23 Weeks Pregnant
At 23 weeks pregnant, baby is getting ready for their big debut by listening in on what’s going on in the outside world. We know you’re getting ready too. Just remember: While having the nursery painted and stocked with diapers is important, there are some less fun to-dos you should have on your radar, namely, financials. Week 23 of pregnancy is a good time to call your health insurance company to see how you’re currently covered and decide what adjustments you’ll need to make for baby. Consider writing a will if you don’t have one, or updating your current one. And how’s baby’s savings account going? If you’re like, “What savings account?” now is a good time to start one. Even making small deposits will help once you factor in time value of money—the earlier you start saving, the faster your money will compound. One study found that kids who have their own savings account are more likely to go to college, and another one estimated the average cost of raising a baby until age 18 to be over $226,000. Whoa!
How Big Is Baby at 23 Weeks Pregnant?
You’re 23 weeks pregnant, and baby is as big as a grapefruit! The average 23-week fetus measures 11.4 inches from head to foot and weighs 1.1 pounds. Yep, baby’s almost a foot long, and is finally able to be weighed in pounds! And baby isn’t just getting bigger, they’re also getting even cuter and starting to look more like a baby.
23 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
At 23 weeks, you're five months pregnant. It can get confusing, we know—those 40 weeks of pregnancy don't break out cleanly into nine months. That's why doctors refer to your stage in pregnancy by week, not month.
While you’ve kissed first trimester nausea and fatigue good-bye, you’re probably dealing with the discomfort that 23 weeks pregnant symptoms can bring. This can include:
- Swollen ankles and feet. Some puffiness is totally normal. Deal with it by putting your feet up as much as you can, taking regular walks and drinking lots of water. Call your doctor if you get extreme or sudden swelling, which can be a sign of a dangerous pregnancy complication called preeclampsia.
- Braxton Hicks contractions. It’s a totally weird sensation the first time you notice your belly getting super tight! Your muscles are flexing, basically to prep for the Wonder Woman-like tightening they’re going to have to do during labor. So as long as they go away quickly, they’re just par for the pregnancy course. Drink plenty of water and change positions frequently to stay comfortable.
- Backaches. Sorry, but lingering backaches are to be expected, as your growing baby starts to bend your spine and stress your back muscles. Backaches are especially common for women who are 23 weeks pregnant with twins. Pain, on the other hand, could be cause for concern, so tell your OB if it really hurts.
- Bleeding and/or swollen gums. You probably didn’t expect pregnancy to affect your mouth! Pregnancy hormones increase your blood flow, making your gums more likely to swell and bleed. If your mouth is feeling more sensitive than usual, switch to a soft bristle toothbrush and continue flossing with TLC. And stick with your normal dental exam routine, seeing the dentist at least every six months. In fact, your dentist may want to do extra checks while you’re pregnant—but will avoid X-rays, which aren’t usually recommended for pregnant women.
A typical 23 weeks pregnant belly measures about 21 to 25 centimeters from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus. (That’s the fundal height.) At 23 weeks pregnant, you’ve probably gained about 12 to 15 pounds. And if you’re 23 weeks pregnant with twins, you should have gained at least 23 pounds so far. By gaining the recommended amount of weight for a twin pregnancy, you’ll reduce your risk of preterm labor.
At 23 weeks pregnant, baby movement probably feels pretty cool—and it’s always a comfort knowing baby is in there wiggling around. If you pay attention, you’ll get to know your 23-week fetus’s routine: Baby is less active when they’re sleeping and a kung fu master when they’re awake. Some parents even swear their newborns kept similar routines after birth as they did in utero. So, if your kicker is keeping you up at night, consider this a warning!
Wondering what you’d see if you had a 23 weeks pregnant ultrasound? Well, baby is forming little nipples (yeah, really!) at this stage. And your cute little 23-week fetus’s face is fully formed—they just need a little extra fat to fill it out. Baby is entertaining themselves by listening to your voice and your heartbeat and can even hear some loud sounds like cars honking and dogs barking.
You’re seeing your OB only once a month right now, so you may not have a doctor’s appointment or a 23 weeks pregnant ultrasound. Enjoy a little time off from all the doctor’s poking and prodding and having to pee in a cup! And you may be done with your genetic testing.
In the third trimester, you’ll be busier with appointments, seeing your doctor every other week. And you may not feel as energetic as you do now. So use this time to get stuff done and out of the way!
Reminders for the week:
Medical content was reviewed February 2020 by Patricia Pollio, MD, a New York-based ob-gyn and director of the department of obstetrics & gynecology at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, New York.