In pregnancy week 23, your little baby is 11.4 inches long and weighs 1.10 pounds. As there is very little subcutaneous fat, your baby's skin looks much wrinkled, even though your little one is getting to be plumper. The digestive system has developed enough to be able to assimilate nutrients, and the pancreas, which is important for the production of insulin, is developing. Your little one can taste, and also use all the five sensory organs. The facial features are beginning to look more of an infant's than before, and the baby fine hair that covers the body, called lanugo is getting darker.
Nails have fully formed and the bones in the middle ear are hardening. Your little one in pregnancy week 23, can hear sounds even better now, and may move about whenever he or she hears loud sounds. Encourage your partner to talk to the baby, and soon your baby begins to recognize your partner's voice. At week 23, your baby still has a spacious interior for some gymnastics. Your partner too may be able to feel these flip-flops that your baby does, when he lays his hands on your tummy to feel.
If a pregnant woman delivered prematurely at pregnancy week 23, there is a small probability, between 10% and 70% that the baby survives. Reports have showed that every week the baby stays put in the uterus there is a 3 % increase in survival rate, and once after pregnancy week 26, the survival rate leaps to 80 and 90% if delivered prematurely.
In pregnancy week 23 you may be experiencing some big mood changes. These mood swings are a result of increasing hormone levels in preparation for the delivery of the baby. These mood swings come on and off and become less nearing the delivery or right after delivery. Focus on your baby and enjoy the kicking, punching and flip-flopping. In the next few weeks your baby is still active, until later in pregnancy, when there will be no more room for any gymnastics.
When you go for your regular appointments with the doctor, your abdomen will be palpated to see the position of the fetus. The fundal height that is the height from the apex of the uterus or fundus, and the pubic bone will be measured. In pregnancy week 23, your uterus will be one and the half inches above the belly button.
Some women start feeling false labor pains or what is called Braxton Hicks contractions during the second trimester. It may feel like the real thing and therefore will be scary to a new would-be mother. By knowing the difference, you can be aware that they are only false labor contractions, when you get them. Braxton Hicks contractions occur when the uterus muscles stiffen at for about 30-60 seconds. The main difference is that these contractions are painless and random. You may feel more of these Braxton Hicks contractions which actually have a reason. It helps the cervix prepare for dilation in readiness for delivery. Drinking water helps decrease these false contractions.