Pregnancy Week 23

Pregnancy Week 23
Photo © Science Picture Co/Getty Images

Mother:

During your appointments, your practitioner may palpate, or feel, your abdomen. This process is a way of feeling the position of the baby. A tape measure will also be used to measure your fundal height. This is the top of your uterus and is a good indicator of the continued growth of your baby. Some people will worry if they measure a bit "too big" or "too small." However, it is completely normal to have slight variations at this point.

Be sure to ask your practitioner if you are worried. Stop by and check out our Belly Gallery to see other bellies!

Baby:

The baby's fingernails are almost fully formed, and the lanugo darkens. Your baby continues to grow in preparation for the journey of birth. He or she is totally unaffected by the Braxton Hicks, or practice, contractions. Baby weighs 1 pound 2 ounces (510 grams).

Dad/Partner:

Mom may actually feel Braxton Hicks contractions, or she might just happen to notice with her hand a slight tensing of her abdomen. This is just her uterine muscle preparing for birth. The uterus actually contracts at all phases of a woman's life, however, we rarely notice this unless our uterus is full! Though it is handy to know the signs of premature labor to help protect your baby.

Readers Share:

Every pregnant woman is assigned a due date.

40 weeks is a rough guess about when baby will be born, but babies are full term at 37 weeks. This end of pregnancy is a guess - how long will your pregnancy last? What are your thoughts in pregnancy? Will the end of pregnancy change that? Do you have a firm plan for your due date? Will you panic if your due date comes and goes?

Or will you  be surprised by an early baby?

What does your due date mean to you?

Twin Tips:

Picking a baby name can be a lot of fun, picking two or more baby names is twice the fun and the hassle. Remember when choosing names that multiples might not always want to be a part of a set when it comes to names. Try to pick stand-alone names as you would for any sibling.

Suggested Reading:

The VBAC Companion by Diana Korte
This book is considered the most up-to-date book on vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).

(Weights can vary widely. See your practitioner with questions.)

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