Pregnancy Week 23
If you were to compare the size and weight of your baby at pregnancy week 23 with his size and weight just a few short weeks ago, your baby would be huge! At this stage of pregnancy, baby is between eight and 11 inches long and weighs a little less than one pound. Considering you could have held him in the palm of your hand just over a month ago, he is a big boy.
Baby's hearing is improving and the bones in his middle ear are forming now. He is continuing to fill out and become more and more proportional. His skin is quite red and wrinkled as it continues to develop and since there is quite a bit of room in the uterus, swimming and flipping is still his favorite pastime. His hearing is improving, and you may find he becomes more active when loud noises surround you, like when you are vacuuming. You may even begin to see your stomach moving around as baby does his acrobatics and reacts to environmental noises.
Worries About Preterm Labor And Premature Delivery
Around this time, many women worry about preterm labor and premature delivery of their baby. If baby were to be born at week 23, he would stand a small chance of surviving. It is better for him to stay put and grow in the uterus as long as possible. A baby born now would have a ten to 70 percent chance of survival, depending upon the circumstances surrounding the birth. It is possible for a baby born at one pound to survive and go on to grow normally and live a healthy life. Others unfortunately die from complications. Some tiny babies do manage to grow up, but encounter all kinds of medical and mental problems because of being born very prematurely.
Signs Of Preterm Labor
Every day your baby remains in your womb, his survival rate, between weeks 23 and 26, increases by three percent per day. After 26 weeks, the survival rate rises to 80-90 percent. It is important that you stay alert for signs of preterm labor, which include regular contractions that last for a minute or more, increase in intensity, have abdominal pain and spotting or bleeding accompanying the pain and continue for more than an hour at four to five minute intervals. Other signs are low back pain along with the contractions, bloody discharge, and water leakage from the vagina. If any of these signs are present from week 23 onward, contact your physician immediately. There are often excellent medical ways to stop premature labor and keep baby in utero for a healthy period until he is more developed.
Apart from the continuing wild mood swings and monitoring your body for stretch marks, life should be ticking along. Your body is still quite manageable although your sense of gracefulness is diminishing a little every week.