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Week 23

Week 23

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At week 23, your baby may be able survive in intensive care if born prematurely. From this week on, your baby enters another growth spurt, so you'll be showing a lot more very soon! The baby is now about 9 inches, and is getting close to one pound in weight. He or she is looking more and more like a newborn. The lanugo hair that protects the skin from fluid turns darker.

Your baby is doing acrobatics in the womb: kicking, flipping around and turning regularly. There is still enough room for the fetus to move comfortably, and you can feel kicks and jabs by putting your hand against your belly. In the next few weeks, you'll probably see your abdomen moving from the outside.

Your weight gain will be around 12-15 pounds at this point, and you may start noticing even more pregnancy aches and pains. Your skin will start really stretching again, and can become itchy and dry. Massaging lotion or oil into your skin can help ease these symptoms. You might experience backaches and leg cramps, which a heating pad can bring relief, especially at the end of the day.

Your vaginal secretions increase during pregnancy, and if they are clear or yellowish with a faint smell they are a normal sign of your second trimester. However, if they change color or odor, you should call your doctor as this could mean you have an infection that will need to be treated.

While you are likely feeling good emotionally during the earlier part of your second trimester, your mood may become very erratic. You might find yourself weepy over a spilled glass of water or feeling generally blue as days go by. Try to take some time to relax and treat yourself when you feel emotional.

You'll be starting childbirth classes soon if you've registered, and in the meantime, prepare yourself with preterm labor symptoms. If you're carrying multiples, your risk of going into labor prematurely is even greater.

Gentle exercises can keep your body limber and get you ready for labor. Studies have shown that women who do regular exercises during pregnancy including Kegels, which strengthen your pelvic floor muscle often have shorter, easier labors with fewer complications. Avoid doing any workout that includes bouncing or jumping, and stop right away if you start feeling sick or dehydrated. Never start a fitness routine without consulting your physician first.


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