My 23 Week Pregnant Belly: Bump Update (With Pictures)

My 23 Weeks Pregnant Belly Picture

23-week-bump-update

Starting Weight: 123lbs

Current Weight: 132lbs

Total Weight Gain: 9lbs

Energy Level: My energy level remained pretty high all week as I felt fully recovered from my upper respiratory infection (URI) and was excited to start working out again. Also, it’s Christmas time- my favorite time of the year!

Pregnancy symptoms: I still had some nasal congestion upon waking up in the morning. I am not sure if it’s residual symptoms from the URI or just from pregnancy hormones.

Other Physical Changes: With the growth of my abdomen, I noticed that my obliques seem to have stretched and I can palpate them underneath my skin. I also noticed my nails are super long and strong. I don’t have any stretch marks and I haven’t seen my linea nigra yet (the dark line above and under the belly button.)

Diet: No new changes to my diet this week. I am trying my best to eat a balanced diet with all the essential nutrients. This includes:

  • trying to drink plenty of water
  • taking my prenatal vitamins,
  • avoiding added sugar,
  • consuming fruits and vegetables,
  • eating complex carbs,
  • healthy fats, and
  • lean protein.

Diet Modifications: No dietary modifications.

Food Aversions: I am noticing an aversion to some of my typical snacks like my banana smash (banana, chia seeds, flax seeds, peanut butter, and blueberries). I also don’t like salads as much as I used to.

Food Cravings: For some reason, I was craving pasta again- this time I had pasta with pesto sauce, another favorite of mine.

Workouts: This week was good for me in the workout department! I completed four 30 minute strength workouts which consist of one power lift like squat, bench, deadlift, or overhead press and two accessory exercises- one for the core and one for the upper back to keep my low back healthy and to avoid mom posture. I also did one Prenatal HIIT Peloton Ride.

Modifications to my workout: I continue to listen to my body as much as I can and avoid anything that causes pain. I am still using a barbell and dumbbells and will continue for as long as it feels comfortable. During the Peloton rides, I maintain a rate of perceived exertion of 7-8 and always make sure I am able to carry out a basic conversation. Additionally, I make sure I engage in diaphragmatic breathing and pelvic floor exercises.

Here is a video of me benching at 23 weeks!

*Be sure to speak with your healthcare provider to learn if exercise is safe for you.* As always start with gentle exercises and listen to your body.

Other Related Questions

Do you show at 23 weeks pregnant?

At 23 weeks, almost all pregnant women will be showing to some degree.

If you wear slightly oversized shirts, you may still be able to hide your bump if you desire.

How big should your bump be at 23 weeks?

At 23 weeks of pregnancy, your baby bump will vary depending on a few things.

For example:

  1. Have you been pregnant before or is this your first baby?
  2. What was your starting BMI prior to pregnancy?
  3. How much weight have you gained in pregnancy?
  4. Are you carrying one baby or multiple babies?
  5. Do you have a normal amount of fluid surrounding the baby?

Depending on the answers to these questions, your bump may be bigger or smaller than the average.

Here is a photo of my baby bump at 23 weeks.

brittany holding up sign at 23 weeks pregnant from side

How big is the baby at 23 weeks?

At 23 weeks of gestation, your baby is measuring approximately 11.5 inches and is weighing in at a little more than 1 pound which is about the size of a mango or grapefruit.

You might even be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat with a stethoscope through your abdomen.

What is the baby’s position at 23 weeks?

If you have an adequate amount of amniotic fluid, your baby will be constantly moving around inside your uterus.

With these movements, there are several positions your baby could assume at any given point.

Your baby could be in:

  • a cephalic position which is when the head is down ready for labor.
  • a breech position- this is when your baby is sort of “sitting” in the uterus.
  • a transverse position which is when your baby is lying across your abdomen.

Is the baby above the belly button at 23 weeks?

The top of the uterus, also known as the fundus, is located ~3 cm above your belly button at 23 weeks.

In general, your fundal height (which is the distance from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus) should be equal to the number of weeks you are +/- 2 cm.

The umbilicus serves as a good reference point. At 20 weeks, the uterine fundus is at the umbilicus.

