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Pregnancy Calendar

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Week23_Large

Week 23

Your Baby:

  • Is a tad bigger than last week! Are you sensing a pattern! Goodness, I never realized how boring this stretch of pregnancy is, what with the “close to a pound, just over a pound, 11 inches long, 11 2/3 inches long” comparisons week after week.
  • The pancreas is kicking into gear sometime around this week, and blood vessels continue to develop in the lungs. Lung development is a Big Thing right now, since babies born around 24 weeks gestation can often survive outside the womb. 23 weeks is pretty questionable, and 24 weeks certainly isn’t a peachy keen time to be born or anything, but still. If you’re the morbid sort who gets a tiny bit of comfort knowing that your baby has a fighting chance If Something Terrible Were To Happen, well, there you go.

You:

  • “OMG, you’re so big! Are you sure it’s not twins?”
  • Or, alternatively: “OMG, you barely look pregnant! Are you sure you’re 23 weeks?”
  • SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP. Thank you. No woman is ever going to appreciate your boneheaded commentary on her size and/or weight. Last time I was plagued with dire predictions of hidden twins and early labor and 14-pound babies. This time I get only-sort-of affectionately called names by other women when queried about my weight gain. Which is 1) none of your business and 2) yes, everything IS okay, my baby is growing just fine, thank you for your nosy and very annoying “concern.”
  • I AM ALSO CRABBY. PERHAPS YOU ARE TOO.

If there was one pregnancy symptom I hoped and prayed would skip over me this time — more than morning sickness, more than swollen ankles and sciatic nerve pain — it was anxiety. Terrible, intrusive, racing-brain anxiety.

It didn’t skip me this time.

I’d hoped it was really the whole firstness of my first pregnancy that was to blame, but here I am again, going through the same doubts and fears and worries. When I do manage to shut off my overworked brain (money, jobs, that snippy tone of that one email, need to replace the tub, money, two babies oh my god TWO BABIES), I am plagued with really annoying anxiety dreams, of the “I have a final in a college class that I never attended but forgot to drop” and “I’m waiting tables and can’t seem to get orders in and customers are storming out and/or ordering stuff that isn’t on the menu and what do you MEAN I have to get soda refills from down the block?” varieties.

And then I wake up from these dreams with my mind racing as I fret about the very same things I worried about with Noah, even though I KNOW everything will be okay and work out in the end. Will I love my baby? Will he love me back? Will I get PPD? Will I be able to breastfeed? How will I cope with middle-of-the-night ear infections with a toddler and a newborn and still get any work done? Will I ever leave the house? Will I ever make some more mom friends? Will I ever be anything other than a mom again?

Here’s the thing, though. Not all anxiety and depressive feelings during pregnancy should be casually swept away under the rug of Crazy Pregnant Lady Hormones. Full-blown panic attacks and major depression can happen during pregnancy, and you should always tell your doctor if you’re experiencing anything like this.

Women who have previously struggled with (or have a family history of) depression and anxiety are at a higher risk for pre-partum depression, as are those who have lost pregnancies, undergone fertility treatments or are classified as a high-risk pregnancy. Major life events, like relationship problems, big moves or job changes, can also trigger anxiety far beyond a manageable level.

Having had a long rich history with regular old anxiety, I’m grateful to have a built-in set of coping mechanisms. Namely, writing, list-making (I write down everything I’m stressed about and/or putting off and then tackle it, item by item), long walks and meditation. But how do you know when that’s not enough?

A lot of the depression checklists are downright laughable when applied to a pregnant woman (extreme fatigue? a desire to eat all the time? increased irritability or crying jags?), but if the feelings are unrelenting for a good two weeks — or coupled with bleak feelings of emptiness, anxious obsessive-compulsive behaviors, thoughts of self-harm or a feeling like your baby would be better off not being born or being given to someone else — then call your doctor right this minute. Many antidepressants can be safely taken during pregnancy, with the benefits far outweighing the risks. Talk therapy can also be extremely beneficial in helping you work through your fears and issues before the baby is born. Just SPEAK. UP. And don’t let anyone disregard your feelings because you’re pregnant.

