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23rd Week of Pregnancy: Surviving Bed Rest

By BabyZone's Pregnancy Week-by-Week Contributors

In this article:
What's Happening with Your Body
All About Baby
How Big Is Baby
!ost Co""on Pregnancy #uestions
!ultiple !adness
$or Your Partner
$un $act
$ollow %he Chronicles o& a 'eal-(i&e Pregnancy
Occasionally, pregnancy coplications dictate that you slo! do!n """ #uite a $it" %our doctor ay
recoend that you go on partial or full $ed rest" &ind out !hat this eans 'and !hat you can do to
get through this tough tie("
You're &eeling like a hu"an )ungle gy"* It's a rockin' and rollin' in there* +ince there's still roo" to "o,e- that
little guy or gal is using it all* +o"ewhere around now- you "ay ha,e an internal e.a" to check your cer,i.
&or risk o& preter" labor/
What)s *appening !ith %our Body
As your baby bu"p gets "ore noticeable- so will your aches and pains/ Added weight puts pressure on your
back- o&ten leading to soreness/ Your &eet and ankles can swell- especially i& you ha,en't been able to take a
break during the day/ You "ay &ind your appetite increases but that your digesti,e syste" is o&&/ Your
digestion slows in pregnancy- and your sto"ach is &orced upward as your baby-to-be needs growing roo"/
Both proble"s "ean you "ay ha,e &re0uent heartburn- indigestion- bloating- and &latulence/ But your
disco"&ort won't last &ore,er1you're well past the "idpoint o& your pregnancy*
Bed Rest
$orty weeks can see" like &ore,er- especially when you can no longer see your toes and you're taking
bathroo" breaks e,ery hour 2e,en at night3/ But your baby-to-be needs ti"e to grow and de,elop within
your uterus so that she'll be healthy and strong when she &irst greets you/ In so"e pregnancies- howe,er-
your body "ay want to push the baby out be&ore your 45 weeks are up/ According to the !ayo Clinic- about
si. to se,en percent o& all pregnant wo"en go into preter" labor- so"eti"es in the second but "ore o&ten in
the third tri"ester/ Any contractions that lead to the cer,i. beginning to open be&ore week 67 are considered
preter" labor/
%here are se,eral risk &actors and reasons why you "ay e.perience preter" labor pains/ +o"eti"es
physicians are able to pinpoint what's happening with preter" labor- but o&ten doctors aren't sure why
wo"en go into labor early/ I& you're e.periencing preter" labor pains- your healthcare pro,ider "ay take
se,eral steps to keep your baby-to-be's deli,ery day &ro" happening too soon/
Restrictions and $ed rest: 8epending on the se,erity o& your labor pains your healthcare pro,ider can
suggest a range o& strategies to pre,ent labor/ $irst your pro,ider "ay try to pinpoint any changes in your
li&estyle or diet that could be "odi&ied/ $or instance- dehydration can lead to preter" labor pains- according
to 8r/ Willia" Ca"ann- !8- director o& obstetric anesthesia at the Brigha" and Wo"en's Hospital in Boston-
!assachusetts- and coauthor o& Easy Labor/ By drinking plenty o& water and slowing down "ore- your labor
pains "ay slow down too/
I&- howe,er- your labor pains are "ore se,ere- your healthcare pro,ider "ay put you on bed rest/ %here are
se,eral reasons why bed rest can delay labor/ $irst- with your &eet raised and your body rela.ed there's less
pressure on your cer,i./ +i"ply standing creates &orce on your cer,i. &ro" the weight o& your baby pushing
down/ Putting your &eet up relie,es pressure on your cer,i. and on all your internal organs/ (ying down also
aids blood &low- "aking it easier &or your heart to pu"p blood throughout your body/
(abor-pre,enting "edications and "onitoring9 When bed rest alone doesn't pre,ent preter" labor pains-
your healthcare pro,ider "ay gi,e you "edications that will/ :&ten you can take these "edications at ho"e/
8epending on your circu"stances- your healthcare pro,ider "ay also gi,e you at-ho"e- contraction-
"onitoring "achines/
*ospitali+ation: I& bed rest and "edications &ail to keep your labor pains away- or i& there are other
