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You're in week 23 of your pregnancy!
You’re growing something amazing inside of you. This seems obvious—of course, you’re growing an amazing baby. It’s likely that you haven’t considered the fact that you’re growing something else that’s pretty phenomenal—your placenta. It has grown with your baby in the womb from the cells of the fertilized egg. Through the umbilical cord, it nourishes and protects your baby every day. Explore more about your amazing placenta.
What's New with Baby
Little one, little one, what do you see? This week, it’s possible to detect rapid eye movement (REM) under your baby’s eyelids. His pancreas, the organ that produces insulin, is also functioning by now. If you eat a meal high in sugar, his body will respond by producing more insulin. At about 29 cm long and weighing in at about 500 grams, he is about the size of a mango and is continuing his weight gain to prepare for life outside the womb.
What's New with You
You may have rubbed your belly lately and noticed that it feels harder than usual. Chances are, you’re experiencing a Braxton Hicks contraction. Your uterus has been gently contracting off and on since about the seventh week of your pregnancy. As your uterus grows, you may notice these brief, painless tightenings once or twice an hour, a couple times a day. The purpose of these contractions is not exactly clear. However, some experts believe they help keep the uterine muscles toned. Feeling a couple Braxton Hicks contractions is not a sign that you are going into labor. However, it is helpful to recognize the signs of preterm labor and learn ways to reduce your risk.
Story from a Mama who has been there
“The placenta was literally like a ‘tree of life.’ Seeing it after birth, I just couldn’t believe that my body created all that to protect and nourish my baby.”
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