Your Pregnancy Week 23

Reviewed by James Brann, MD
Learn about your symptoms and changes during the 23rd week of pregnancy.

Your Baby

By pregnancy week 23 your baby is huge compared to the microscopic ball of cells your baby started out as. Most babies will weigh in at one full pound (or just shy of) and will measure between eight and eleven inches in length! That is roughly the size of a small doll or real tiny baby!

Changes in Your Growing Baby

Your baby is capable of hearing noises outside the womb. Encourage your partner to talk to your baby during this time so your baby gets used to the sound of their voice. While this may seem unusually your partner will be rewarded when your little one instinctively turns toward the sound of their voice shortly after delivery.
You may also notice that your baby moves around a bit more when you are in a loud environment or when say you are vacuuming or engaging in other loud tasks. This is because your your baby's middle ear is developing.If for some reason your baby were born there is a small chance your baby would survive. It is much better however that your baby stay put for many more weeks to complete her development.
Generally premature infants born at 23 weeks of pregnancy have a survival rate between 10 and 70% that of a full term infant. Many factors need to be taken into consideration. Modern technology however has saved babies even as small as one pound so take heart heaven forbid you do deliver your baby early.

Most babies born at least one pound or more go on to lead a fairly normal life if born early, though many will also experience complications and certain neurological or other defects. Motor and mental disabilities are common in babies born extremely prematurely.

Studies show that every week your baby stays in your womb increases their survival rate by 3 percent or more until 26 weeks. After this your baby's rate of survival jumps to between 80 and 90 percent if born prematurely. There are fortunately many steps doctors can take to ensure your baby's chances for survival if your baby is born early. Female infants have a higher survival rate than male infants when born early, possible because they are more mature when developing in utero.

Your Body's Development

Your uterus continues to grow and expand. By now your uterus is probably about 1 inch above your navel. You may start feeling bulkier now but keep in mind your baby is still enjoying his spacious interior. Most babies still have plenty of room to flip and flop about. You may even start noticing your stomach performing unusual acrobatics now. By around this time your partner may start feeling your baby move on the outside of your tummy. Some babies have a habit of ceasing all movement however the moment your partner lays a hand on your belly. Keep heart and keep trying. Your little one is bound to show off her skills sooner or later.

Changes in Your Body

You are probably still experiencing some drastic mood swings at times. Don't worry if the McDonald's Christmas commercials send you into a fit of tears. This is relatively routine for most pregnant women. Take some time during the next few weeks to enjoy your baby's movements. Your baby is likely to be more active in the upcoming weeks than later in your pregnancy when he runs out of space to move about so freely.

Video: What to Expect from the 23rd Week of Pregnancy



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