Pregnancy calendar

weeks pregnant

23 weeks pregnant - what to expect

Your baby is about 30cm now and roughly the size of a large mango.

23 weeks infographic.

What does my baby look like?

They might get hiccups and you may feel the tiny jerks when it happens! They can also suck their thumb.

Have you been feeling flutters and bubbles from your little one? These have probably turned into kicking and little jabs by now. Over the next few weeks they’ll become more noticeable and regular as your baby grows and gets stronger, rolling and dancing inside you.

You might even notice a kind of pattern emerging. Often when you rest, your baby will spring into action and when you’re busy on your feet your baby will be rocked to sleep by the motion.

It’s a good idea to get to know your baby’s sort of routine, so you can get in touch with your midwife if the movements slow down, or stop, or something doesn’t feel right to you.

Download our 'Feeling your baby move is a sign that they are well' leaflet (PDF)

The leaflet contains clear messaging on reduced fetal movements consistent with national guidelines.

Your symptoms - what to expect

Suffering from back pain?

Your bump is growing and hormones are making your muscles and ligaments relax, which is not a good combination for your back. You need to take extra care of your back now.

Are you suffering from cramps, headaches, indigestion or heartburn?

Here’s our guide to 10 common pregnancy complaints (and how to avoid them.)

Feeling stressed out?

Your mental wellbeing is just as important as your physical health during pregnancy. Make sure you look after yourself, as well as your bump.

We all dream of floating serenely through pregnancy - but work and home pressures, or other worries, can get in the way and lead to anxiety.

You may be feeling stressed at work, especially if you are under pressure to prove your commitment or finish pieces of work before going on maternity leave.

Talk to your manager if you’re feeling stressed all the time. Remember, it’s not selfish to be pregnant and take maternity leave. It’s a normal part of life and the company will manage.

It will soon be harder to take time off on your own, so it’s also important to catch up with friends or go out for a meal with your partner while you can. Taking time out for yourself helps you stay healthy.

“I tried to spend some time each day focusing on the baby. Thinking about her, rather than everything else that was going on around me helped.”

Emily, mum of one

Here are tips to help you stay stress-free in pregnancy.

You can also work through our wellbeing plan with your midwife.

Radiant?

If you’re lucky, glowing skin and shiny hair may replace any spots around now.

Actions to take

Don’t forget to inform your employer in writing

If you work, you must let your employer know you're pregnant by week 25. You must also tell them the date you want to start your maternity leave. It's important to put this in writing so that you qualify for maternity pay and benefits.

If this is the first time you’re telling your boss about your pregnancy, they must also make sure your workplace doesn’t have any risks for you or your baby. They’ll need to make other arrangements for you if necessary.

Choosing a date to start maternity leave isn’t easy, because you can’t tell for sure when your baby will be born. If you leave work two weeks before your due date, for example, your baby could be born up to two weeks after that, so you could end up spending three or four weeks waiting for your baby to arrive.

Your decision might also depend on how your pregnancy is going. If you don’t have any pregnancy niggles, you may feel able to keep going for longer.

How much coffee can I drink during pregnancy?

You should try to limit the amount of caffeine you have to no more than 200mg a day - the equivalent of two cups of instant coffee.

Try our caffeine calculator to work out your normal caffeine intake

Sources

1. Lennart Nilsson (2009) A Child is Born, Jonathan Cape, p.184

2. http://e.informationserviceforparents.nhs.uk/interface/external_view_email.php?AF10761764511340303&varId

3. http://e.informationserviceforparents.nhs.uk/interface/external_view_email.php?AF10767382801340343&varId 

4. Backache in pregnancy, NHS Choices: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/backache-pregnant.aspx [accessed 10 February 2015] (last reviewed: 5 February 2015; next review due: 5 February 2017).

5. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2008) Antenatal Care, NICE Clinical Guidelines 62: http://publications.nice.org.uk/antenatal-care-cg62[accessed 18 January 2015].

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Last reviewed on April 1st, 2015. Next review date April 1st, 2018.

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