Welcome to Week 23
Your Baby: The Beginning of Braxton Hicks
Your growing baby weighs about 1 pound (450 g) and measures 8 inches (20 cm) in length. Baby's body is well proportioned, but is still slender, with little fat. There are new developments from head to toe: baby's fingernails are almost completely developed; meconium, the baby's first bowel movement, is forming in the intestines; and the lanugo that covers the baby's body is darkening. You're probably feeling a lot of movement and may even notice some early, relatively painless contractions, called Braxton Hicks. Don't worry -- these contractions don't mean you're going into labor, and your baby is unaffected by them.
Your Body: Striations of Sorts
During this part of your pregnancy it will be clear from your physical appearance that you are carrying a baby! You are growing, and with this growth may come stretch marks. Almost all women who go through pregnancy will get stretch marks on their abdomen. Some women also get stretch marks on their breasts, hips, and buttocks. The skin is being stretched by the growth of the baby and enlargement of your breasts in preparation for breastfeeding. There are lots of lotions on the market for treating stretch marks, but, unfortunately they don't work. There's just no way to prevent stretch marks. During your pregnancy they may appear red, brown, or even purple. Once you deliver they will fade and turn a more silvery shade and won't be as noticeable.
On a Different Note: State-of-the-Art Technology
At this point, you're probably eager to get a peek at your growing baby - and all of their body parts. If you've already had your ultrasound and want to see more, check out this about ultrasound tool, which spotlights the fetus' head, legs and arms, genitals, size, and position, among other things.
Take a 20-minute break and treat yourself to a manicure. (Be sure to use a toxic-free shop.) If pregnancy hormones are doing their job, your nails are strong and shiny - the perfect showcase for a slick of colorful polish. Be daring: You may not get another chance to pamper your nails for a while, so why not paint them bright red or pastel blue?
Review Date: 8/20/2019
Reviewed By: LaQuita Martinez, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Alpharetta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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