks pregnant, take some time to relax and pamper yourself!

  • You're putting on weight right now, which is completely natural as your baby grows and your uterus expands. Your healthcare provider can help you stay on track with diet and exercise tips. To keep track of your weight gain at 23 weeks, check out our Pregnancy Weight Gain Calculator below:

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23 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby's Development

Check out these exciting fetal developments and find out what happens at 23 weeks pregnant:

  • You might be surprised to know that your baby can recognize familiar sounds, like your voice, thanks to recent ear development. Give them a daily treat by reading, talking, or singing to them. Your partner, friends, and/or loved ones can also do the same!

  • If you could see your baby's fingers and toes, you'd see tiny ridges forming. These are the beginnings of fingerprints and toeprints.

  • When you’re 23 weeks pregnant, your baby is probably getting plenty of shut-eye. Most of their snooze time—about 80 percent of it, actually—will be spent in what’s called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. During REM sleep your baby’s eyes move and their brain is very active.

  • Perhaps you haven’t given too much thought to the fluid that surrounds your baby in the amniotic sac, but it actually plays a very important role. This fluid creates the perfect environment for your baby to grow into a healthy newborn, helps them stay warm, and cushions them as they grow.

Experts recommend drinking plenty of water during pregnancy, not only to benefit your overall health but also because the water you drink helps form the amniotic fluid.

If you’re 23 weeks pregnant with twins, take a look at our twin pregnancy week-by-week guide to find out more about what your babies are up to!

How Many Months Is 23 Weeks Pregnant?

You may hear your pregnancy being referred to in weeks and wonder how 23 weeks pregnant translates into months. There are various methods of grouping the 40 weeks of pregnancy into months, and at 23 weeks, you’re likely in your sixth month. So, what trimester is 23 weeks? You’re still in your second trimester and will be for the next few weeks.

Baby’s Size at 23 Weeks Pregnant

How big is a baby at 23 weeks pregnant? At 23 weeks pregnant, your fetus is about the size of an eggplant.

Your Baby: What Does 23 Weeks Pregnant Look Like?

Check out the illustration below for an idea of what a baby looks like and how they’re developing inside the uterus at 23 weeks:

Your Body at 23 Weeks Pregnant

By the time you’re 23 weeks pregnant, you may have gained about 10 to 15 pounds of baby weight. At 23 weeks and at any time during your pregnancy, you can always check in with your healthcare provider to make sure that your pregnancy weight gain is healthy and appropriate for your situation.

You can also read up on pregnancy weight gain facts and advice.

If your provider determines that you're gaining too much weight or not enough weight, they can offer advice to help you stay on track. For example, if you’re gaining too much pregnancy weight at 23 weeks, your provider may recommend adjusting your diet and exercising more.

Gaining a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy will make it easier to slowly lose those extra pounds after you’ve given birth.

At 23 weeks pregnant, you can probably feel your baby’s movement, although some parents-to-be may need to wait a little while longer.

At some point in the next few months, your healthcare provider may ask you to monitor your baby’s movements by doing a set of “kick counts” each day. To do this, you would choose a time of day when your baby is usually active and keep track of how long it takes to count 10 movements that your baby makes.

Give your provider a call if more than 2 hours pass before feeling these 10 movements; you notice decreased fetal movement at 23 weeks; or you detect any overall changes in your baby’s movement. You may find this downloadable fetal movement tracker helps you do the tracking.

23 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms

At 23 weeks pregnant, here are some of the symptoms you may be experiencing:

  • Aches and pains. Is it “normal” to have pains at 23 weeks pregnant? Yes, as your belly grows and you gain weight, it’s normal to feel some aches and pains, both as you move around and when you try to rest. At around 23 weeks pregnant, you might have sore muscles or a mild headache from time to time.

    • To help relieve muscle aches and pains, try things like taking a warm bath, massaging the affected area, or applying a heating pad to the sore spot.

    • For headaches, lie down and apply a cool pack to your head.

    • For severe pains, and for headaches that don't go away, always contact your healthcare provider. You should also check with your provider before taking any over-the-counter pain relief medications, even for ones you used to take before you were pregnant.

  • Leg cramps. Cramping in the legs is quite common in the second and third trimesters. If this symptom is bothering you when you’re 23 weeks pregnant, try massaging your calves in long downward strokes and flexing your foot up and down—these might help resolve the cramp right away.

  • Heartburn. A common symptom during pregnancy, heartburn is caused by pregnancy hormones relaxing the tube between your mouth and stomach and also by the growing uterus pushing up against your stomach. Eating smaller meals throughout the day, avoiding food right before bedtime, and limiting fatty and spicy foods are a few ways to manage heartburn at 23 weeks pregnant.

How Big Is a Pregnant Belly at 23 Weeks?

