Pregnancy Week 23
The bones of the middle ear (the three smallest bones in the human body: the hammer, the anvil, and the stirrup) are beginning to harden to make sound conduction possible. The sound information transmitted to baby’s brain won’t trigger an interpretation (e.g., someone is speaking, a dog is barking) because your baby has had no experience with the outside world. Only sound intensity seems to register since loud sounds trigger an automatic startle reflex. Your baby will blink or 'jump' when they hear a loud noise.
The baby will gain considerable weight within the next four weeks. By Week 26, your baby will weigh almost twice as much as it does today.
Your baby’s body is becoming better proportioned. Although the head still looks large in relation to the body, the legs, arms, and trunk are not as short.
Fine, downy lanugo covers the baby’s entire body, including the head. During the next six weeks (week 24-30), the baby will grow in ways that will safeguard its survival if born prematurely. Every day the baby spends growing in the womb is a day filled with developmental progress!
The first movements you feel your baby make will be caused by arm and leg activity. These first motions are called 'quickening.' Quickening is a notable event for most pregnant women. Excluding ultrasound visualization, it generally marks the first time they feel they have had direct contact with their baby.