Gestation week: 23 weeks
Equivalent to month: 3rd week of the 6th month
Equivalent to days: 155 to 161 days of gestation
In the 23rd week of pregnancy, the baby’s development is marked by the start of insulin production by the pancreas, a hormone that controls blood sugar levels. The baby’s skin is already more pink and the intestine begins to perform the first movements that will serve for the future digestion of food after birth.
During that week, the woman may experience hot flashes due to normal hormonal changes in pregnancy, and a little shortness of breath due to the growth of the uterus that can press on the lungs. In addition, symptoms of swelling in the legs and feet, pelvic pain or Braxton-Hicks contractions may continue.
In the 23rd week of pregnancy, the baby’s bones are getting stronger, because the skeleton that was formed by cartilage, a type of tissue softer than bone, is transformed into bone tissue.
The baby’s skin is more wrinkled, covered by a thin layer of hair called lanugo and, although transparent, the skin already has a more pink color due to the presence of blood vessels.
The lungs continue to develop, especially the blood vessels that will be responsible for the gas exchange in the lungs after birth, eliminating carbon dioxide and absorbing oxygen from the breath.
At this stage of pregnancy, the baby’s pancreas begins to produce insulin, a hormone responsible for controlling blood sugar levels, and the intestine begins to perform the first peristaltic movements, which are essential for the future digestion of food when the baby is born .
The size of the fetus at 23 weeks of gestation is about 20.3 centimeters, being equivalent to the size of a sleeve.
Changes in the woman’s body
In the 23rd week of pregnancy, a woman may continue to experience pelvic pain, swelling in her legs or feet, or Braxton-Hicks contractions, and leg cramps may develop.
In addition, there may be pain in the ribs as the chest expands to accommodate the growing baby, and also a little shortness of breath, as the enlarged uterus can put pressure on the lungs.
At this stage of pregnancy, due to normal hormonal changes in pregnancy, the woman may experience hot flashes and more breast tenderness that occurs due to an increase in the milk-producing glands that prepare for future breastfeeding.
Care during the 23rd week
In the 23rd week of pregnancy, some precautions are important to help alleviate discomfort that may arise, such as:
- Pelvic pain: doing light stretches and smooth movements, practicing yoga or pilates, as long as they are released by the doctor, help to strengthen the muscles to support changes in the body during pregnancy. However, if the pain does not improve, or if you have a fever, you should contact your doctor immediately;
- Swelling in the legs and feet: taking walks or other exercises recommended by the doctor, sitting or lying down with your feet up whenever possible help to relieve the discomfort of swollen legs and feet. However, if the swelling does not improve, starts suddenly or shows swelling in the hands and face, medical attention should be sought immediately, as it may be a sign of pre-eclampsia.
In addition, medical recommendations should be followed, taking supplements indicated by the obstetrician and practicing physical activities, such as swimming, water aerobics or walking, to strengthen the muscles and control weight gain during pregnancy.
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Your pregnancy by trimester
To make your life easier and you do not waste time looking, we have separated all the information you need for each trimester of pregnancy. What quarter are you in?
- 1st Quarter (from the 1st to the 13th week)
- 2nd Quarter (from the 14th to the 27th week)
- 3rd Quarter (from the 28th to the 41st week)