Week by week pregnancy guide: 23 weeks pregnant

Here's everything you should know

23 weeks pregnant

You're now 23 weeks pregnant but what should you expect? Read week 23 of our week by week pregnancy guide to find out everything you need to know...

Now that you're 23 weeks pregnant your baby will begin to dream, and you'll feel it moving around. And there are lots of other changes too, including how you'll be feeling. Here's a run down of everything you need to know in your 23rd week of pregnancy...

Symptoms at 23 weeks pregnant

Your heart is working harder than ever, pumping six litres of blood around your body every minute. You may find yourself suffering from mild headaches and could also be more out of breath. If so, these can be treated safely with paracetamol. However, a persistent headache that lasts for several hours and doesn't respond to pain killers should always be taken seriously, particularly if it is accompanied by vision problems and/or a sudden swelling of hands, face and feet. This could be a warning sign of a potentially life threatening condition of pregnancy known as pre-eclampsia.

Fetal development at 23 weeks pregnant

Your baby is 28.9cm long and weighs 501 grams. Their proportions are similar to a newborn, but their skin is wrinkly and covered in a very fine downy hair called lanugo which usually disappears before birth. Blood vessels in the lungs are developing, the bones of the middle ear are beginning to harden and the fingernails are fully formed. From this point onwards babies seem to start dreaming. Researchers have observed rapid eye movement sleep in unborn babies as early as 23 weeks. Quite what they are dreaming about remains a mystery...

23 weeks pregnant


The changes you should make at 23 weeks pregnant

If you are eager to have a home birth but don't know how to go about it, visit homebirth.org.uk for guidance and practical advice. If having continuity of care is important to you then you may want to consider employing a private independent midwife to take care of you during pregnancy, to deliver your baby at home and support you after your baby is born. A complete package of care from an independent midwife can cost between £2,000 and £4,500. For more information go to independentmidwives.org.uk.

Fingers can swell up a bit in pregnancy so now might be a good time to remove your rings before you find yourself sobbing over a butter-smeared wedding ring.

Did you know...When anaesthetics were first discovered in the early 1900s the reigning board of obstetrics at the time ruled against their use in labour on the grounds that it was women's path in life to feel pain!

Stephanie Lowe
Family Editor

Stephanie Lowe is Family Editor at GoodToKnow covering all things parenting, pregnancy and more. She has over 13 years' experience as a digital journalist with a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to all things family and lifestyle. Stephanie lives in Kent with her husband and son, Ted. Just keeping on top of school emails/fund raisers/non-uniform days/packed lunches is her second full time job.