co"plications- you "ay be hospitali;ed so you can be under constant care/
Surviving $ed rest: Bed rest can be tedious/ You "ay &eel &ine and able to get up and "o,e around- but it's
i"portant you &ollow your doctor's guidelines to ensure a healthy pregnancy/ %ry the &ollowing to "ake bed
rest "ore bearable9
,nlist the help of friends and faily" <et your &riends and &a"ily in,ol,ed with your care/ %hey
can co"e o,er and keep you co"pany during the day/ Perhaps you ha,e other children that will
need to be cared &or while you're in bed/ (et the" know what you need and allow the" to help you/
-alk to your healthcare provider" Your doctor needs to know how you're &eeling/ +he'll e.pect to
hear a &ew co"plaints during your ti"e on bed rest/
.oin a support group" Your doctor "ay gi,e you in&or"ation on support groups in your area where
you can talk to others who',e e.perienced di&&icult pregnancies/ :r- ,isit sidelines/org to &ind local
support groups on your own/
Bed rest doesn't ha,e to be all bad/ You "ay &inally ha,e ti"e to read all those no,els you',e been talking
about/ !aybe there's an online course you',e been "eaning to take/ %ry to look on the bright side1it won't
last &ore,er- and at the end you'll ha,e so"eone else to cuddle with you the ne.t ti"e you're in bed/
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1ll 1$out Ba$y
%wenty-three weeks "arks an i"portant point &or your unborn baby/ Your baby-to-be is &ar enough along in
his de,elop"ent that he could ha,e a chance at sur,i,al outside the wo"b/
According to the !arch o& 8i"es- o& all babies born at =6 weeks- => to 6> percent sur,i,e/ %his nu"ber
goes up considerably when you add )ust a couple weeks9 babies born between >5 to 75 percent o& all babies
born at =4 to => weeks sur,i,e/ And ?5 percent o& all babies born at =@ to =7 weeks sur,i,e/
Although all o& your baby-to-be's internal syste"s are in place- he needs "ore ti"e &or those intricate
syste"s to "ature/
*o! Big Is Ba$y2
Your little one now about eight inches long 2crown to ru"p3 and weighs in at around one pound/
3ost /oon Pregnancy 4uestions
I'" pregnant and e.periencing so"e ,aginal discharge/ Could I ha,e an in&ection or is this nor"al I& it is a
yeast in&ection- how should I treat it while pregnant
Pregnancy can induce se,eral di&&erent types o& ,aginal discharge- and "ost o& the ti"e- these discharges
are nor"al/ Increased blood &low to your ,agina coupled with increased estrogen can cause you to
e.perience a whitish- "ucousy discharge known as leukorrhea/ (eukorrhea is e.perienced by "any wo"en-
e,en when they are not pregnant- at di&&erent ti"es in their cycles/
I& you e.perience discharge that causes itching or you notice that your labia are red- you "ay ha,e a yeast
in&ection/ Be&ore you treat yoursel& with an o,er-the-counter product- always check with your doctor/ It "ay
be a co""on yeast in&ection or so"ething else re0uiring di&&erent treat"ent/ I& the discharge has a &oul odor
or is yellow or green- it "ay be sign o& a se.ually trans"itted disease 2+%83 or other in&ection/
What can you do %o a,oid or "anage a yeast in&ection- try these tips9
Wear panty liners to absorb discharge
Always wipe &ro" &ront to back
Wear cotton panties to help with good air&low to the area/
Wear loose-&itting clothing
8on't use scented sprays or wipes
Ae,er douche*
Check with your healthcare pro,ider i& you ha,e 0uestions and be&ore pursuing any &or" o&
I& you see any blood "i.ed with any ,aginal discharge- let your practitioner know right away/ %his "ay be a
sign that you are going into labor/ You should also contact your healthcare pro,ider i& the discharge is thin
and clear- as you "ay ha,e broken your water/
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3ultiple 3adness
1ctive Ba$ies in 5tero
:ne o& the "ost hu"orous aspects o& being pregnant with "ultiples is obser,ing their personalities
de,eloping in utero/ At so"e point- it will beco"e clear who is positioned where/ And- with their growth
