Have these stages personalized and emailed to you: Sign up now

23 weeks pregnant

When you’re 23 weeks pregnant, your baby’s growth and movement can cause some discomfort. Increased pressure on your ribs and lungs may cause pain and shortness of breath.

Week by week stages of pregnancy: week 23

You are now 23 weeks pregnant and your baby is developing further this week. Their swallowing reflex is maturing, so they will be swallowing and digesting some amniotic fluid which is perfectly normal and not harmful. They may even hiccup! Their lungs are also maturing but they are not fully functioning. They cannot process oxygen and C02 sufficiently on their own quite yet. 

Your pregnancy is moving on and in this second trimester, you may experience a variety of discomforts. In pregnancy at week 23, one of the symptoms you may start experiencing is rib pain. This is caused by your rib cage expanding to accommodate your baby and growing bump.  You may even feel your baby kicking in your ribs as she grows and needs more room. She will also be putting more pressure on your lungs causing breathlessness, which may ease with rest. 

Another common in pregnancy at 23 weeks discomfort is cramps in the legs and pins and needles in the fingers caused by the increased pressure on your nerves and blood vessels. This can be remedied by resting with your feet up to improve your circulation.

As negative as this all sounds, most women won’t have all of these discomforts and some women won’t have any at all. However annoying and uncomfortable these niggles are, they are a natural part of pregnancy.  This doesn't mean you should suffer though. There are plenty of home remedies, rest and mild preparations to relieve these pregnancy symptoms safely for your baby and make you much more comfortable.

Your feelings
Pregnancy is generally seen as a time of happiness and fulfilment.  But it is not uncommon for pregnant women to have mood swings or get tearful or angry from time to time. However, if you feel that you are tired all the time, more often than not feel down, anxious or angry, or have trouble with your sleep (either sleeping too much or too little), then these feelings can indicate that you may be depressed.

Sometimes it can be difficult for you and the people around you to accept or recognise that your normal worries and anxieties are a sign of something else. It is important to remember that this isn't unusual and can be treated. If you think that you may be depressed, it is important that you talk to either your midwife or GP, so that they can help you.

Further help and information

NCT's helpline offers practical and emotional support in all areas of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood: 0300 330 0700. We also offer antenatal courses which are a great way to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby.

Join in with NCT on Facebook and Twitter - it's a great way to make new friends and stay in touch with old ones. Or joint our community for new parents on Google+ where you can connect with other parents online who are experiencing similar things.