23 Weeks Pregnant

17 Weeks to Go!
Baby is as big as a grapefruit
Updated May 31, 2024
Fact Checked by Elizabeth Bryson

Key Takeaways at 23 Weeks Pregnant

  • Second-trimester symptoms may be in full effect. We’re talking swollen ankles, varicose veins, backaches and bleeding gums—for starters. You may also be having Braxton Hicks (practice contractions). This will feel like a little tightening of the mid-section, but should go away once you change positions.
  • You are getting used to that fluttery feeling of baby moving around (quickening). Just you wait—the kicks will soon get far more aggressive.
  • Your bump is out and about nowadays, and you’ve probably put on about 12 to 15 pounds—give or take. Focus on eating lots of healthy mini meals and getting movement every day.
  • Baby is developing fast! Right now, they’re working on developing that adorable brain of theirs and building muscle.

At 23 weeks pregnant, baby is getting ready for their big debut by listening in on what’s going on in the outside world. We know you’re getting ready too. Are you excited yet—or just plain nervous? Don’t worry, having both feelings (at once) is totally normal.

Video Highlights at 23 Weeks

Watch Week 23 Highlights

3D Views: My Baby, My Body

See their progress for yourself with our 3D interactive tool.

Baby at Week 23

Wondering what you’d see if you had a glimpse of baby on a 23 weeks pregnant ultrasound? Well, baby is forming little nipples (yeah, really!) at this stage. And your cute little 23-week fetus’s face is looking a lot like it will when they’re born—they just need a little extra fat to fill it out. With ridges forming on their palms and the soles of their feet, your little one’s fingerprints and footprints are still taking shape. Baby is entertaining themselves by listening to your voice and your heartbeat and can even hear some loud sounds like cars honking and dogs barking.

How big is baby at 23 weeks?

You’re 23 weeks pregnant, and baby is as big as a grapefruit! The average 23-week fetus measures 11 to 14 inches from head to foot and weighs about 1.1 pounds. Yep, baby’s almost a foot long, and at 23 weeks, baby size is finally able to be weighed in pounds! And baby isn’t just getting bigger, they’re also getting even cuter and starting to look more like a baby.

23 weeks pregnant is how many months?

How many months is 23 weeks? At this point, you're five months pregnant. It can get confusing, we know—those 40 weeks of pregnancy don't break out cleanly into nine months. That's why doctors refer to your stage in pregnancy by week, not month.

23 week ultrasound

You’re seeing your OB only once a month right now, so you may not have a doctor’s appointment or a 23 weeks pregnant ultrasound. Enjoy a little time off from all the doctor’s poking and prodding and having to pee in a cup! And you may be done with your genetic testing.

In the third trimester, you’ll be busier with appointments, seeing your doctor every other week. And you may not feel as energetic as you do now. So use this time to get stuff done and out of the way!

What does baby do at 23 weeks?

A 23-week-old fetus is working hard on brain development, building muscle by kicking and punching and gaining the fat that will make those cheeks so kissable. Baby is also practicing breathing and reacting to what happens to your body. You might notice baby responds when you drink sugary or cold beverages and gets active after you eat. You might also find that baby seems to sleep when you move around but likes to start their gymnastics routine right when you’re ready to sleep. Welcome to parenthood!


Pregnancy Symptoms at Week 23

While you’ve kissed first trimester nausea and fatigue goodbye, you’re probably dealing with the discomfort that 23 weeks pregnant symptoms can bring. This can include:

Swollen ankles and feet

Some puffiness is totally normal. Deal with it by putting your feet up as much as you can, getting regular physical activity and drinking lots of water. Call your doctor if you get extreme or sudden swelling, which can be a sign of a dangerous pregnancy complication called preeclampsia.

Braxton Hicks contractions

It’s a totally weird sensation the first time you notice your belly getting super tight! Your muscles are flexing, basically to prep for the Wonder Woman-like tightening they’re going to have to do during labor. So as long as they go away quickly, they’re just par for the pregnancy course. Drink plenty of water and change positions frequently to stay comfortable.


Sorry, but lingering backaches are to be expected, as your growing baby starts to bend your spine and stress your back muscles. Backaches are especially common for women who are 23 weeks pregnant with twins. Pain, on the other hand, could be cause for concern, so tell your OB if it really hurts or if it has lasted over two weeks.

Bleeding and/or swollen gums

You probably didn’t expect pregnancy to affect your mouth! Pregnancy hormones increase your blood flow, making your gums more likely to swell and bleed. If your mouth is feeling more sensitive than usual, switch to a soft bristle toothbrush and continue flossing with TLC. And stick with your normal dental exam routine, seeing the dentist at least every six months. In fact, your dentist may want to do extra checks while you’re pregnant. (While x-rays of your torso may not be safe during pregnancy, dental x-rays are generally safe.)