And now, COMPLETELY switching gears, here’s this week’s registry checklist.

FEEDING

Buy Now

Buy Later

*Yes, yes. No matter what your lofty breastfeeding plans are, it’s not a bad idea to have a bottle or two handy. If you know what kind of breast pump you’ll be using**, get something compatible. Otherwise, ignore the big gift sets and try out a couple of the BPA-free options (Evenflo glass, Born Free, Dr. Brown’s, etc.) and see what works best for you and your baby. Make sure you start with level one nipples — your baby will let you know when it’s time to move up to a higher flow with RIGHTEOUS PISSED-OFF-NESS.

**As for the sterilizers and warmers — we loaded up on all that crap and got rid of it a few months later. Unless you don’t have a dishwasher and really find warming up a pot of water to be INCREDIBLY TAXING, these might not be worth giving up your precious counter space for, particularly if you’re only using bottles as an occasional supplement. (Of course, it didn’t help that we tried TWO electronic bottle warmers that didn’t work at all.) (For washing bottles and pump parts in between dishwasher sterilizing runs, we used a handy little plastic basin we swiped from my hospital room. LIFE LESSON: Steal everything from the hospital that is not nailed down.)

******Breast pump talk! If you have not done so already, CALL YOUR INSURANCE PROVIDER TODAY. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, breast pumps are fully covered by most insurance plans, saving you the hassle/expense of buying your own or renting. There is a catch, though: you can’t just walk into any store and buy any pump. You need to talk directly to your insurance company and find out 1) exactly what pump brands/models are covered, 2) whether or not you need a prescription, 3) at what point in your pregnancy it can be shipped to you, and 4) the names and numbers of IN-NETWORK medical equipment providers that you can order your pump from.

****Did you register for a bouncy seat? Use it for those first cereal and solid feedings instead of some giant plastic monstrosity. Wait until your little one can sit up unassisted to pick out a high chair — your options will be MUCH smaller, more streamlined and better looking.

Don’t forget to visit Amalah’s Pregnancy Calendar from Week 22 when she starts the baby registry discussion.

Here’s a complete online version of our Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist and here’s the downloadable & printable version of our Baby Registry Checklist in case you’re going to the store (like they did way back in the 90s).

********

If you’re considering an online baby registry, we recommend our affiliate Amazon’s Baby Registry, which offers free 90-day returns on baby store purchases. You can even add items from other websites onto to your baby registry.

Amazon Baby Registry 1

Amalah
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch

Amalah

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering ...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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About the Author

Our Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty, was written by Amy Corbett Storch while she was pregnant with her second son, Ezra.

Amy, also known as Amalah, writes the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back here at Alpha Mom. You can follow her daily mothering adventures at her own site, Amalah.

About the Illustrations

The Zero to Forty illustrations were created by the artist Brenda Ponnay, aka Secret Agent Josephine. Brenda is very talented and these images are copyright-protected. You should hire her if you want your own unique ones.

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Comments

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Olivia
Guest
Olivia

I am loving your purchase suggestions. I had no idea breast pumps can be rented. That totally rocks my small budget world!

Sarah
Guest
Sarah

Olivia, if you have insurance, check to see if a breast pump is covered. My insurance covers the purchase or rental from select places (OB Office, Hospital, Medical Supply Store, but NOT retail such as BRU). The way it was explained to me was this was part of the insurance reform recently passed. So if you have insurance you should be covered.

I still need to look for insurance coverage of breast pump supplies, but I think FSA will cover those if insurance does not. 

