All that growing is paying off – your baby weighs about a pound now and measures between 28 and 30 cm long from the top of their skull to their heels! There's still a long way to go, though, so for the time being your baby's skin is a bit wrinkly as it waits to fill out.
If your baby moves around a lot at night or presses on your bladder , you might be finding it harder to sleep. Try having a warm, relaxing bath or a milky drink just before going to bed. Gentle exercise, such as swimming or antenatal yoga, during the day can also help you to sleep – just be careful not to overdo it. (For more information and advice on exercising safely during pregnancy, click here.)
A carefully positioned pillow – or a specially designed support pillow – can help to support your legs and bump, preventing cramps and pressure on your blood vessels which can also lead to disturbed sleep.
What it’s like for the mum-to-be in week 23
You might notice that you quickly get tired and have no energy. This is because your body is working extremely hard to rise to the challenge of supporting a healthy developing baby. From week 23, you should generally avoid strenuous activities and long walks or hikes. It may be that you still feel fit and, if so, there’s no reason to stop these activities – though it’s best to slow down a bit while you’re doing them.
Increased need to pee
You won’t be able to go very far or very long without going to the toilet, as you’ll need to pee more often. It’s caused by your womb putting pressure on your bladder, which gets smaller as a result. However, this isn’t a reason to drink less – make sure you keep your fluid intake up, as your body really needs it during pregnancy.
Feeling tired and weak
If you often feel tired and weak even though you haven’t been exerting yourself too much, it may be that your body doesn’t have enough iron. Around 20% of pregnant women experience this in week 23.
If you feel faint, your skin goes pale and even a good rest doesn’t leave you feeling refreshed or reinvigorated, you should take a special supplement to boost your iron levels and ensure your baby continues to get the oxygen they need.
Your blood pressure may also be why you find it difficult to get going and feel weak. Many pregnant women suffer from low blood pressure in the middle weeks of pregnancy in particular, as their circulatory system tries to handle the increased blood flow and supply blood and nutrients to the placenta. Your doctor or midwife will regularly measure your blood pressure and can tell you how to increase it if it’s too low.