Help your growing baby develop in the twenty-third week of your pregnancy

In week 23, it is possible to hear your growing baby’s heartbeat. Support his or her growth journey by continuing to eat a healthy diet and promoting bonding with your growing baby.

What’s happening this week?

By now, your doctor can already hear your little one’s heartbeat when he places a stethoscope on your bellyi. Your growing baby is continuing to develop motor skills; and impressively, can even touch his or her toes and grab the umbilical cord.

Your growing baby is looking more and more like a full-term developing baby now, but the organs and bones are still visible beneath the translucent skin.ii

His or her nervous system has developed to a point where it is starting to control some of the bodily functions. He or she is also developing billions of brain cells.iii

Now your growing baby is around the size of a papaya, measuring eight inches (20 centimeters) long and weighing over a pound (more than 455 grams).iv

What can you expect? 

You might notice your skin is oilier than usual as hormonal changes during pregnancy may cause your sebaceous glands to secrete more oil.v Take care of your skin and enjoy your pregnancy even more with these tips:

  • Switch to a mild and oil-free cleanser. The extra oil may lead to an acne breakout so be gentle on your skin. Avoid scrubs and astringents as well to avoid skin irritation.
  • See a dermatologist in case of acne breakouts as not all acne treatments are suitable for pregnancy.

What can you do to support your pregnancy?

Drinking lots of water is good for your skin, and will help you solve some of those hormone-related skin issues. Drink at least 2 litres of water daily to keep your skin supplevi. Staying hydrated can also deter other pregnancy symptoms such as constipationvii, while supporting developing baby’s healthy growth. Also, continue to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, as they are not only good for your skin, but also for your overall health.viii

Now that your growing baby can hear, keep talking to him or her. Your child will recognize your voice from his or her time inside your womb and will respond to it.ix This lays the groundwork for a strong bond and relationship. Do encourage your partner to also communicate with your developing baby.

 


 

 

References:
 
i   The Pregnancy Book: Your complete guide to a healthy pregnancy, Labour and childbirth, The first
weeks with your new baby. (2009). Department of Health, UK. Retrieved April 11, 2017 from
ii   Pregnancy Week by Week. Retrieved 26 May 2017, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-
lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/fetal-development/art-20046151?pg=2   
iii   Stiles, Joan and Jernigan, Terry L. (2010). The Basics of Brain Development. Neuropsychol Rev.,
20(4): 327–348.
iv   Curtis, G. B., & Schuler, J. (2016). Your Pregnancy Week by Week (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Da
Capo Press.
v   Gibson, L. (2016, August 25). What’s the best way to treat pregnancy acne? Retrieved April 11,
answers/pregnancy-acne/faq-20058045
vi   What Can be Done to Prevent Stretch Marks? (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2017, from
vii   Montgomery, K. S. (2002). Nutrition Column An Update on Water Needs during Pregnancy and
Beyond. The Journal of Perinatal Education, 11(3), 40–42.
viii   What are the best foods for healthy skin? Retrieved May 26, 2017, from
20058184
ix   Otte, T. (2007). Pregnancy & Birth. London: New Holland Publishers