Navigate Up

Pregnancy Center - A-Z Index


Print This Page

Newsletter - Week 23

Welcome To Week 23

23 Week Old Fetus

Your Baby: The Beginning Of Braxton Hicks

Your growing fetus weighs in at around 1 pound (450 g) and measures 8 inches (20 cm) in length. His body is well proportioned, but is still slender, with little fat. He's also sporting new developments from head to toe: his fingernails are almost completely developed; meconium, the baby's first bowel movement, is forming in his intestines; and the lanugo that covers his body is darkening. You're probably feeling a lot of movement and may even notice some early, relatively painless contractions, called Braxton Hicks. Don't worry -- these contractions don't mean you're going into labor, and your baby is unaffected by them.

Your Body: Striations Of Sorts

It is during this part of your pregnancy that there will be no question from physical appearance that you are carrying a baby with you! You are growing and with this growth may come stretch marks. The majority of women that go through a pregnancy will tell you that they got stretch marks on their abdomen. Some women also get stretch marks on their breasts, hips and buttocks. The skin is being stretched by the growth of the baby and enlargement of your breasts in preparation for breastfeeding. There are lots of lotions on the market for treating stretch marks, but, although they may smell and feel good, they don’t work. There is not really anything you can do to prevent stretch marks. During your pregnancy they may appear red, brown, or even purple but once the you deliver they will fade and turn a more silvery shade and won't be as noticeable.

On a Different Note: State-Of-The-Art Technology

At this point, you're probably eager to get a peek at your growing baby - and all of his body parts. If you've already had your ultrasound and want to see more, check out this about ultrasound tool , which spotlights the fetus' head, legs and arms, genitals, size, and position, among other things.

Weekly Tip

Take a 20-minute break and treat yourself to a manicure. (Be sure to use a toxic-free shop.)  If pregnancy hormones are doing their job, your nails are strong and shiny - the perfect showcase for a slick of colorful polish. Be daring: You may not get another chance to pamper your nails for a while, so why not paint them bright red or pastel blue?

Updated: 12/9/2012

Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA