Pregnancy Calendar Week 23
YOUR PREGNANCY WEEK BY WEEK:WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WEEK 23Now over a pound and at the size of a papaya, your belly’s pint-size resident is spending lots of time this week on skin development, practicing her breathing and getting her first peek of light. As you continue on in your second trimester, more pesky, painful pregnancy symptoms keep showing up.Your BodyAt 23 weeks pregnant, you may be wondering why you’re feeling all stuffed up and your hands may be suffering now from those heightened hormone levels.Nasal Congestion and SnoringAnnoying nasal stuffiness, along with the snoring that can accompany it, is a common complaint of expecting mothers.It probably won’t come as a surprise that your hormones can be blamed once again for this pregnancy-induced symptom. The nasal congestion you’re experiencing happens because the elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone in your system are rushing in more blood flow to all of your body’s mucous membranes, including your nose.Try these remedies for relieving your stuffy nose and the snoring that may be coming along for the ride:· Use a humidifier or vaporizer. Steam can be a very soothing way to ease your congestion and stuffiness.· Avoid allergens. Do your best to keep your house free of them and stay indoors more when pollen levels are high.· Switch to all-natural cleaners to help eliminate exposure to harsh chemicals found in many cleaning products, which can irritate nasal passages.· Elevate your head with more pillows when you’re lying down (which helps heartburn, too).· Try a nasal decongestant spray, which is safe because the contents don’t cross through to the placenta.· To help silence your snoring, try applying a nasal strip before you begin your slumber for the night.If your snoring seems overly severe, it’s best to check with your doctor. It could be a sign of sleep apnea or gestational diabetes.Carpal Tunnel SyndromeIf you thought your hands might be at least one place on your body that would be free from pregnancy symptoms, you’ll have to think again.Carpal tunnel syndrome—characterized by tingling, numbness, pain and achiness in the hands, fingers and wrists—oftentimes plagues pregnant women. It’s caused by swelling and fluid retention, which can increase pressure in the carpal tunnel area. The carpal tunnel is the passageway on the palm side of the wrist that connects the forearm to the palm. It’s made up of bones and connective tissue with several tendons and a nerve that passes through it.If carpal tunnel syndrome is a problem for you, pay attention to which activities aggravate the condition. Do you notice the pain and tingling kick in after typing at the computer for a long time? You may need to cut back or wear a hand brace to reduce the effects. Using an ergonomic keyboard may also help.If you’re having that “pins-and-needles” feeling at night or when you wake up, make sure you’re not sleeping on your hands and try propping up your arms on pillows while you sleep.Another thing that may help: Shake out and stretch your hands and wrists frequently.A severe case of carpal tunnel syndrome with symptoms like near-constant numbness, continual pain, or loss of sensation should get medical attention, so contact your doctor if this is what you’re experiencing.Your BabyIn the 23rd week of pregnancy, many of your baby’s important organ systems are going through a big growth spurt.Your baby’s eyes are starting to sense light. Just below your baby’s newly-formed eyelids, her eyes are developing more and she’s beginning to sense small amounts of light. They’re going to remain closed for a while longer to give the retinas more time to develop. Once they do, your baby will be able to detect more light, like if your belly is exposed to bright sunshine. And, in a few more weeks, she’ll be opening her eyes and you may be able to catch her blinking, too!Your baby’s skin is thickening and getting some color. Your little sweetie’s skin is evolving nicely nowadays, getting less see-through and more opaque. This thickening process will continue over time, reducing its transparency along the way. But, even as a newborn, her skin will be quite thin so you’ll need to handle it with care.And how’s this for even more skin progress this week? Her skin color is beginning to form as specialized cells called melanocytes make their way into the skin. Melanocytes produce melanin, the pigment that gives our skin and hair its color.Your baby’s lungs are rapidly growing.Your baby is busy preparing to breathe in air after birth by practicing those breathing skills with the amniotic fluid around her. Her lungs are growing fast, developing blood vessels and producing surfactant, a substance that allows her lungs to breathe the amniotic fluid in and out without sticking together or collapsing.Diet and Exercise Tips You Should FollowTo keep you and your baby healthy, follow these tips in week 23:Drink milk for baby’s reproductive system. Little baby girls now have their lifetime supply of eggs and little boys are developing testes with their sperm cells. To aid healthy growth of your baby’s reproductive system, drink milk and make it organic when possible. Drink whole milk for girls because it has more estrogen in it. Drink skim milk for boys as it has more testosterone from the cow. Drink 2% if you don’t know whether you’re carrying a boy or girl.Weight training gives you a great pregnancy work out. Weight training is perfectly fine for pregnant women, so if you’re already working out with weights, continue on. If not, try adding this to your exercise regimen. You’ll want to reduce the amount of weight you lift, but you can simply add more repetitionss to ensure a good workout. This is a great option for keeping your muscles toned and strong.Things You Should Do· Avoid unnecessary chemicals that can harm your baby’s continued sex organ development. Mix one part white vinegar (it’s very cheap!) with one part water in a squirt bottle and use it to disinfect your kitchen counter tops.· Check into childcare options if needed.· Keep doing your Kegels to prevent or lessen urine leaks and improve your vagina’s muscle tone.Words You Should KnowAnterior Presentation: The most common position for babies during birth with the baby’s face turned toward the mother’s spine.Fraternal Twins: When, at conception, two eggs are fertilized by two different sperm and implanted in the uterus. The twins each have a placenta and their own amniotic sac.Identical Twins: When, at conception, one egg is fertilized and then divides into two separate embryos. The twins share one placenta and one amniotic sac.Low Birthweight: A baby weighing less than 5 ½ pounds at birth.