You are 23 Weeks Exactly 119 days to go…
You may be surprised by the strength of feeling you have for your baby, and this maternal instinct will grow stronger each day.
External appearances are deceptive: although your baby seems
very well developed, it’s still early in the pregnancy—the state of the
cervix and progesterone produced by the placenta both play a part in
ensuring that labor does not start for some months yet.
Your baby today
Do you feel as though you’re a mom yet?
Whether or not you’re a maternal person, you’ll already have started,
instinctively, the process of becoming a mother. You may be taking
better care of yourself, eating better, and making lifestyle changes,
not necessarily to benefit your own health but for your baby. You’re
likely to find yourself being very protective and nurturing toward your
growing belly, wanting the best for your baby, and being worried about
anything happening to him. It’s nothing to worry about if you don’t feel
this bond: all women are different and it may not be until you’re
holding and caring for your baby that you experience strong maternal
Your partner may not
have this strong parental instinct, but the more you involve him in the
pregnancy, the greater the chance of him getting close to his unborn
child. By reading books or on the internet about how the baby is
developing at every stage, and attending some or all of the prenatal
appointments with you, he will be able to picture the baby and follow
his progress as closely as possible.
You’ll find that your baby occupies your thoughts a lot of the time. Being pregnant makes most women act selflessly in the best interests of their baby.
What’s that, Mom?
If you have a toddler already, she will undoubtedly be curious
about why you have suddenly got so fat! Keep things simple, along the
lines of “Mommy is growing you a baby sister or brother, but she/he
won’t be here just yet.” Over the coming weeks, explain in more detail
what having a new baby means.
There’s no need to
tell your toddler how the baby got there, or to keep reminding her about
it. Just answer her questions when she asks, without showing too much
preoccupation with the matter.
I’ve got the flu. Will this harm my baby?
No, your baby should be fine but because your immune system is
compromised during pregnancy, your symptoms might last longer than
usual. Drink plenty of fluid to stay hydrated, and eat several small
meals a day to maintain your energy levels. Call your doctor if you
don’t improve after 24–48 hours, or your temperature exceeds 101° F (38°
Very few pregnant
women do experience complications, but if you feel very unwell, and, in
particular, you experience problems breathing, see your doctor
immediately. Ask the pharmacist’s advice before taking any
Your 24th Week
A baby getting
prepared for independent life needs all the help you can give her. Keep
up your good habits by nourishing the two of you with healthy food; and
make sure your own body is in peak physical condition to support your
pregnancy. Some minor discomforts, such as feeling too hot, leg cramps,
and hemorrhoids may be plaguing you. These annoying problems are only
temporary and will disappear once your baby is born.
Your baby’s body systems are becoming more and more efficient
You are 23 Weeks and 1 Day 118 days to go…
From this point onward, your baby is considered “viable” and would receive life-saving treatment were she born early.
There is no light in the uterus, but 3D ultrasound is designed
to produce highlights and shadows to give the same effect as if you
shone a flashlight into the uterus. Now your baby may be holding her
hands flexed into a fist.
Your baby today
Week 24 is considered the age of viability for your baby, and therefore an important pregnancy milestone. Like many women, you may feel relieved to get past this point.
If you went into labor
and delivered your baby before this week, she would be unlikely to
survive and you would be considered to have had a miscarriage. After 24
weeks, the doctors will to do everything they can to save the baby,
although babies delivered this early have an increased risk of long-term
disability. The more advanced you are in your pregnancy before you
deliver, the less likely it is that your baby will face the problems
associated with being born prematurely.
Incredible scientific and technological advancements have meant a huge increase in the survival of premature babies.
The world’s youngest surviving premature baby was born in Florida in October, 2006 at just 21 weeks and six days.
The baby weighed only 10
oz (283 g) and measured 9.5 in (24 cm). Her feet were the size of an
adult’s fingernail. It was the first time a baby born before 23 weeks
Neonatal intensive care units
Babies who are born prematurely, or newborns who are sick, will receive specialized round-the-clock care in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) .
The earlier the baby is born, the more chance there is of
complications, such as infections, occurring. If your baby is born
several weeks prematurely, she may need to be cared for in a level 3
NICU—this may not be in the hospital where your baby was born. Your baby
may be put in an incubator with monitors attached and receive oxygen
through a special ventilator. Some of the equipment looks very
frightening, but remember it is there to help your baby stay warm and
nourished and improve her health.
The staff will
readily explain what is going on, and they will be eager for you to be
involved as closely as possible in your baby’s care and encourage