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

GARGH! SMASH!
I went to a family function this weekend and EVERYONE kept saying how I was ‘huge’ compared to my cousin (her first, my second, she’s due a month before me) and I just wanted to kill them all. WHY would you say that to someone, especially given that she was a tiny little thing before and I was NOT! Also, my second, HELLO! Sigh.

Elizabeth
Guest

While a hand pump isn’t good for establishing supply, it does have its place. I used the hospital pump in the hospital when they told me (wrongly) that I couldn’t nurse for the first 48 hours (punks). But I knew I wasn’t going back to work right away and would only need to pump the occasional bottle, so before the baby had arrived I’d bought the Medela Harmony and it was so good to have when I was dealing with issues of extreme engorgement where the baby couldn’t latch. Pumping off an ounce or so of milk didn’t make my… Read more »

MrsHaley
Guest
MrsHaley

I’m going to defy the Gods of Sterility and reveal that I got my Medela PIS, used, on Ebay for $150. I brought all new parts so nothing that touched the other person’s baby or skin touched my baby or skin. Surprisingly, neither one of us died of a horrible pump-borne infection! Shocking, I know. I did EBF and even so, I still used it a lot, even as a SAHM. My freezer was stocked with breastmilk like I was preparing for Armageddon. DD was still eating/drinking breastmilk for quite a while after she weaned at 13 months (weaned herself… Read more »

Becca
Guest

Best comment I ever received was last week in the security line at the airport: “You’re not trying to sneak anything in in there are ya?”
Ditto on the high chair. I kind of wish we’d gone straight for the kind you strap onto a chair, but I am glad we didn’t go for the reclines to a thousand different positions, takes up almost your entire kitchen floor variety.
I’ve been enjoying your sensible buying list!

Jessica
Guest
Jessica

Laughing hysterically at this one… with my daughter I was HUGE… I’m not as big this time around but people still feel the need to go Oh you MUST be due ANY MINUTE now when actually THANKS BUT NO NOT FOR 14 &%[email protected]%$ WEEKS LIKE I NEEDED TO BE REMINDED WHAT A COW I AM. Or my sister, whom normally I love dearly but am not horribly fond of right now going No really sweetie you don’t look pregnant at all! The hell I don’t, because if I don’t look pregnant then that just means YE GADS I LOOK FAT… Read more »

Erin
Guest
Erin

As the mom of a 3 month old (with a 3 year old big brother) I wanted to chime in on the list of things to buy, as someone who is currently test driving this stuff all over again. 1) Bottles – as a note for 2nd time moms, Babies R Us is currently letting you exchange your evil BPA bottles for less toxic versions. Just did this today – was very easy. 2) Nursing wrap – I used my old pashmina in March-April (yay – a use for it!) and am now using a sarong now that it is… Read more »

Hey You
Guest

Yay for everything but the pump. If people are going to nurse very long at all, then BUY YOUR OWN PUMP. A nice one. A good pump can make all the difference between BF success or not for working moms. I was a WOHM and am now the SAHM of an almost two year old and I still use my pump occasionally. It was the best/most important purchase I made. I have the Medela PISA, and LOVE it.

Jess
Guest
Jess

I just have to put in a vote for buying a pump if you’re going back to work (but you can wait until after the baby is born and you’ve determined that you will, in fact, be breastfeeding/pumping). I think when I worked the numbers, it made sense to buy my own rather than rent as long as I breastfed for at least 6 months. Going on 11 months now, so I’m glad I didn’t rent. The pump I bought, after much research, was the Avent Isis IQ Duo. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE. Did I mention I LOVE it?… Read more »

