CHANGES TO MUM
We have discussed in previous weeks about feeling your baby move within you, well now you may even be noticing your stomach move! This means that not only you can experience your baby’s kicks and punches but others may have the chance to feel your baby too.
Dads everywhere love this time of pregnancy as they start to feel more involved. However babies have been known to stop all moment as soon as a hand is put on your tummy! Don’t give up, sooner or later your little one will show off their skills to dad, friends and family.
Despite feeling much more bulky on the outside, by week 23 your baby still has plenty of room to move and will be enjoying the space.
Your baby will most likely be much more active now rather than later in your pregnancy when space inside you becomes limited. Enjoy this time of the pregnancy while you can, it is one of the most amazing things you will ever experience. Most women miss this feeling when the pregnancy is over.
From now on you will be putting on about 500 grams per week, but don’t be alarmed if you put on more than this or less than this within a certain week. It is not uncommon for women to put on weight in spurts.
Nothing about pregnancy and our bodies is textbook, therefore the changes to your body will be different to every other woman. Simply maintain a healthy diet and consult your doctor if you are ever concerned at any stage of your pregnancy.
As your baby and uterus grows you may begin to feel some aches and pains. Your baby will begin to push up towards your ribcage, rising by about 5cms with your lower ribs spreading outward. As this happens you may experience rib pain and as your baby presses on your stomach this can cause you indigestion and heartburn.
Other discomfort you may experience around this stage of your pregnancy is stitch-like pains down the sides of your abdomen. These pains are more prominent as your uterine muscles stretch.
Swelling is another common side effect of pregnancy and is usually caused by the extra blood in your body, this is called edema.
You may have puffy ankles or find your rings not fitting your fingers, it is nothing to worry about and should reduce over night. If you are concerned about prolonged puffiness and swelling contact your doctor.
You can help to reduce this problem by drinking plenty of water, putting your feet up and reducing the amount of salt in your diet. Avoid wearing your rings if you are experiencing edema as there have been occasions when they have become stuck and need to be cut off.
Increased mood swings can occur and will last sometimes until the later stages of the third trimester or even until after the birth of your baby. These mood swings are generally caused from the excess hormones in your body, increased for the preparation of delivery.
CHANGES TO BUB
Your baby from 23 weeks if born prematurely now has a slim chance of survival outside the womb, however let’s hope that he/she stays in there for a few more weeks yet!
Every week that your baby stays in the womb their survival chance increases by 3% or more up until 26 weeks of pregnancy.
Currently your baby’s chance of survival is anywhere from 10 to 70% of a full term baby, however after 26 weeks the chance of your baby’s survival greatly increases to 80 to 90% if born prematurely.
Your baby is continuing to grow slowly and steadilybut still looks red and skinny. Soon enough he/she will start to put on weight and plump up, curently weighing a little over 500 grams and measuring 29 cms from crown to heel.
Something that you may find incredible is your baby’s brain cells that he/she will use for conscious thought are now starting to mature. This means that your baby will begin to remember and learn, this is one of the most valuable skills in the early stages of life.
There have been experiments where babies in the womb were trained to kick in response to a particular vibration.
Other interesting studies relate to the response of babies in the womb to different types of music. Your baby can hear sound frequencies that you can’t hear. It is very intriguing to observe your baby’s movements and responses to a variety of sounds, voices and music.
A baby in the womb will become familiar with voices and even move his/her body to the rhythm of your speech. Your baby will be more likely to recognise dad’s voice from this week of pregnancy onwards the more a the father talks to the baby while in the womb.
Your baby’s air sacs are forming in his/her lungs and will continue to increase in number until about eight years old. The main tubes of the lungs leading from the windpipe called bronchi are growing, however they are not yet mature.
Your baby is preparing for breathing, practicing inhaling and exhaling the amniotic fluid (rather than air) to be ready for the first full breaths he/she will take immediately after birth.