Week 23

Your bump

Its body is getting plumper but the skin is still wrinkled, and the pigment is forming.  The femur, the thigh bone, is about 4 cm long, and the diameter of the head is between 5 and 6 cm. Your baby’s lungs take a large leap ahead this week when the air sacs are formed. Your baby is carrying on with his or her breathing exercises. It may be hard to believe, but if your baby was delivered now, it would have a chance of surviving. Illustration by Karoline Lenhult 

You

Your tummy is now really starting to stick out. You may still experience mood swings. Perhaps, from time to time, you are worrying that you’ll never be the same again. These emotions are quite normal at this point of your pregnancy. It is, as usual, the hormonal changes. There is little to do. Feeling emotional is a part of being pregnant. In a way it prepares you for what is coming. If you are feeling full of energy, use it. More trying times may await you. You may notice that you trickle urine a bit from time to time, when you cough, sneeze, exercise or lift something. No panic! Well, that’s easier said than done. But this is called stress incontinence and is quite common and normal since your uterus is now above your bladder, putting stress on it. Start with Kegel exercises, and don’t stop doing them; continue after the baby arrives. It will help you heal and get the strength back in your pelvic floor muscles - so the little accidents don’t continue happening…

Tightening tummy

Yes, but these are “exercise contractions” It is more usual to experience contractions during the last week of pregnancy, but some expectant mothers already feel the uterus contracting and releasing now The uterus is quite simply exercising At the same time, it also improves blood circulation to the uterus and that is good for the baby

You are more likely to experience this type of contraction if you have had a lot to do at work, moved around a great deal, exercised or had sex If you rest, you will feel that they subside

Contractions are not dangerous to the baby, but listen to your body and stop if the contractions are becoming troublesome

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