Your growing baby now measures 29cm from crown to heel and weighs approximately 450g. Around this week you will have your Anomaly Scan.
3D Ultrasound image of fetus at 23 weeks gestation.
At week 23 of pregnancy the fetus measures approximately 29cm from crown to heel and weighs around 450g. All body parts, including the head, continue to grow, and the fetus is now proportioned like a newborn baby. The first deposits of body fat are starting to form during this week, although the skin will remain saggy and wrinkled until sufficient fat reserves are formed to fill it. The skin is still translucent and bones and organs are visible through it, as are the developing veins and arteries. Fetal weight gain will continue at a rapid rate over the coming couple of weeks and the fetus will have doubled in weight.
The lungs are developing in preparation for breathing after birth. Hearing is continuing to develop and it is now possible for the fetus to hear distorted versions of loud, external noises such as a vacuum cleaner or loud music playing.
By this stage, babies are turning constantly from minute to minute. Most babies are still head-up at this point and will not turn until later in the pregnancy. Your uterus has now grown to the extent that it is approximately 2cms above your belly button. As your tummy expands, you may find that your belly button either flattens, or even starts to stick out! This is a normal consequence of pregnancy and it will return to its original state after your baby is born.
Due to surges in pregnancy hormones, changes in skin are relatively common during pregnancy. These may include redness of palms of the hands and soles of the feet, skin tags and heat rashes and are all completely normal.
Some women also report experiencing ‘pregnancy brain’, characterised by forgetfulness. The most likely cause of this is, once again, hormones. It is a temporary condition that will pass after the birth and is not a cause for concern.
Women often report feeling bloated at this stage of pregnancy. It is most likely the result of the hormone progesterone causing intestinal muscles to relax. This, in turn, causes the digestive system to slow down, allowing nutrients to remain in the gut for longer and to be absorbed into the blood stream more efficiently. You may find it helpful to drink plenty of water. This may also be helpful if you are suffering from constipation. Bleeding and/or inflamed gums are a common problem during pregnancy and are not a cause for concern, however, if you have any concerns about excessive bleeding or irritation, you should consult your dentist.
The baby should be moving quite actively at this stage. You may be having painless contractions or tightenings. These are called Braxton Hicks contractions. There should be no change in vaginal discharge at this stage. You should not be feeling undue pressure on your pelvis. If you are experiencing any of this you should consult your midwife or doctor.
You should be seeing your midwife or General Practitioner. Routinely they will test your urine, take your blood pressure and review your scan results. The anomaly scan should have been done. If the anomaly scan has shown anything of significance you will be referred to a consultant.
If you want additional advice you can refer yourself to a private clinic. There you can have an appointment with a midwife, specialist and you can have a high quality ultrasound scan. If you do not have confidence in the NHS scan for whatever reason it can be repeated. In a private clinic there should be more time, often better equipment and access to highly skilled expertise. If you have had a previous late miscarriage or carry twins then a cervical scan is readily available.
If you are concerened about your diet and nutrution you can arrange to see a specialist pregnancy nutritionist. You may like to have pregnancy osteopathy or pregnancy massage to help with aches and pains.
' Professional and reassuring 'Helen Campbell
The sonographer was ready as soon as I arrived, and she was extremely calming, personable and professional. The scan and blood test where efficient without feeling rushed and all very easy. These appointments can feel uneasy and make you feel anxious but I felt reassured and in professional hands the whole time
I saw Kate throughout my first pregnancy and am now doing so again with my second. She is absolutely amazing, she explains everything really clearly, and has answered all sorts of bizarre questions and worries I have had. On top of being clinically excellent she is also just the loveliest person and always a pleasure to see.Sarah Elliott
We had the harmony test with the Birth Company and had a reassurance scan with sonographer Kirsty McGarry who was absolutely lovely and really put our minds at rest. We had been scared by our NHS dating scan and left feeling like there was something wrong. We explained the situation and was treated very professionally and with good care. Also speedy appointments also as I had phone in the morning and got an appointment by afternoon. So thankful.Ashley and Tom
Really friendly, efficient service. Great experience overall. Had the Panorama. My appointment was with Kate who was absolutely fantastic. The results came really quickly. Have a comparison with private healthcare elsewhere and must say that The Birth Company was just how I would like to be treated when I pay for medical services - attentively, calmly, friendly, in a pleasant environment that doesn't look like hospital. Top marks!Anna
' Efficient, friendly and always on hand to provide last minute appointments 'Hannah Murphy
The Birth Company has been excellent, providing timely scans and blood tests during my IVF treatment abroad. Staff are always friendly and extremely efficient. I would highly recommend coming here.
' Professional and friendly 'Lyndsey Dilla
When I first contacted the Birth Company I spoke to Danielle. She was fantastic. She went above & beyond to put me at easy & make the journey from Kent as stress free as possible. Every staff member that myself and my husband have come into contact with have been approachable, professional and friendly. Kate scanned me the first time and put me completely at easy. Lisa on reception is professional and very approachable. Highly recommended
' Highly recommended 'Emelie
Donald was so lovely! I was so nervous as I have a bad history and he was super quick and confirmed my baby's heartbeat as quickly as he could. He spent time showing me the baby and the anatomy and it was the best money I have ever spent! The reception girls were lovely too - considering they deal with babies day in day out they were super excited for me! Thank you so much one and all! If only I lived in London and could have all my scans with you!
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