causing the inability to "igrate to the other side o& your uterus- they won't switch locations/
Be sure to note who was kicking where- and who was kicking what/ When twins are older- they "ay be able
to recount these e.periences &ro" their days in the wo"b/ !y boys clai" that it was 'dark in there1because
there were no windows- !o"/' !y little ones also co"plain that 'he kicked "e constantly in there'/ It's 0uite
&unny 2and a little weird3/
Your Babies' Journey a 8B8 produced by Pioneer Productions &or the Aational <eographic Channel-
docu"ents the &orty weeks o& a "ultiple pregnancy/ While it's challenging to docu"ent whether
or not we actually re"e"ber our ti"e in utero- this docu"entary shows ways in which babies ha,e
e.pressed personality traits in utero which are then seen again post-birth/ In one scene- ultrasound i"ages
capture one twin sibling CpunchingC the other/ In response- the sibling turns away and rests her head on the
placenta/ When these children were a &ew years old- their parents reported that when the sibling who was
Cpunched'C in utero was hurt in e,eryday li&e- her coping response was to go to her roo" and put her head
on her pillow/
Another &un acti,ity &or a $riday night is to sit and watch your belly when the babies are both acti,e/ It can
appear as though you',e got aliens swi""ing around in there* I& you own a ,ideo ca"era- atte"pt to
capture their antics/ %rust "e- your twins will &ind it hysterical in years to co"e/
&or %our Partner
%our Relationship !ith Ba$y
%he &irst &ew "onths o& &atherhood can o&ten be the "ost di&&icult/ Your baby arri,es- and along with hi" or
her co"es e.pectations o& what being a &ather will be like/ !any o& these e.pectations in,ol,e holding your
baby and i""ediately &eeling a strong connection and a power&ul sense o& lo,e/ While that will undoubtedly
happen- it "ay take a bit longer to connect than you originally thought/ Instead o& a &ew days- it can
so"eti"es take a &ew "onths/
D,en once your baby is born- you "ight &eel a little e"pty inside/ :& course you know the baby you're
holding is yours- but he or she "ay not yet &eel like your baby/ 2You know that you lo,e your baby- but you
)ust "ay not 0uite feel it yet/3 %his isn't unusual- and o&ten &athers &ind the"sel,es &eeling a&raid- stressed by
&inancial pressures- and e.hausted &ro" lack o& sleep/ %his can all lead to "any new dads &eeling
inade0uate or useless as &athers/ %hese di&&icult &eelings can be e.acerbated i& you're working outside the
ho"e while your spouse is taking care o& Baby &ull-ti"e/
%he sad truth is "any &athers ha,e this e.perience but are a&raid to talk about it/ A lack o& discussion can
&oster a sense o& sha"e and "ay pro"ote a &eeling that bonding con&ir"s a CbadC &ather 2or "other3/
Instead o& getting upset and gi,ing up- stri,e to re"ain in,ol,ed and you'll lay the groundwork &or de,eloping
a bond with your baby/ 2Enow that i& you e.perience these &eelings- it doesn't "ean you're a bad &ather or
that you don't or can't lo,e your child/3
In ti"e- you and Baby will build a distinct and unbreakable connection/ :ne day- you will look your little one's
&ace and see a certain e.pression or hold her- and so"ething will &lutter in your chest/ Be&ore you know it-
you will &eel such a strong connection you'll ha,e trouble re"e"bering li&e when you didn't/
&un &act
%he lightest babies e,er born were triplets birthed in Birginia in F??G/ According to the Guinness Book of
World Records- the trio weighed in at three and one-hal& pounds total/ %he babies' indi,idual weights were F
pound 4/@ ounces- F4/G ounces- and F6/4 ounces/
&ollo! -he /hronicles of a Real67ife Pregnancy
How do other wo"en e.perience pregnancy <et an inside look at one wo"an's ,ery personal )ourney to
"otherhood with candid week-by-week accounts/ $ind out what happens to +arah (o,e in week =6 o& her
Wondering what is in store for you and your pregnancy? kip ahead to ne!t week"
#urious to see how we calculate i$portant pregnancy dates? Be sure to re%iew our &regnancy #hart"