Pregnancy

23 Weeks Pregnant: What Can You Expect?

Team Peanut6 months ago5 min read

Exciting news: 23 weeks pregnant is past the halfway mark! That means you’ve come further than you still have to go.

Woman at 23 weeks pregnant

So, first things first, let’s get our bearings:

How many months is 23 weeks pregnant? Well, 23 weeks pregnant in months is wait for it just less than 6 months. That third trimester is knocking at your door. You know what else it means? You’re going to be meeting your little peanut in just a few months’ time!

Let’s take you on the grand tour of 23 weeks pregnant, shall we?

What should I expect at 23 weeks pregnant?

23 week fetus

What is my baby doing at 23 weeks? Having a dance party? Your fetus at 23 weeks is gaining some serious strength. You might be able to feel just how strong they’re getting by the power of those kicks. Yup, that’s definitely not gas.

How many kicks should you feel at 23 weeks? You may not need to worry about this just yet. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that you start counting kicks around week 28—but you can of course start practicing a little earlier.

Some other exciting developments:

  • 23 week fetus size: Your little one is about 8 inches, measured from the top of their head to the bottom of their tiny toes. That’s equivalent to the length of an adult toothbrush, the size of a tyrannosaurus-rex’s fossilized tooth, and about one-tenth of the height of Napoleon. The average weight for a fetus at 23 weeks is 1.1 lbs—a bag of coffee, a block of butter, a can of beans. Cute!
  • Crinkly skin. Adorably, your baby is likely covered in saggy skin. That’s because their skin is growing a whole lot faster than the rest of them. But rather than reach for the moisturizer, give ‘em some time.** They’ll have filled out once they’re ready to meet the world.
  • They may see the light. Believe it or not, your little one may be able to respond to light at this early stage. Shine a little light on your belly and see if they react.
  • Those ears are pricking up. At 23 weeks, their ears are developing. They’re becoming more sensitive to sound and can pick up some noises from the outside world.

Can a baby survive at 23 weeks?

At 23 weeks, your baby is just short of what’s known as (in medical terminology) the age of viability, which is 24 weeks. While this means that the likelihood of survival of a baby born at 23 weeks isn’t great, there’s reason for optimism. According to recent research, up to a third of babies born at this point may survive if given the right treatment.

23 weeks pregnant symptoms

It’s not just that 23 weeks pregnant belly that’s doing the work. Your whole body is rallying to get this baby born. Here are some of the symptoms you can expect at this stage:

  • Your skin’s doing some redecorating. You may have noticed some hyperpigmentation on various parts of your body. The linea nigra, or pregnancy line, might be the most obvious of these changes.
  • Fuzz brain. Suddenly forgetting your brother’s name or what a fork is called? Pregnancy brain is a real thing. Some of the fog can be blamed on progesterone (the pregnancy hormone) and some on the fact that sleeping with a tiny dancing human inside you isn’t the easiest of tasks. Added to this, you’re also going through one heck of a life change.

And you’re supposed to stay focussed through all of this?!? Be gentle with yourself—you’re doing the best you can, OK?!

  • Swollen everything. If you feel like more than your belly has swollen up like a balloon, you’re not alone. Hands and feet, wrists and ankles can all swell up during pregnancy. Where possible, light exercise works well. Do something you enjoy. Accept the invitation to the dance party your little one is having inside you. Also, staying hydrated and decreasing salt intake can really help.
  • Gum fun. So this is one you might not have expected. Your gums might get swollen and even bleed. Why? That blood of yours is flowing at an increased rate to ensure that you provide the best environment for that little lodger of yours. Routine dental checks are not a bad idea—just stay away from the x-rays.
  • Oh, the pain. Yup, things hurt right now. Headaches, backaches, leg cramps. Massages work wonders, if you have a partner in your life that’s up to the challenge. And you’re more than allowed to get off your feet when you need to.

You know what else? It’s okay to not have all the answers. You probably have a million questions swirling around your head at this point of pregnancy, but that’s entirely normal. The mamas of Peanut have always got your back, too.

🤰 Read next:
24 Weeks Pregnant: What to Expect
Your Pregnancy Week By Week Guide