23 Weeks Pregnant

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8 inches

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1 pound

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23 weeks pregnant

Size of your baby

What’s new this week?
Your Body

You’ve probably read that you can expect to put on about a pound a week during your second trimester. But don’t worry if you gain a little more -- or less -- than this. Also, don’t stress if you gain no weight for two weeks, and... Read more

Your Baby

At 23 weeks pregnant, the lungs will undergo some major changes that will ready your little guy to take his first full breaths on his own after he’s born. A substance called surfactant is under production, which will enable the air sacs to... Read more

Your Life Right Now

Sometime between weeks 24 and 28 your doctor will give you a glucose screen -- which tests for signs of gestational diabetes. According to the March of Dimes, about 4 percent of women develop this blood sugar disorder during pregnancy, and while... Read more

Moms Like Me / I Wish I Had Known

"How not to gain too much weight: I told myself during my 2nd trimester I could gain about a half pound a week and in my 3rd trimester about a pound a week. Of course, there were weeks when I would go over, so I’d just make it a point to... Read more

23 Weeks Pregnant: Your Body

You’ve probably read that you can expect to put on about a pound a week during your second trimester. But don’t worry if you gain a little more -- or less -- than this. Also, don’t stress if you gain no weight for two weeks, and then suddenly put on three. Your body is not a textbook! Realistically, you are not going to gain precisely one pound a week (and if you do, call Guinness). As long as you’re eating a healthy diet and your doc has no concerns, whatever weight you do or don’t gain -- and when the scale registers it -- really doesn’t matter. One thing you might notice is swelling. Your wedding band might not fit on your finger anymore (super common) or you may find your feet and ankles puffy and sore at the end of the day, with improvement in the morning after a night’s rest. This condition is called edema. Usually, it’s nothing to worry about -- it’s a normal side effect of having all that extra blood in your body. But call your doctor if it doesn’t ease overnight, as this could signal a problem. You can ease it by limiting salt in your diet (which can cause you to retain fluids), drinking lots of water and putting your feet up when you can. It’s a good habit to get into now anyway, as swelling tends to worsen as your pregnancy goes along. Also if you’re finding your wedding ring is getting snug -- stash it away in a safe place until baby comes. Lots of OBs have stories of having to cut rings off pregnant women who didn’t remove their rings in time.

23 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby

At 23 weeks pregnant, the lungs will undergo some major changes that will ready your little guy to take his first full breaths on his own after he’s born. A substance called surfactant is under production, which will enable the air sacs to inflate and the lungs to fully expand -- and this marks a milestone of sorts. At this stage he’s practicing inhaling and exhaling (amniotic fluid, rather than air, of course). Aside from the lungs, your baby’s pancreas is also developing this week.

Your Life Right Now

Sometime between weeks 24 and 28 your doctor will give you a glucose screen -- which tests for signs of gestational diabetes. According to the March of Dimes, about 4 percent of women develop this blood sugar disorder during pregnancy, and while there’s usually no harm to the mother or baby if it’s detected early and treated, if it goes unchecked it may lead to birth defects, miscarriage, premature delivery or stillbirth. So what can you expect during the screening? You’ll sip a sweet drink that contains 50 grams of glucose, or sugar, and then hang out for an hour. At the end of that time, a sample of your blood will be drawn to see how well your body has processed all that sugar. If it comes back positive (with a blood sugar level greater than 140 mg) you’ll have to undergo a more involved, 3-hour oral glucose-tolerance test (OGTT). It begins with a measure of fasting blood sugar, then you take a drink containing 100 grams of glucose followed by a one hour, two hour and three hour test. This process will either confirm or rule out true gestational diabetes. But know that even if you get a positive result on the first screen, the OGTT may come back totally normal. If the initial test comes back negative, you’re in the clear.

Moms Like Me / I Wish I Had Known

"How not to gain too much weight: I told myself during my 2nd trimester I could gain about a half pound a week and in my 3rd trimester about a pound a week. Of course, there were weeks when I would go over, so I’d just make it a point to watch what I ate the next week to even it out, so to speak. I also went on daily walks. Breakfast and lunch were my biggest meals. At dinner I’d just have something small. I also ate two snacks a day. I kept healthy snacks with me at work -- apples, yogurt, carrots -- to keep from heading to the vending machines. The best thing for me was to keep a food log and make sure I was getting my fruits and veggies. That’ll help you steer clear of the junk food which is so easy to reach for when you’re hungry." --jcwoita

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I’m using the same doula for this birth that helped me with my first birth, and I could not feel more at peace or happier to have her as my birth attendant. I love DH to pieces but he is the worst in birth -- a nervous wreck. Doulas are the best if you want to do a natural birth and/or a VBAC. --drewtoo

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