Pregnancy Week by Week – Week 23

n Your Last Week of Month Five, What You Should Expect

As you enter your last week in the fifth month, your baby is growing by leaps and bounds. This is a great time to consider planning the baby nursery.

Week 23 brings more changes in both you and your baby. You are almost 2/3rds of the way through your pregnancy! You may either be feeling like you have been pregnant forever, or recognizing indeed how quickly it is moving ahead. Have you thought about plans for your nursery?

Let’s take a look at some changes happening this week.

What is happening with Your Baby?

You baby is likely to be about 20cm long (8 inches) and weighs about 500 grams (a little over 1 pound) by Week 23 of pregnancy. Your baby’s body becomes more proportioned this week but is still very lean.

Believe it or not, the baby’s sense of hearing at this stage is quite well-developed and the inner ear is hardening this week. This is a great time to begin talking, reading or singing to your baby. Not to mention, fathers can also begin the process of bonding with their baby in utero as well. Read this article on the role of fathers in bonding.

If your baby is a male, his testes will begin to descend from his pelvis to the scrotum.

What is happening with You?

Have you noticed any stretch marks? The technical term for stretch marks is striae gravidarum and they can occur during the second half of pregnancy in about 50-90% of mothers. Stretch marks can occur on the breasts, abdomen and thighs and the tendency to develop stretch marks during pregnancy can be inherited. There are many products (that often contain cocoa butter) on the market that claim to prevent stretch marks. While some of these products can help with the itchiness caused by stretch marks, there is no proof that they can prevent them.

Some mothers notice that their nails are stronger and are growing longer than before their pregnancy. Often mothers report that their hair grows thicker and there might even be noticeable hair growth in unusual places. This is called hirsutism. Often the fine hair growth that occurs during pregnancy disappears after the baby is born, while the coarse hair growth may not.

You now have the better part of three months before the baby arrives! Why not start preparing for the baby nursery? You might start planning for a “theme” and colors you want to use in paints, furniture and bedding.

To Do List:

1. Start planning your baby nursery colors and shop for necessary items.

2. Continue healthy eating habits and taking your prenatal vitamins.

3. Have you registered for childbirth classes? Find out more about finding a good childbirth class near you.

Week 24 is the start of month 6 so find out what’s ahead!