Pregnancy 2022

Baby developmentê - 23 weeks of gestationção

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Baby developmentê - 23 weeks of gestationção
Baby developmentê - 23 weeks of gestationção

Week of gestation: 23 weeks

Equals to month: beginning of 6th month

Equals to days: 155 to 161 days of gestation

At the 23rd week of pregnancy, the baby's development is marked by the start of insulin production by the pancreas, a hormone that controls blood sugar levels. The baby's skin is already pinker and the intestine begins to perform the first movements that will serve for the future digestion of food after birth.

During this week, a woman may experience hot flashes, due to the normal hormonal changes of pregnancy, and a little shortness of breath, due to the growing uterus that can put pressure on the lungs.In addition, symptoms of swelling in the legs and feet, pelvic pain, or Braxton-Hicks contractions may continue.

Baby development

In the 23rd week of pregnancy, the baby's bones are getting stronger, as the skeleton that was formed by cartilage, a type of tissue softer than bone, is transformed into bone tissue.

The baby's skin is more wrinkled, covered by a thin layer of hair called lanugo and, despite being transparent, the skin already has a pinker color due to the presence of blood vessels.

The lungs continue to develop, especially the blood vessels that will be responsible for gas exchange in the lungs after birth, eliminating carbon dioxide and absorbing oxygen from the breath.

At this stage of pregnancy, the baby's pancreas begins to produce insulin, a hormone responsible for controlling blood sugar levels, and the intestine begins to perform the first perist altic movements, which are essential for the future digestion of food when the baby is born.

Baby size and weight

Baby size at 23 weeks gestation is about 28.9 centimeters, measured from head to toe, and about 20.3 centimeters from head to butt, which is equivalent to the size of a grapefruit. Baby weight this week is about 565 grams.

Changes in a woman's body

At the 23rd week of pregnancy, a woman may continue to experience pelvic pain, swelling in the legs or feet, or Braxton-Hicks contractions, and leg cramps may develop.

In addition, there may be pain in the ribs as the chest expands to accommodate the growing baby, and there may also be some shortness of breath as the enlarged uterus can put pressure on the lungs.

At this stage of pregnancy, due to the normal hormonal changes of pregnancy, a woman may have hot flashes and more breast tenderness that occurs due to the enlargement of the milk-producing glands that prepare for future breastfeeding.

Care during the 23rd week

At the 23rd week of pregnancy, some precautions are important to help alleviate discomforts that may arise, such as:

  • Pelvic pain: doing light stretching and gentle movements, practicing yoga or pilates, as long as approved by the doctor, helps to strengthen the muscles to support the changes in the body during pregnancy. However, if the pain does not improve, or if you have a fever, you should contact your doctor immediately;
  • Swelling in the legs and feet: taking walks or other exercises recommended by your doctor, sitting or lying with your feet up whenever possible helps relieve discomfort in your legs and feet swollen. However, if the swelling doesn't improve, starts suddenly, or has swelling in your hands and face, you should seek medical help right away, as it could be a sign of preeclampsia. Learn more about preeclampsia and how it is treated;
  • Braxton-Hicks Contractions: Moving your body or doing physical exercises recommended by your doctor help relieve the discomfort of contractions. However, if the contraction is strong, very frequent or accompanied by other symptoms such as back pain, vaginal bleeding or liquid discharge, medical help should be sought immediately, as the woman may have gone into labor. Know the signs of labor;
  • Leg cramps: massaging the calf, applying warm compresses, or using supplements such as calcium, magnesium, or vitamin B recommended by your doctor, can help reduce cramps;
  • Rib pain or shortness of breath: putting your legs up and relaxing can help alleviate this discomfort. However, if the woman is very short of breath, has difficulty breathing, has rapid or wheezing, chest pain, or has bluish lips or fingers, seek medical help as soon as possible;
  • Heat waves: taking a warm shower, wearing looser, lighter clothes, avoiding being in very hot environments and using a fan or air conditioning in the environment can help reduce this discomfort.

During pregnancy it is important to keep the body hydrated, drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day, as it helps to improve blood circulation and relieve the symptoms of cramps, swelling in the legs and feet and hot flashes.

It is also important to have a balanced and nutritious diet including foods rich in calcium such as milk, yogurt or broccoli, as well as fresh fruits, for example, to provide the nutrients necessary for the he althy development of the baby. Learn more about nutrition in pregnancy.

In addition, you should follow the medical recommendations, take supplements recommended by your obstetrician and practice physical activities, such as swimming, water aerobics or walking, to strengthen your muscles and control weight gain during pregnancy.

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