What prenatal care do I need during week 23 of pregnancy?

Paula Greer
Midwifery Nursing

At week 23 your provider will start asking you if you are having any cramping that might be signs of preterm labor. They will ask you if the baby is moving daily. At all of your visits they will ask for a urine sample so they can check for signs of infection or protein. Your blood pressure will be checked at every visit. You will be weighed at every visit and they will look at your weight gain or loss and discuss how you are doing. They will measure your belly to check the growth of the baby and answer any questions that you might have. Every visit is a time to share your concerns with your midwife or doctor and have all your questions answered.

At 23 week the pregnancy is obvious to others. The added weight and growing uterus put pressure on the back and may lead to soreness. While appetite may be increased, digestion is slowed, resulting in heartburn, indigestion and flatulence. Prenatal care at this time is focused on monitoring for potential complications such as vaginal infection, urinary tract infection or preterm labor and monitoring maternal weight gain and fetal growth. In addition prenatal teaching is focused on coping with the discomforts of pregnancy.

During this week of pregnancy, you should watch out for swelling of your legs and ankles. This is called edema and happens because of the many different changes in your body during pregnancy such as your growing uterus which interferes with the blood flow from your legs to heart. Your body also produces more of the hormones that make it retain fluids. Drinking a lot of liquids, exercising frequently, and elevating your feet a few times throughout the day can help decrease edema, which may be a sign of preeclampsia.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.