Congratulations, you have now reached the end of the second trimester. You are about to enter the last stage of pregnancy. Everything that you have done right up until this point has been right on target. Don’t stop doing what you are doing just because you only have three months left. The baby needs vitamins and nutrients right up until the second they are born. You should be excited at the aspect of having the baby very soon.
You should be gaining weight and your baby bump will continue to get bigger and bigger until you can’t tie your shoes anymore. The baby is still gaining weight at the 23rd week of pregnancy. You have to keep up with doctor appointments, sonograms and sticking to eating healthy. If you experience complications, they can be diagnosed quickly and treated before any harm is done. This can be done by listening to your body. If something doesn’t seem right, contact your doctor right away.
By now, you and your partner can enroll in prenatal classes. These classes can help you prepare for motherhood and they explain what you can expect once the baby is born. Surviving nine months of pregnancy is just the beginning. If you haven’t already done so, you should start exercising. Walking is a great way to stay in shape. Exercising can also help with the delivery of the baby as well as help you regain your pre baby figure.
It is important to start taking calcium supplements if you aren’t drinking enough milk. Calcium is important to your bones as well as the baby’s bones. Ask your doctor what other supplements that you may need to help sustain the nutrients and minerals that the baby is getting.
Symptoms You May Experience
- Breast Changes, tenderness, fullness, darkening of the areola
- Frequent Urination
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Occasional headaches
- Stretch Marks (cocoa butter can help with these)
- Round ligament pains
By pregnancy week 23 your baby is measuring in at a hefty one pound… that is huge considering how small your baby was just a few short months ago. Keep in mind your baby was less than one ounce and is now fully weighable on most ordinary scales! Most babies are also between eight and eleven inches long by pregnancy week 23.
During 23 weeks pregnant your baby is quite capable of hearing loud noises outside the womb. You may notice your baby shift in response to your voice or that of your partner. Don’t be surprised if your baby is still flopping around quite a bit inside your tummy. This is very normal during the second trimester when your baby still has plenty of room to shift around.
Most babies if born around23 weeks pregnant would have a very small chance of survival. The odds of a premature baby surviving between now and 24 weeks averages between 10 and 70 percent. For the most part you want to keep that baby in there much longer, a full 37 weeks longer if you can!
Modern technology has afforded many hospitals the ability to keep even the tiniest babies alive however. Many women who give birth to extremely premature babies can expect some hope their baby will survive. A baby born this early however, will be subject to many problems and unexpected complications even later in life. From this point on each day your baby stays inside your womb until week 26, your baby’s odds of survival increase 3 percent. That means by 26 weeks pregnancy your baby’s odds of survival if born prematurely rise to almost 90% in some cases.
Let’s just hope at this point that baby stays inside your belly for a lot longer!
How your life’s changing
You may notice that your ankles and feet start to swell a bit in the coming weeks or months, especially at the end of the day or during the heat of summer. Sluggish circulation in your legs coupled with changes in your blood chemistry that may cause some water retention may result in swelling, also known as edema. Your body will get rid of the extra fluid after you have your baby, which is why you’ll pee frequently and sweat a lot for a few days after delivery. In the meantime, lie on your left side or put your feet up when you can, stretch out your legs when you sit, and avoid sitting or standing – in one place for long periods. Also, try to exercise regularly to increase circulation, and wear support stockings (put them on first thing in the morning) and roomy, comfortable shoes.
You may be tempted to skimp on liquids to combat swelling, but you need to drink plenty of water because staying hydrated actually helps prevent fluid retention. While a certain amount of edema in your lower extremities is normal during pregnancy, excessive swelling may be a sign of a serious condition called preeclampsia. Be sure to call your midwife or doctor if you have severe or sudden swelling of your feet or ankles, more than slight swelling of your hands, swelling in your face, or puffiness around your eyes.
Care of Your Baby’s Penis
Caring For The Circumcised Penis
After your baby is circumcised, the tip of your baby’s penis look raw or yellowish. The tip of his penis may be covered with a gauze pad. The dressing should be changed at every diapering to avoid infection. Petroleum jelly may be used to keep the dressing from sticking. Whether or not petroleum jelly should be used will depend on which method of circumcision was performed on your baby. You should receive instructions for proper care of your baby’s penis. Ask if you are not sure. Problems after a circumcision are rare, however, you should call your doctor right away if you notice any signs of infection such as redness, swelling, or foul smelling discharge or if your baby has problems urinating. Once the penis heals there is no special care required.
Care For The Uncircumcised Penis
There is no special care required for an uncircumcised penis. A simple wash with soap and water is all that is necessary. You should not retract the foreskin in order to wash underneath it. The foreskin and glans (the area underneath the foreskin) will separate as your child grows. Until this happens, do not pull back or try to forcibly retract the foreskin. Retracting the foreskin can cause tearing, scarring, or damage your son’s penis. It also can be painful. Once he is older and can retract the foreskin himself, he will want to gently retract the foreskin and rinse underneath, whenever he bathes.
Braxton Hicks Vs. Labor Contractions
During my second and third pregnancies I felt Braxton Hicks contractions around 25 weeks pregnancy. They are not the same as real contractions. How can you tell the difference?
Braxton Hicks are basically practice contractions. They happen at random intervals throughout your pregnancy and may last between 30 seconds and 1 minute. They are typically random and do not result in any pain.
Braxton Hick contractions often occur more frequently toward the end of pregnancy. They may help prepare your cervix for labor and delivery by effacing and dilating the cervix. Typically a Braxton Hicks contraction eases when you change position or relax. At times they may resolve simply by drinking extra fluids, as dehydration sometimes brings on contractions.
True labor contractions are rhythmic and gradually increase in frequency and duration. They also do not go away with relaxation or changes in movement. At times rhythmic contractions may be a sign of pre-term labor, especially when contractions occur before 37 weeks pregnant. Here are some signs and symptoms of pre-term labor to watch out for:
- Any contractions that continue for more than an hour and are less than five minutes apart.
- Rhythmic contractions that gradually increase in duration and frequency.
- Contractions accompanied by other symptoms of labor like bloody discharge, watery discharge or a bloody show.
- Contractions that come with low back pain and occur at regular intervals.