23 weeks pregnant
You child resembles a newborn baby. The body is covered with the bigger layer of fat tissue. But the child is still very slim. However, it is possible to recognize when the baby is pleased thanks to the mimic on the face.
Your child has been growing rapidly. The weight reaches 500 g and the length is 11 in. Through the thin skin you can see blood vessels, but within a few weeks your baby will gain more fat. The skin is producing pigments what results in the change of the appearance.
In spite of the fact that children are very active, they need a lot of sleep, even 20 hours a day. The baby is able to spin, kick, tight fists and put the thumb into the mouth. The movement is a way to communicate. There is still a plenty of space in the uterus. The child is protected by the amniotic sac with around 0,5 l of the liquid, which is "exchanged" once during four hours.
Guidelines for Mother
You can experience problems with sleeping. Most of women complain of difficulty in finding a comfortable position. You should remember that lack of sleep and permanent tiredness have negative impact on a developing child.
A common and also serious problem may be the cervical incompetence. It is a medical condition in which the pregnant woman's cervix begins to dilate (widen) and efface (thin) before her pregnancy has reached term. Cervical incompetence may cause miscarriage or preterm birth during the second and third trimester. Another sign of cervical incompetence is funnelling at the internal orifice of the uterus, which is a dilation of the cervical canal at this location. In a woman with cervical incompetence, dilation and effacement of the cervix may occur without pain or uterine contractions.
Cervical incompetence occurs because of weakness of the cervix, which is made to open by the growing pressure in the uterus as pregnancy progresses. If the responses are not halted, rupture of the membranes and birth of a premature baby can result. Cervical incompetence is not generally treated except when it appears to threaten a pregnancy.
Cervical incompetence can be treated using cervical cerclage, a surgical technique that reinforces the cervical muscle by placing sutures above the opening of the cervix to narrow the cervical canal. Cerclage procedures usually entail closing the cervix through the vagina with the aid of a speculum.
Another approach involves performing the cerclage through an abdominal incision. Transabdominal cerclage of the cervix makes it possible to place the stitch exactly at the level that is needed. It can be carried out when the cervix is very short, effaced or totally distorted. Cerclages are usually performed between weeks 14 and 16 of the pregnancy. The sutures are removed between weeks 36 and 38 to avoid problems during labour.