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23-Week pregnant: Development and diet

Your child’s feet are now 4.5 to 5cm in length now, and she weighs considerably over 700g. You have got around 16 more weeks to go! Read more about this week.

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By Danial Ahmad ,
Jan 7, 2021

WEEK 23 DEVELOPMENT

Pregnancy can be a strain on how your body works, and for some women a condition called gestational diabetes results. If you’re pregnant, have never had diabetes before, and have high blood glucose (sugar) levels (usually in the second or third trimester), you are said to have gestational diabetes. The insulin, a hormone your body makes, isn’t working enough to move the glucose from your blood into the cells where it can provide energy. Most women with gestational diabetes don’t continue to have diabetes immediately after their child is born. For this reason it is thought that hormones from pregnancy are behind it all. Your healthcare provider will likely carry out a routine blood screening test in the next few weeks (usually 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy) to check for gestational diabetes. If you find out you do have gestational diabetes, don’t panic! It can be managed with diet, exercise, and – if needed – medication. Your healthcare providers will come up with a plan that’s tailor-made for you. When your blood glucose is under control, the majority of moms and babies continue to be healthy throughout pregnancy.

The sex of your little one is now recognisable. If your child is a girl, she has had ovaries for a few weeks, and her vagina is now hollow. If it's a boy, he already has a penis and a prostate. Though his testicles were formed in the 2nd month, they are still in his abdominal cavity. They’ll finish descending when they need to, whether just before birth or during the first few months.

NUTRITION

Don’t rub salt in the wound, as the expression says. It is true that with meats, preserves, cakes, appetisers, chips, and the heavy hand that many of us have when seasoning our food, we commonly consume two to three times the amount of salt needed by our bodies. Though you’ve probably been told to watch your salt intake, it would be a bad idea to completely remove salt from your diet. Sodium is essential to water balance in the body. This balance can be disturbed by pregnancy’s hormones and requires a suitable supply of sodium to be effective. If you have any doubts or questions, talk to your doctor.

TIPS

To involve your partner in your pregnancy, especially now that the pregnancy is approaching its last trimester, go to an ante-natal check-up or a discussion with your midwife together. And if possible, go to your childbirth preparation classes together. The idea is to make sure you and your partner spend some good quality time before the little one comes. You don’t have to look after a child at the moment and your bump is still “manageable!”

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