Erica
Guest

Yes, yes, exclusive breastfeeders like me, get the bottles. Both my children were slow to start nursing and would have starved for a week with great crying and not sleeping without a little pediatrician mandated supplementing while the pump and I worked on our supply issues. But more than that, I’ve many friends who never gave their child a bottle and never pumped and therefore never left the house alone until their children were weaned. They usually speak of that choice with wry “boy, we didn’t think that through, I didn’t have a date with my wife for 5 years… Read more »

silver
Guest
silver

The dishwasher doesn’t actually sterilize things. For most babies, that isn’t actually a problem. But if you have a premie (or your baby has a compromised immune system for other reasons) or you have to battle thrush, you really should get a sterilizer. My son and I had thrush and I (per the doctor and the lactation consultant) had to sterilize everything that touched my nipples, my milk, or my baby’s mouth. So pump parts, bottles, pacifiers, etc had to be sterilized several times a day. Did you know that you have to boil for at least 10 minutes to… Read more »

kathrynaz
Guest
kathrynaz

Amen to the plain ole gerber type cloth diapers…. they never make it onto anybody’s registry- yet they are the best kept secret of motherhood! So, if you invite me to a shower- I’m bringing em. Spit up- covered… stray poop on the changing table… covered… coffee spill by bleary eyed parent- covered.
I’ve been known to accost first time mom’s in babies r us with my fanaticism over this overlooked item…

Mrs. Flinger
Guest

Dude. If I had one ounce of ooomph in my not-at-all-pregers self that you have building an entire human being, what with your awesomeness writing and the incredible advice (thank you, because the anxiety piece still hits home to me even to this day), then I’d be a friggin’ superhero.

jessica
Guest
jessica

Just a heads up: Check with your hospital regarding renting pumps. I had planned on renting one, but found out that my hospital did nto rent them, at all, ever. and neither did any hospital in the county we lived in. So, just make sure you check with your hospital early so you have time to find a good pump if you can’t rent one.

Liz
Guest
Liz

Re: the highchair when they first start eating. We had a bouncy seat, but found that using a Bumbo worked better for us for those early baby food feedings. Luckily, I love the highchair that we registered for and were given before he was born, but we didn’t even take it out of the box till our son was 7 months old, maybe 8.

Karen
Guest
Karen

I really thought the “OMG you’re so big/OMG you’re hardly showing” thing would not happen to me. But it did. It really did. In the past week I have been accused of being bigger than my grandmother EVER was with any of her pregnancies, having surprise twins, and “barely looking pregnant”. The hilarious thing was the (8 months pregnant) woman who told me I “barely look pregnant” and that I “could just have put on a few” then turned around and complained about people saying SHE was huge because “Hi, that’s NOT a compliment!” I nod, I smile, I back… Read more »

charlotte
Guest

Wow. Your shopping list rocks. As a first-timer, I am feeling completely overwhelmed by what to buy and what not to buy, but I’m going to print that list out and go shopping this weekend.
THANK YOU!!!

Della
Guest
Della

AVENT NURSING PADS, YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I tried every kind of disposable nursing pad that was out there. Some of them did not have plastic backs. This is like putting a regular table napkin in your bra. Once it is wet, so is your shirt. DUH? Some of them are poorly designed; they say they’re discreet and non-noticable but that’s just not true. If it comes folded, it will likely try to fold up in your bra. Some of them are a combo of these problems: they’re very thin to be “discreet” but then they don’t have much capacity. When your boobs… Read more »

jenn
Guest
jenn

I want to 2nd the cloth diapers as burp rags. When I had my first, my mom got my a ton of these and I thought she was nuts..until the kid was born, then I couldnt live without them! used them for my second child, and it was the first thing on my list for baby in the oven #3~

Joyce
Guest
Joyce

Gee i feel crabby a lot lately, and i know its all hormones. I am usually not like that at all. I am sure this will get better soon though. The belly isnt so big yet, i was at a friend’s birthday party and i kept being offered alcohol, even after i said that i am pregnant and  not drinking alcohol for that reason. I guess i dont need to worry though since last week’s echo showed us we are going to have a little girl and she is doing great. Firts pregnancy, so everything i experience is new and… Read more »

kate
Guest
kate

“I’m waiting tables and can’t seem to get orders in and customers are storming out and/or ordering stuff that isn’t on the menu and what do you MEAN I have to get soda refills from down the block?”
Totally nailed my anxiety dream. 

