What to expect

What’s happening to my baby?

By week 23 your baby’s ears have developed to the point where they are quite responsive to sound.

Your baby’s skin is rapidly losing transparency, although the blood vessels beneath give your baby a reddish pigmentation.

Your baby’s lungs are developing to the point where they will increase its chances of survival outside the womb in the event of a premature birth. Its pancreas is also maturing and is now producing insulin.

What’s happening to me?

Some women now start to feel minor contractions, although these are far from the real thing. These contractions – involuntary tightening of your pelvic muscles – are called Braxton Hicks contractions. They may continue up until the real contractions of labour, and they are generally thought of as “trial runs” in the lead up to the main event.

In addition to weight gain, you might start to experience swelling in your feet. Although this is common, when excessive and persistent it could be a sign that you have developed preeclampsia. This is usually accompanied by high blood pressure, nausea, headaches and vision difficulties. If you are suffering any of these symptoms along with swelling in your feet, you should see a doctor.