Happy 35th Anninversary to my parents!!
Not much going on around here this week, so on to the weekly update:
At eight inches and slightly over a pound, your baby is the size and shape of a small doll when you are 23 weeks pregnant. (But then, you already knew that you were carrying a living doll, didn't you?) This week marks the beginning of some serious weight gain. Your baby's weight in the next four weeks alone should double (and you may feel as though yours is too).
You have probably heard your developing baby's heartbeat through a Doppler a number of times already (though you never get tired of hearing it), but by now you can also hear it through a standard stethoscope. What a heart throb!
You're now in your sixth month and your baby is about to chub up a bit. His saggy skin will start to fit his frame as fat deposits fill things out. Beginning this week, he'll start to pack on the pounds (which means you will, too!) and by month's end he'll be double the weight he is now (though you won't be — whew!). Right now, your baby's organs and bones are visible through his skin, which has a red hue due to developing veins and arteries beneath. But once those fat deposits settle in, he'll become less transparent, too.
Yes, the baby you're expecting is cozily ensconced in your abdomen — yet, by now you've probably noticed that pregnancy affects you head to toe, and pretty much everywhere in between. At 23 weeks pregnant, your head is fuzzy (this is your brain…this is your brain on progesterone), and your toes (well, your feet, at least) are growing. Stretch marks are blooming in vibrant shades of pink and purple on pretty much every available surface of skin and…wait! What's that funky dark line running down the center of your belly?
That line has actually always been there, but you probably never noticed it until pregnancy hormones caused hyperpigmentation. Other (less than delightful) skin changes on your body may include red palms and soles, bluish blotchy legs, heat rash, and skin tags.
Believe it or not, it's called the "dark line" — or as your practitioner likes to call it, linea nigra. A common emblem of pregnancy (more noticeable in darker skinned women), the linea nigra, which runs between your belly button and your pubic area, is caused by the same pregnancy hormones that cause all the skin discolorations you might be noticing. Like the deeper tone of the freckles on your arms and legs.
Some women (again, more often darker-skinned ones) notice discoloration on the face too, especially in the area around the nose, forehead, cheeks, and eyes. It's called the mask of pregnancy (or chloasma) because it appears as a mask-like configuration on the face. Rest assured, you won't be playing masquerade for much longer. All these skin discolorations will fade within a few months after delivery. In the meantime, bring on the concealer (though not the bleaching creams, which won't work anyway).
1 year ago