Now you are well into your pregnancy, however, inside you there is a lot that is happening with every passing minute. Here are a few noticeable changes that happen to you in the 23rd week of your pregnancy.

You gain weight: This is the time when weight gain will be at its optimum. Consistent weight gain also indicates good health of both the mother and the baby. If you have gained 0.5 kg compared to your previous week, this shows that you are on the right track with a healthy weight gain. 

Your skin goes through noticeable changes: Hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy takes its toll on your skin too. However, this might not be the case with every woman. But for some the increase in melanin hormone might lead to pigmentation and dark circles. At times it also creates a mask termed as chloasma. Apart from this, acne and heat rashes can also bother one during this time. Keep in mind, that you should never self-treat acne during pregnancy as some anti-acne medications might have ill-effects on the fetus. Remember all these skin woes would be gone post delivery.

You might see some changes in your breasts too: There are certain changes that happen in your breasts during pregnancy. The most noticeable ones are leaky breasts, darkening of the areola and larger nipples. These are also the sign that your breasts are preparing well in advance for lactation and breastfeeding.

You might notice vaginal discharge: Vaginal discharge during pregnancy is not uncommon, but not all women might experience this. However with an excess of blood flow in the body and higher levels of estrogen this is not an unexpected phenomenon. Remember if you are experiencing vaginal discharge do not worry about the same and it might continue till you reach your labour.

You might develop stretch marks: With your belly extruding out and the baby growing within your womb, your uterus pushes on your stomach which gives rise to some ugly stretch marks all over the abdomen. The only way to prevent it is by applying moisturizer regularly on the belly from the start of the pregnancy.

Apart from this you many also experience some of the other pregnancy symptoms like constipation, nausea, heartburn, stretch marks, etc.

Development in your baby:
Here is what happens to your baby during this week:

Your baby looks more human-like: In this crucial growth phase, your baby is covered with skin all over but it is sagging and loose. But once adequate amount of fat is produced under the skin, your baby will look fuller and take shape of a little human being. By now all the distinguishable facial features have developed and your baby’s body is also growing in proportion to her head.

Your baby moves more vigorously: This is the week when most women feel those much-awaited baby kicks or fetal movements. This indicates that your baby is doing well and moving around more in the womb exploring the surroundings.

Your baby’s heart and other vital organs are growing in tandem: At this point you can hear your baby’s heartbeat even with a stethoscope. Apart from this his other organs are also growing and have started to functions as needed. This week your baby weighs approximately somewhere between 400 to 500 gm and measures approximately 300 mm crown-to-bump.

What you should do:

  • If you haven’t planned for a babymoon and wish to go for one, do it soon. Once you cross your second trimester, travelling can pose a problem to both you and your growing baby.
  • Load up on your iron intake. Deficiency of iron at this point of time can lead to anemia and this will have adverse consequences on the growth of your baby.
  • Be sure about your second trimester blood tests and sonography. You might be due for your anomaly scan soon and will have to undergo a series of tests. The second trimester tests will be indicative enough about your health status and any underlying condition that can come in the way of fetal well-being and labour.
  • Maintain high levels of hygiene. With a suppressed immune system there is always a higher risk of infection. Make it a point to always wash your hands before you eat and even after meals. Keep yourself hydrated and take precautions to avoid catching a cold and cough.
  • Apply moisturiser on your belly, breasts and buttocks, as stretch marks can start showing up. Maintaining a slower pace of weight gain and keeping yourself well-hydrated can help keep stretch marks at bay. Remember, stretch marks are a common occurrence during pregnancy and although they do fade and become less noticeable after delivery, they will not disappear.
  • Reduce stress levels, as stress can harm you and your baby more than you can imagine.
  • Eat smart and eat healthy. Remember, excessive eating is just going to harm you the way it could, sans the baby within. Weight gain during pregnancy is good, but if you go overboard it could also lead to other complications with your pregnancy.
  • Cut back on your vices. This not only means shunning tobacco and alcohol, but also limiting your intake of caffeine, tea and other aerated drinks.
  • Have meals on time and avoid overeating or postponing meal times to reduce incidences of heartburn.
  • Gorge on fruits; the vitamins and micronutrients in them are going to play a key role in you and your baby’s well-being.
  • Avoid foods that can harm your baby in any way.
  • Start exercising if you haven’t been doing so yet. Exercise will not only be beneficial for you and your baby’s health but will also help you fight pregnancy fatigue. Keep in mind to do more of Kegal exercises now as they will help you to ease the labour process as well.
  • Drink eight glasses of water and have foods that are rich in fibre to avoid constipation.
  • Get enough rest. You are going to do yourself and your growing baby a whole lot of good if you listen to your body and give it some much-needed rest.

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