Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
It’s week 23 of your pregnancy, 21 weeks from conception. Slowly but surely, you’re getting closer to the big day! Let’s learn about what changes are occurring in your body and with baby in week 23.
Table of contents
Week 23 Pregnancy: Weight Gain
By this week, your baby weighs almost 1 pound (16 ounces) and is measuring around 11.4 inches from head to foot (1). That puts your little cutie at about the length of a large sweet potato!
While weight gain varies from woman to woman, you likely have gained between 12 and 15 pounds at this point in your pregnancy. Your uterus has grown to the height of about 1 1/2 inches above your belly button. Your fundal measurement is around 9 1/4 inches from the pubic symphysis to your navel (1).
Feeling gentle baby movements continues to bring joy and excitement at week 23! Soon you may even start to feel your baby hiccup in the womb! Babies hiccup occasionally in brief episodes, and it tends to begin late in the first trimester or early in the second trimester. Hiccups feel different than the occasional flutter or kick. Pay attention for a more prolonged series of jerky, rhythmic movements.
While hiccuping is normal, contact your healthcare provider if you notice a sudden change in the frequency and duration of baby’s hiccuping episodes.
Week 23 Pregnancy: Baby’s Development
Fun changes are continuing to happen with baby’s development in week 23!
- Baby begins to respond with movement to familiar sounds, such as the sound of your voice
- About 80% of baby’s sleep time is spent in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep — a stage in which the eyes move and baby’s brain is very active (2)
Week 23 Pregnancy: Symptoms
Braxton Hicks Contractions
Braxton Hicks contractions are irregular, generally painless contractions of the uterus. They occur throughout pregnancy, beginning at about the fourth month (3). So, you’ve probably been experiencing these contractions for a few weeks now but may not have noticed them!
These “practice” contractions of the uterus are typically felt in the front, around your abdomen. Begin to notice those times when your abdomen feels hard and firm for a short period before it softens up again. That’s a Braxton Hicks contraction!
Continue to enjoy this low-key time in your pregnancy. Check back in soon to learn more about your baby’s development at week 24! And if you haven’t already, catch up with what happened in pregnancy week 22.
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- Glade, B.C., Schuler, J. (2011). Your Pregnancy Week by Week, 7th edition. First Da Capo Press.
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2010). Your Pregnancy and Childbirth Month to Month, 5th edition.
- Ladewig, P.A., London, M.L., Davidson, M.R. (2006). Contemporary Maternal-Newborn Nursing Care, 6th edition. Pearson Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, NJ.