Changes to you and your bodyAre you finding that you can be laughing one minute and in floods of tears the next?
If so, don't worry this is all perfectly normal; mood swings due to the hormonal changes taking place are common during pregnancy and have no bearing on your longer term feelings about becoming a mum. You may well find you are thrilled to be pregnant and within hours be terrified of how you will cope, but rest assured, all of these emotions are normal. Treat yourself to a warm bath and talk to friends who have been through pregnancy and birth. If you have real concerns about your feelings, talk them over with your midwife who is on hand to offer you support and reassurance.
Changes to your baby
At 23 weeks your baby is growing steadily and may now weigh as much as 500g. Their head to toe measurement (also called the crown to heel) will be approximately 29cm, making them about the size of a large aubergine!Your baby can now hear muffled sounds from within the uterus. Your voice and heartbeat will be the first sounds your baby ever hears. Some pregnant women choose to play music to their babies at this stage; Mozart is very often recommended, though research is yet to prove if it helps brain development.
Any sound that relaxes you and the baby is beneficial, so feel free to play all your favourite songs to your belly.
Any sound that relaxes you and the baby is beneficial, so feel free to play all your favourite songs to your belly. By the time they are born, they will be used to your taste in music. When you and your partner talk to your belly, you will be acclimatising your baby to the sound of your voices so that once born, your baby will instinctively know your sound.
As well as hearing, your baby is now beginning to breathe in and out, with lung development starting to take place. Although they are surrounded by amniotic fluid, and will not breathe air until birth, lungs can be seen working on an ultrasound scan. In fact your baby is quite mobile now and you may feel and even see baby moving around in your belly, a very exciting time!
Tips for a happy pregnancy
Believe it or not, due to the hormonal changes taking place some mums can start to even find their partner highly irritating and experience relationship troubles during pregnancy. Emotions run high for both prospective parents during this time and you will need to give each other a break now and then.
Being pregnant doesn't stop you from having lunch with friends or going to see a film. Anything that relaxes you can help you to have a comfortable pregnancy, so make the most of your time before baby arrives and catch up with your favourite people and try to indulge in a little pampering and 'me time'!
Many pregnant women complain of bleeding gums as their pregnancy progresses. This is normal and is partly related to the fact that your blood volume can double when pregnant. Keep upto date with your dental appointments and make the most of the free treatment during your pregnancy.