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Before Birth and Beyond
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Week 23
(counting from first day of last menstrual period)
Around 21 Weeks After Conception

Please keep in mind that this information is approximate. Each pregnancy is different and growth rates vary. If you have any questions, please check with your care provider.

Fetal Development:
Five MonthsYour baby weighs about a pound now! The body is becoming better proportioned each day, and the bones of the middle ear begin to harden.

If born now, your baby has a chance for survival. Let's hope, however, that the baby stays put for several more weeks!

Multiples: Your babies will have periods of activity and sleep periods which may not coincide with each other.

Maternal Changes:
Your baby still has room to move around so you're probably feeling kicks, jabs, flips and flops. You may even see your abdomen move. Your uterus is about 1 1/2 inches above your belly button.

If you're having some wild mood swings, don't fret. They're normal even if they don't feel normal. Try to be good to yourself when you're feeling blue.

Multiples: Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of preterm labor. Carrying multiples puts you at a higher risk for premature birth. From Twins! Pregnancy, Birth and the First Year of Life by Connie L. Agnew, MD, call your practitioner immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • sense of pelvic fullness
  • recurrent contractions (4 or more an hour)
  • vaginal discharge
  • ruptured membranes
  • cramping

Ideas for Dad:
Do something nice and totally unexpected like doing the laundry without being asked or bringing home dinner after work. Let mom know how special she is and show her how special you are.

Inspirational Thoughts:
Pregnancy is a process that invites you to surrender to the unseen force behind all life. ~Judy Ford

Reading:

The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth by William Sears, MD and Martha Sears, RN, published by Little Brown & Co, 1994.

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