The 23rd Week of Pregnancy

The 23rd Week of Pregnancy

Last update: 19 July, 2018

Although a woman must look after herself throughout the entire pregnancy process, in the 23rd week of pregnancy she should be even more careful with anything that involves physical effort, as this directly affects the development of the baby’s lungs.

During the 23rd week of pregnancy, the baby measures 11 centimeters and weighs about half a kilo. Usually, the fetus is the size of a large mango.

By now, the mother will be able to feel the baby’s movements inside her tummy. These movements can be stimulated through music or other gentle stimuli.

Pregnant woman, heart on tummy

Characteristics of the fetus

Pinkish color

At this stage, babies will have a pinkish color, no matter what color their eyes and skin will be when they’re born. In this week of their development, their skin is also very wrinkled. This is because the skin is still very thin, and the veins are still very noticeable. The child’s true skin color will develop in the first year of life.

Lungs in development

During the 23rd week of pregnancy, the baby’s lungs are in full development, although it will still be several months before they’re fully formed.

This is the reason why it’s extremely important that mothers avoid making any excessive efforts. Any physical activity should be done in moderation, and they should try to get plenty of rest.

Experts in this area have shown that every baby develops in a different way, even when inside the womb. It’s important to know each stage of a baby’s development during the nine months of pregnancy.

The mother in the 23rd week of pregnancy

At this stage of pregnancy, the body is going through a lot of changes. Headaches will tend to decrease at this point; these headaches are normally due to hormonal and circulation changes. Nasal congestion can also cause this pain.

Here are some more notable changes that occur in the 23rd week of pregnancy.

Sensitive gums

When the woman is pregnant, there is more blood flow in her body tissues, including those of her mouth. When this happens, it’s common for the expectant mother to have bleeding gums, something known as pregnancy gingivitis.

Even if the woman suffers from this, she should continue to brush carefully and floss. If the gingivitis worsens then she should go to an expert.

Periodontitis is one of the most serious gum diseases, and this is when the actual bone becomes infected. This is why it’s so important that she see her doctor as soon as possible if the problem worsens.

Swelling of the body

In the 23rd week of pregnancy the woman also experiences swelling in her body. The ankles and feet tend to swell; this is called edema and occurs due to changes in blood chemistry. Edema usually gets worse during the day; however, this returns to normal after birth.

The uterus enlarges

During the 23rd week of pregnancy, the uterus enlarges. When the uterus grows, there is pressure on the veins and this causes poor circulation in the legs. The enlargement of the uterus causes the woman to urinate more often after childbirth.

Excess fluid

Excess fluid in the 23rd week of pregnancy is eliminated after delivery. As we mentioned before, the woman tends to urinate more than normal, and in that way the body eliminates the accumulated fluid.

Although women experience many hormonal changes throughout pregnancy, these all return to normal after birth.

Baby in 23rd week of pregnancy

What form does a 23-week-old baby have?

During the 23rd week of pregnancy, babies are very small, but their actual form is already complete. From this time on, their body will continue to form on the inside, and their organs will be strengthened. During this week, their eyebrows and hair will acquire the color that is in their DNA.

Stretching movements

In this week babies will make several stretching movements, as well as yawning and sleeping. Their muscles are already much more developed, as are the organs of the ear.

As a consequence, babies will respond to the sounds around them. With the passage of time they will be able to distinguish each sound and remember them.


Pregnancy can continue quite satisfactorily, although everything, of course, depends on how the mother looks after herself. The mother should eat healthily, with a balanced and varied diet.

The most important thing of all is to consume food that is full of vitamins and nutrients. Her diet should include fruit, cereals, vegetables, legumes and dairy products. Always keep in mind the great nutritional value of fish.

A balanced diet will include drinking plenty of milk and lots of water. Vegetables and legumes are essential, as are juices with low sugar content. It’s also important for the mother to avoid drinking coffee and alcoholic drinks.

To have a complete diet, the expectant mother should take vitamin supplements prescribed by her doctor, and should include calcium. Folic acid is also essential in pregnancy, along with different minerals and vitamins.

Benefits of iodine and iron

During the 23rd week of pregnancy it’s essential to have plenty of iron and iodine; this will greatly help the fetus to develop.

To develop properly, the fetus needs to have the right nutrients in the right quantities. If the mother stops taking vitamins, then the fetus could develop abnormalities and other problems. For this reason a woman should take great care of her diet.

The expectant mother must go for regular medical check-ups to keep her pregnancy under control. It’s important that she wears the right clothes, avoiding tight clothing, especially around the abdomen.

As there are many changes at this point of the pregnancy, the woman should also pay special attention to her skin, and look after it carefully.

Sleep during the 23rd week of pregnancy

At this stage of pregnancy, sleep is becoming impaired. Despite this, it’s vital that the expectant mother tries to sleep sufficiently. Chamomile tea is a good option to help her get to sleep.

Pregnant women shouldn’t use medicine to try and aid sleep. This should be avoided at all costs as it can often create addiction, among other things.

We hope that all this advice has kept you well informed about what is happening in your baby’s body and in your own at this stage of your pregnancy.

Keep an eye out for our article about the 24th week of pregnancy next week!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • González, José Alberto Méndez, and Wilfredo Armesto Coll. “Enfermedad periodontal y embarazo.(revisión bibliográfica).” Revista Habanera de Ciencias Médicas 7.1 (2008): 1-9.
  • Carrasco, Ángeles María Márquez, Marina Rico Neto, and María de los Reyes Leo Rodríguez. “Seguridad de la toma de infusiones herbales en el embarazo: manzanilla, valeriana, tila, té y menta-poleo.”
  • Lestrade, Olga Daniela Torres, et al. “Infección urinaria como factor de riesgo para parto pretérmino.” Journal of Negative and No Positive Results 5.11 (2020): 1426-1443.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.