Now that you’re 23 weeks pregnant, the size of your belly bump may be more and more obvious. After 20 weeks, your healthcare provider will start measuring your fundal height (distance from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus). Now and in the following weeks, your fundal height in centimeters will be roughly the same as the number of weeks you’re pregnant—around 23 centimeters at 23 weeks, for example—give or take 2 centimeters.

What Does 23 Weeks Pregnant Look Like?

For a general idea of the size of your uterus and belly in your sixth month of pregnancy, when you're around 23 weeks pregnant, check out the image below.

23 Weeks Pregnant: Things to Consider

You have a lot going on and a lot to think about at 23 weeks pregnant, from eating well and staying healthy to sorting through baby names. To keep on track, check out our list below:

  • Take a look at how much salt is in your diet, and make sure you’re eating salty foods in moderation. Experts recommend consuming no more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day, the equivalent of one teaspoon of table salt, so avoid high-sodium foods like frozen processed foods, canned soups and broths, and other highly processed products.

  • At 23 weeks pregnant and throughout your pregnancy, it’s important to do what you can to avoid food poisoning and to recognize the signs of it early, as getting this kind of illness can be dangerous for your baby. Signs of food poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills, aches, and abdominal cramps. If you think you have food poisoning, contact your healthcare provider right away for treatment. Of course, your best strategy is to avoid it; here are some tips on how to do this:

    • Don’t eat raw or undercooked seafood and eggs

    • Wash raw fruits and vegetables before eating them

    • Wash your hands well with hot, soapy water, particularly after preparing a meal

    • Wash kitchen surfaces after cooking

    • Unless cooked until steaming hot, avoid cold cuts, deli meats, and smoked or pickled fish

    • Read up on what not to eat while pregnant. This article not only outlines the risks of food poisoning but also offers insights and tips on nutrition and food preparation.

  • If your blood pressure is too high, your healthcare provider may keep an eye out for preeclampsia, a complication of pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure, edema (swelling), and protein in the urine. Though this condition is more common in the third trimester, it can occur any time after 20 weeks, and catching it early is crucial.

    • Your provider will be able to diagnose preeclampsia by checking your blood pressure and testing your urine for protein levels. If you notice any of the symptoms of preeclampsia, including vision problems such as seeing spots, a persistent headache, sudden swelling in your feet and hands, feeling nauseous, sudden weight gain, or having trouble breathing, call your healthcare provider immediately.

    • If left untreated, preeclampsia can cause decreased blood flow to your placenta, and can affect your kidney, liver, brain, and eyes.

  • Get to know the signs of preterm labor just in case! Preterm labor is when labor starts before the end of the 37th week of pregnancy.

    • At 23 weeks pregnant, be on the lookout for these symptoms: constant, dull lower back pain; vaginal discharge that is watery, mucus-like, or bloody; pressure in your pelvis; abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea; regular or frequent contractions; and your water breaking.

    • Call your provider right away if you notice any of these signs of labor. If your healthcare provider recognizes soon enough that you’ve gone into labor, they may be able to postpone the birth, giving your baby precious extra time in the womb to grow and develop.

  • Do you have older children? If yes, now could be a good time to start preparing them for the arrival of their new sibling. They may have lots of questions about where babies come from, so be prepared for unexpected reactions! With younger children, it may be best to tell them that you’re expecting when they ask questions about your changing body. If you’re feeling unsure about the best way to navigate this area or broach the topic, ask your healthcare provider for advice.

  • Are you looking for a baby name that's based on a specific theme? Our Baby Name Generator makes it easy for you to check out everything from floral or royal names to biblical or mythological choices.

23 Weeks Pregnant: Questions for Your Healthcare Provider

No matter what week you’re at in your pregnancy, you may have questions and concerns to raise with your healthcare provider. Here are some common questions to ask at 23 weeks pregnant:

  • Does loud noise affect my unborn baby’s hearing development?

  • How can I tell if I’m doing Kegels correctly?

  • What are the benefits of reading or playing music to my baby?

  • What is the heaviest amount I can safely pick up at this point in my pregnancy? And what is the safest way to lift an object?

23 Weeks Pregnant: Your Checklist

Here are some helpful to-dos for 23 weeks pregnant:

□ Wondering how to get health insurance for you and your baby? Go to HealthCare.gov to find out about coverage through Medicaid, CHIP, and other programs in your state.

□ You’ll love looking back on this time, so create lasting memories by organizing a maternity photo shoot while you still have the energy. You could hire a professional photographer or ask a friend who you know takes lovely pictures. You could do the photo shoot in a beautiful outdoor spot, or in the nursery, if it’s ready. Plus, you could have individual shots and some shots with your partner or loved ones. For some extra inspiration, take our quiz to discover your maternity photoshoot style.

□ If you have time this week, read this article on pregnancy warning signs not to ignore. It's always wise to prepare and know what to look out for.

□ Wondering how prepared you are for your baby’s arrival? Take this baby arrival quiz to find out! No matter the result—don’t worry—you still have plenty of time to get everything prepared.

How We Wrote This Article The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.