Monday, October 20, 2008
Week 23 of my pregnancy
This week your baby's length, from crown-to-rump, is approximately 8 inches! Your growing baby has finally reached one pound. Your baby is about the size of a small baby doll and looks very human. The baby's face and body look similar to that of a newborn at this time. Your uterus can be found about 1.5 inches above your navel. Your total weight gain should be approximately 15 pounds at this time.
You might notice some Braxton-Hicks contractions around this time. These contractions are not regular and they should not be painful. Braxton-Hicks contractions prepare your body for the upcoming labor and they will get stronger as your pregnancy progresses. You might be able to feel the contractions if you put your hand on your abdomen and your baby can probably feel the uterus gripping and massaging her. It will not harm your baby, so there is no need for concern.
Fat is still being deposited at a rapid rate, but your baby still looks red and wrinkled. Skin is being produced at a higher rate than the fat is, so the skin hangs loosely. Your baby looks red because the skin is losing its transparency and pigment is beginning to form. You should be feeling your baby moving quite a bit throughout the day as she will kick and punch the uterus walls. Babies also run their hands along the umbilical cord and touch their body parts while they are in the womb. Your baby now can suck her thumb for real, where she was just sticking it in her mouth. Your baby will continue to swallow amniotic fluid and recycle it as urine. The liquids and sugars that the baby retracts from the fluid is a supplement to the nutrients that the placenta delivers. You might be able to feel small `jumps` inside of you when your baby gets the hiccups from swallowing fluid. The pancreas is developing and it will responsible for insulin production, to help break down sugars.
Oily fish in your diet could help boost your baby's health. (Women who eat oily fish while pregnant have children with better visual development, a major study at Bristol University suggests.)
As the baby continues to grow, it has less space to move around in the uterus. Bones, muscles and organs are growing steadily.