If your uterine fundus is measuring more than 2 cm behind the number of weeks you are, your baby may be growth restricted and vice versa.

If your uterine fundus is measuring more than 2 cm greater than the number of weeks you are, your baby may be large for gestational age.

brittany on back measuring the height of her uterus from her pubic bone

Common pregnancy symptoms at 23 weeks

At 23 weeks, is not uncommon to experience the following symptoms:

  • Hunger/Increase in appetite
  • Swelling of your hands, feet, and ankles
  • Neck pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Leg cramps
  • Heaviness in your lower abdomen
  • Frequent urination
  • Round ligament pains
  • SI joint pain
  • Engorgement of the breasts as they are beginning to produce colostrum (early breast milk)
  • Forgetfulness
  • Braxton Hicks Contractions
  • Lower back pain

Symptoms to look out for at 23 weeks

Preterm labor:

If you experience vaginal bleeding or if your contractions are fairly regular and/or painful, you should be evaluated by your health care provider as soon as possible to rule out preterm labor.

DVT:

Sudden swelling of one leg can be a warning sign of a lower extremity deep venous thrombosis, aka a blood clot. If you develop calf swelling and discomfort, it is a good idea to get an evaluation.

Preeclampsia:

Also look out for signs of preeclampsia such as high blood pressure, severe headache, chest pain, severe abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, or excessive shortness of breath.

What to expect at a 23 weeks pregnant ultrasound

Typically ultrasounds are not done at 23 weeks since you should have had your level 2 sonogram aka anatomy scan performed at 18-22 weeks.

If you did not have this anatomy scan done, be sure to speak with your provider as soon as possible as this ultrasound is super important.

Otherwise, at 23 weeks your baby will look fully formed, but a lot smaller than a full-term baby.

How many months is 23 weeks pregnant?

At 23 weeks pregnant you are 5 months and 3 weeks.

The sixth month and the third trimester is right around the corner!

Are there any symptoms of a boy at 23 weeks? (Or a girl)?

Despite what you heard from your grandmother, there are no proven pregnancy symptoms that indicate you are having a boy or girl.

How does a 23 week baby look like?

A 23-week baby is fully developed but very small.

They don’t have much fat on their body causing the skin to be quite transparent and red in appearance because of the blood vessels that continue to develop underneath the baby’s skin.

The rest of your baby’s organs continue to grow and develop until your baby reaches full term.

Should I feel the baby move every day?

If you have been feeling consistent fetal movements for some time now, then you should feel your baby move every single day.

If you do not feel your baby move for a few hours you should speak with your OBGYN to ensure you do not require fetal monitoring.

How can I make my baby move in my stomach at 23 weeks?

There is no way to actually make your baby move, but you can try rubbing your belly, drinking something with sugar, eating something cold or hot, or changing positions.

It is often a good idea to go into a dark room and lay down so that you can really focus on your baby’s movements.

Can a baby survive at 23 weeks?

Unfortunately, neonatal survival at 23 weeks is quite low as the baby’s lungs aren’t quite developed.

Babies that survive at 23 weeks often have many complications associated with prematurity such as sepsis, retinopathy, and interventricular hemorrhage.

Survival at 23 weeks depends on several factors including:

  • Neonatal birth weight (the higher the birth weight the better the outcome)
  • Gender (females typically do better than males)
  • Singleton birth (compared to twins or higher order gestation)
  • Whether or not you received corticosteroids for fetal lung maturity
  • NICU level where the neonate is being treated

Here is a useful tool that can help you determine the neonatal viability of premature babies.

Final Words on The 23rd Week of Pregnancy

Congratulations on making it to this stage of pregnancy. Can you believe you are almost done with the second trimester?

Now I want to hear from you.

How did your week go?

What is something you did for yourself this week?

Comment below and let me know.

And check back in next week for my 24 week update!

My Other Weekly Updates!

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Brittany N Robles, MD, MPH, CPT

Brittany Robles is a full-time OBGYN, a NASM certified personal trainer, and health & fitness, expert. She holds a Masters of Public Health degree in maternal health with a special interest in exercise and nutrition. She is also the co-author of The White Coat Trainer. Learn more about her here.



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