I’m about 19 weeks along with #2 and just discovered your site today. Fantastic – very well written, and full of sage advice.

NC
Guest
NC

If you plan on exclusively BF, do yourself a favor and definitely introduce a bottle at some point early on. I made the mistake with my first of exclusively BF and NO bottles so there was no nipple confusion. Well, when it was time for me to go back to work, it wasn’t so pleasant. My daughter would not take most bottles. Finally we got her to take the playtex bottles with the drop in liners and she wouldn’t take the latex nipples — the brown ones only (I don’t remember what material that is!). The only place I could… Read more »

Desirre
Guest
Desirre

Hi! Loving the week to week progression as I am 21 weeks pregnant with my first. I know this was written 6 years ago but for those reading this now, most health insurances will cover a new breast pump saving yourself $300 and the trouble of renting a used one. Just call them and ask. They will tell you what models you’re eligible for, how to get a prescription for it and where you can fill it.

Crystal
Guest

hahaha I love this!! I’m 23 weeks and can definitely relate. This will be my 4th little one and I can definitely say that the must-haves are: bottles, pump, sterilizer, swaddle blankets, nursing pads, lanolin, some kind of vibrating bouncy seat, glider or swing for baby (mine LOVED those and would only fall asleep in them for a while… also helps with gas), some sort of baby carrier (I liked the MOBY because it could grow with baby, but they are a bit complicated… so the baby bjorn was also nice) and I started drinking a meal replacement shake, called… Read more »

Ambur
Guest
Ambur

I used a bottle once. I was having trouble with engorgment and getting baby to latch. My mother in law got me a hand pump at the store. I was able to relieve the engorgment and gave my son what I had pumped off. But if I had the pump on hand a couple hours before I don’t think I would have used the bottle itself for the feed. I would have had an easier time getting little man to latch. After that we just didn’t use bottles. Not till he was about 10 months old. I went on a… Read more »

sera
Guest
sera

“OMG, you’re so big! Are you sure it’s not twins?” SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP. Thank you. No woman is ever going to appreciate your boneheaded commentary on her size and/or weight.  THIS. So this. I have heard this so many times and I’m so tired of being identified as BIG. I’m also tired of being told that I’m “so cute!” Just what the hell does that mean anyway? My mom tells me that I need to just take it as a complement and let it go, but why is it that now that I’m pregnant everyone feels as… Read more »

bari
Guest
bari

Oh we swaddled until at least 8 months. We tried so so so many times to get him to sleep without it starting around 4 months but it just never worked. We used a miracle blanket with a swaddling blanket over it to really bind him in there but starting 5-6 months he’d get out and we’d have to go re-swaddle. It was painful, especially in the middle of the night. We’d try to get him to sleep un-swaddled AGAIN. Eventually he started falling back to sleep after breaking out of the swaddle and we just went for it and… Read more »

autumn
Guest
autumn

My daughter would bust out of the swaddles from the NICU nurses in under 2 minutes at 1` day old.  Less time for the regular nurses swaddles before her low blood sugars moved us over to the other side.  Kinda a bummer cause I agree with swaddling, but if she could bust out of NICU swaddles, my first time mommy swaddles were doomed…

wendy
Guest
wendy

Is it bad that I am not bothered to buy anything at all yet for my second baby? I feel like I should pretty much have this shit covered? Baby nr1 is almost three now… am I missing something important?

drevee18
Guest
drevee18

i needed this today. I’m 23 weeks into my second pregnancy so i’ve actually read this before but round 2 has been completely different. Plus, i AM having twins. The anxiety and stress and fears caused a total meltdown yesterday that i can’t shake but i appreciate that i’m not the only one and it’s possibly maybe, just me being pregnant. Or it’s not and i need to deal with it elsewhere.
thank you so much