23 weeks pregnant

23 weeks

Dear mom,

Despite the fact I’m not even born, I’ve had deep wrinkles up to this point – ones I’ll still have for awhile after I’ve arrived. In fact, my skin is so translucent right now you would actually be able to see my bones and organs if I were out of the womb. The good news is, I won’t be quite as scary-looking as I’m starting to gain some much-needed baby fat to help plump me up and keep me warm. By the end of this month, I’ll actually be double the weight I am right now, so don’t be afraid if you find yourself gaining weight a bit more quickly than usual. The more I grow, the more you grow. Speaking of getting bigger, this week I’m about the size of a hearty grapefruit. I’m also more in tune with my hearing. Just like how I can ‘taste’ what you eat, I can also ‘hear’ what you hear. Exposing me to everyday sounds now – like the vacuum cleaner, passing traffic, or the family pet – will mean I’m less likely to be scared of them once I’m born.

Many women report all kinds of changes to their outside appearance during pregnancy – aside from your obviously expanding belly! We’ve talked about stretch marks and spots, but some other pregnancy symptoms might be a little less obvious. If you’re seeing red palms and soles, blotchy legs, heat rash, or skin tags, those are all the result of some wild hormones wreaking havoc on your body. No worries, like most things related to pregnancy, they’ll even themselves out after you deliver me. If something is really bothering you – like an itchy belly, yet another common side effect – talk to your doctor about safe treatments and solutions. Using something as basic as cocoa butter can help soothe tummy itches and even reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

You already know how important it is to get a good night’s rest, so if you’re having trouble sleeping, hone in on the reasons why. Waking up sweaty or chilled? Check your sheets and your sleepwear. A breathable material like cotton is key to letting air flow and keeps your body at a comfortable temperature while you sleep. Suffering from aches and cramps? How you position yourself in bed has a big impact on how you feel the next morning. Many moms feel most comfortable lying on their side – try putting a pillow between your legs to ease pressure on your joints. Overthinking things? It’s not uncommon to feel anxious or uncertain about becoming a mom or my well-being. The best place to start working out your feelings is with your partner. Have a heart-to-heart about your fears and together you’ll probably be able to overcome them.

I’m really excited to meet you and dad – just 17 weeks to go! Make sure that both of you remember, “There is such a special sweetness in being able to participate in creation.” – Pamela S. Nadav (Women’s Health Practitioner & Author)