What to expect at 23 weeks pregnant

Are things getting real at 23 weeks? If your 23 weeks pregnant symptoms have you wondering what’s going to happen to your body over the remainder of your pregnancy, you’re not alone. Pregnancy is incredible, and some may even call it magical, but it also wreaks havoc on your body. If you’re feeling anxious about what’s going on with your body or about caring for this new human that’s arriving soon, take a deep breath. These feelings are perfectly normal, and it’s okay to feel a little freaked out. Share your feelings with your doctor, your partner or a trusted friend so you can talk and let those emotions out.

Your Pregnant Belly at 23 Weeks

A typical 23 weeks pregnant belly measures about 21 to 25 centimeters from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus. (That’s the fundal height of your 23 week baby bump.) At 23 weeks pregnant, you’ve probably gained about 12 to 15 pounds. And if you’re 23 weeks pregnant with twins, you should have gained around 23 pounds so far. By gaining the recommended amount of weight for a twin pregnancy, you’ll reduce your risk of preterm labor.

At 23 weeks pregnant, baby movement probably feels pretty cool—and it’s always a comfort knowing baby is in there wiggling around. If you pay attention, you’ll get to know your 23-week fetus’s routine: Baby is less active when they’re sleeping and a kung fu master when they’re awake. Some parents even swear their newborns kept similar routines after birth as they did in utero. So, if your kicker is keeping you up at night, consider this a warning!

Should you feel your baby move everyday at 23 weeks?

The answer depends on several different factors, including the position of your placenta and whether this is your first pregnancy. It’s possible that you haven’t felt baby move yet, and some first-time mothers don’t feel baby kick until close to the third trimester. The position of your placenta also impacts how soon you feel baby move, so you may only feel a few movements. Regardless, there’s no need to count kicks until 28 weeks. Pay close attention after you’ve eaten, as the rise in blood sugar often makes baby more energetic.

Moms and babies are connected in every way, and so the health of Mom is crucial to the well-being of baby. This includes mental health, so it's really important for Mom to take the steps to care for her own emotional wellbeing during a pregnancy. If you haven't gotten around to scheduling that first therapy appointment, now might be the time!… Checking in on your mental health and getting the support you need equips you to be a better spot for when your little one is born.

MD, board-certified psychiatrist in Frisco, Texas

Tips for 23 Weeks Pregnant

Here are some tips to help you make the most of this moment in your pregnancy.

Get outside and enjoy the sun

Getting your vitamin D is important when you’re pregnant, and spending time in the sun is the best way to get it. Get outside every day and enjoy 5 to 10 minutes in the sun, 2 to 3 days per week (depending on your skin tone). Just be careful not to overdo it and get a sunburn!

Plan for time off

Now that you’re getting closer to the third trimester, it’s a good time to finalize your maternity leave for after the baby is born. Make sure you’ll still have insurance coverage and enough money to get by without worrying.

Look into childcare if you’ll need it

If you’ll need childcare soon after baby is born, get it set up now. It might seem early, but in certain places, childcare spots can be hard to come by. Consider whether you want a childcare center or a nanny, and think about the benefits, challenges and budget considerations for your family.

Get financials sorted

Week 23 of pregnancy is a good time to call your health insurance company to see how you’re currently covered and decide what adjustments you’ll need to make for baby. Consider writing a will if you don’t have one, or updating your current one. And how’s baby’s savings account going? If you’re like, “what savings account?” now is a good time to start one. Even making small deposits will help once you factor in the time value of money—the earlier you start saving, the faster your money will compound. One study found that kids who have their own savings account are more likely to go to college, and another one estimated the average cost of raising a baby until age 17 to be over $233,610. Whoa!

Frequently Asked Questions

When does your belly button pop out during pregnancy?

Your body changes so much during pregnancy—and your belly button is no exception! If your innie becomes an outie, expect that transition to occur around 26 weeks. The culprit? Your growing fetus putting pressure on your abdominal wall.

Can pregnancy cause hair loss in the second trimester?

Minor hair loss is relatively common during pregnancy, but usually occurs about three months after delivery (returning to normal within six months to a year). If you’re worried, though, check with your medical provider. They might diagnose a vitamin or mineral deficiency, and recommend you take a supplement or eat more fruits and veggies.

How does preeclampsia affect the baby in week 23?

If left untreated, this serious condition can reduce blood flow to the placenta, restricting the growth of the fetus. It can also cause preterm birth or placental abruption (separation of the placenta from the inner wall of the uterus before delivery, which can prove dangerous for Mom and baby). If you develop preeclampsia, expect more monitoring and an earlier delivery.

What situations warrant bed rest at this point in pregnancy?

If you’re experiencing high blood pressure or preeclampsia, vaginal bleeding from placenta previa or abruption, cervical insufficiency, or are at risk of preterm labor or miscarriage, your doctor might recommend limited activity or assert certain restrictions. However, typically, traditional bed rest is no longer recommended.

When does the linea nigra go away?

Up to a few months after you give birth, the dark line down the front of your belly should fade. Caused by increased hormones, it should disappear when those levels normalize.

Exercise was key to keeping me feeling good, mentally and physically during pregnancy. I went for walks. I did yoga. It helped with the stress and exhaustion.

Nicole P., mom of two

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.


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