Pregnancy Week 23 – The Baby’s Progress

As your baby has, by pregnancy week 23, already developed sleep and wake cycles a little while ago, you may start to become more in tune with these fetal movements and patterns as their body rapidly increases in size. Quite often, these sleep cycles can be out of tune with yours as the baby will usually sleep during the day and be very active at night. It is said that the baby will sleep during the day as a result of the gentle soothing, rocking motion of your body’s movement, such as walking. This is generally why a lot of newborns will quite often settle down to sleep by being gently rocked.

Pregnancy at 23 weeks

Her hearing has become so attuned now that she can hear high frequency noise that you can’t hear and she will jump up and down to the sound of drum beats. Some mothers have reported having to leave music concerts because their babies become too hyper. Now that the brain has matured into thinking and memory cycles, any music they hear now will appear familiar to them at any point in their lives up into adulthood even if they have no recollection of ever hearing it before. Once she is born she will have the ability to distinguish her mother or father’s voice in a roomful of people and will respond to it emotionally.

By the pregnancy at 23 weeks phase the immune system is now mature enough that if you were to contract an infection for which you were unable to provide your baby with immunity to, as you yourself were not immune, then your baby would begin producing her own antibodies within the womb towards warding it off. The sticky vernix that covers the body and also aids protection from infection is now thickening and the lanugo hair is beginning to darken.

The blood vessels that will help her to absorb oxygen and expel carbon dioxide are now multiplying and the number of air sacs are increasing and will continue to do so until she is around 8 years old. Her muscles are now causing chest expansions in preparation for her first breath. The tubes leading from her windpipe to her lungs (the bronchi) are also continuing to branch out but are not yet matured and her sense of taste shows a preference toward sweet rather than bitter tastes.

The body of your 23 week fetus is looking quite proportional now although it is still continuing to grow faster than the head at this point and by the end of week 26 she will be in the same proportions of a newborn, just skinnier and smaller.

By the end of pregnancy week 23 she will be around 7.6” (19.3 cm) in length and will weigh around 1.28 lbs (581 g).

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(See 23 Weeks Pregnant – The Mother’s Progress)

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