Your baby at 23 weeks
Your baby is the size of a small aubergine. Your baby looks like a tiny, thin newborn, weighing in close to 550 g (1 lb) and measuring 22.8 to 25.4 cm (9 to 10 inches), about the length of a Barbie doll.
Now that the bones in the ears have hardened, your baby can hear your voice. Give your little one a daily treat by reading, talking or singing to him or her. The more your baby hears your voice, the more familiar it will sound at birth.
The amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby is the perfect place to grow into a healthy newborn. The salty fluid keeps baby warm, protects him or her from infections and is buoyant enough to exercise that developing body. At the moment the amniotic sac contains about 0.5 litres (one pint) of fluid, which is refreshed every three to four hours.
Your pregnancy at 23 weeks
Get to class
Most childbirth-education classes are designed to start around the 32nd week of pregnancy. It's a good idea to sign up for a course that ends at least a few weeks before your due date, in case your little one decides to make an early appearance.
Iron it out
Many women are slightly anaemic before they get pregnant, and 20 per cent of women are treated for iron-deficiency anaemia during pregnancy. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath and fainting spells. You can treat anaemia by eating iron-rich foods like red meat, liver, molasses, lentils and leafy greens, like spinach and kale.
If your blood pressure is too high, your doctor may keep an eye out for pre-eclampsia, a complication of pregnancy characterised by high blood pressure, oedema (swelling) and protein in the urine. This condition affects about 7 per cent of pregnant women and catching it early is crucial. If left untreated, pre-eclampsia can cause decreased blood flow to your placenta. If you notice any of the symptoms of pre-eclampsia, including blurred vision, headaches or sudden swelling of your hands and feet, call your healthcare provider immediately.
Did you know?
Baby’s weight will double in the next four weeks, but right now his or her skin hangs loosely on the body, until fat development catches up. Also, your little one can hear your voice, so spend some time talking or singing to him or her – baby will recognise your voice at birth!