Overview of that week
You don’t have to wait for your baby to come out to start playing with it. It can follow light from inside the womb. So, turn a flashlight on and point it towards your baby. If your baby is awake, it will move.
With each week’s growth your baby’s movements will become stronger and clearer. You will grow to get used to your baby stretching and throwing a punch or a kick in the womb.
Your baby weighs around half a kilogram now and over the next month, it will almost double in weight. The baby has sensitive hearing now so make sure not to be around loud noises. But you need to keep talking to your baby to strengthen the bond.
By the 23rd week, your baby is coated with a protective layer of vernix. Vernix prevents their skin from the amniotic fluid as well as infections until the birth. The baby’s pancreas starts to produce insulin this week.
Don’t worry if you still haven’t yet felt your baby’s first kick yet. Some parents might have to wait a bit longer for their first baby movement.
Body changes and symptoms in mother
Braxton Hicks Contractions
You might start to feel Braxton Hicks’s contractions for the first time. These are false labor-like pain typically much milder and go away within a few seconds. The muscles around your abdomen will contract and tighten and you will also feel that the muscles around your uterus walls are getting hard. These contractions help you to prepare for the actual labor. Even though the actual labor doesn’t happen months later, these contractions might start in the second trimester.
All your pre-pregnancy clothes seem too tight and they just don’t seem to fit just right, don’t they? It is completely normal for women to have gained around 5-6 kilograms by this point. Your doctor will recommend how much weight gain is normal in your case as each pregnancy is different.
You will have a more visible and stronger stretch mark by the 23rd week. Beside your linea nigra which has only gotten darker than the first time it appeared. Don’t worry it will fade out after your delivery, for now you will have to deal with that and other stretch marks appearing alongside red and blue hues. You can’t do anything to prevent your stretch marks but you can help with the itchiness and soreness by keeping the skin moisturized.
Don’t freak out if you notice a bit of bleeding during the second trimester. It can happen to some women due to some minor changes in your cervix or a small polyp. However, report it to your doctor and keep alert for any more bleeding.
What should you do and don’t
- Keep your relationship with your partner active and alive. Visit new places and engage your partner in the activities that you do. You can visit the hospital and plan things together. You don’t need to do things alone.
- You are already more than mid way through your pregnancy. Make sure to keep recording things and writing it in your pregnancy journal.
- Eat small and healthy meals to avoid getting heartburn and acid reflux.
- When you are having a braxton hicks contraction, rest and take a warm bath. If you are able to, you can also take a walk. You can ask your partner to give you a massage to ease the pain as well.
- Use oil and moisturizers to keep your skin from itching due to the stretching.