Week 23 of Pregnancy

Your baby is now about 8 inches long from crown to rump and weighs about a pound. He looks like a grown baby but for the see-through skin. Tiny tooth buds are starting to form in his gums, and the hair (lanugo) that covers his body may start to turn dark. His eyes are well-developed, but the irises still don’t have pigment. You’ll have to wait till he’s born — and perhaps several months beyond — to know his true eye color.

Now your baby’s pancreas — which produces insulin to help the body use blood sugar — has started developing. As you’ve probably noticed, in week 23 your baby is becoming more active. He grabs everything he can reach. He can also pull his knees up to his chest, a baby version of crunches.

This is still a pleasant time in pregnancy — at least physically. Your emotions may be telling a different story. The mix of hormones, anxiety, and uncertainty that comes with pregnancy can be enough to make any woman moody or irritable. If you have the pre-baby blues, try getting plenty of sleep, eating well, and staying active. If you feel sad, anxious, or irritable for a couple of weeks without relief, talk to your doctor. You may be depressed. If you are, you’ll want to get this condition under control so you can devote your energy to your most important project.


Campbell, Stuart, MD. Watch Me Grow. St. Martins Griffin.

Curtis, Glade, MD. Your Pregnancy Week by Week, 5th edition. Da Capo Press.

Sears, William, MD, and Sears, Martha, RN. The Pregnancy Book. Little, Brown and Company.

American Pregnancy Association. Mood swings during pregnancy. http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/moodswings.html

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