Pregnancy Week 23
Most people are beginning to notice your changing shape. Continue reading for additional information regarding the many things that are changing in both you and your baby.
Your uterus now extends about 1 ½ inches (3.8 cm) above your belly button, and your weight gain should be around 12 to 15 pounds (5.4 to 6.8 kg). Friends and family may comment on your size, telling you that you are too big or too small for your gestational age.
However, don’t take this personally, and talk with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet.
Your uterus is sitting directly on top of your bladder, which can cause you to leak fluid into your underwear. Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish urine from amniotic fluid. If your membranes have ruptured, you will leak amniotic fluid, which can occur with a sudden gush or a constant trickle.
Amniotic fluid is odorless; if you notice fluid leaking, try to determine if it smells like urine or if it is odorless. If it does not seem to be urine, call your healthcare provider immediately.
Your baby has finally reached a weight of 1 pound (.45 kg) and is approximately 11 to 14 inches (28 to 36 cm) long.
Your baby is continuing to gain weight. Over the next several weeks, your baby will really begin to fill out. Lanugo, or the fine hair that covers your baby’s body, may darken at this point, allowing it to be seen on an ultrasound. Your baby is also looking more like a newborn.
If you are currently working, you should be finalizing the plans and paperwork for your maternity leave. Make sure that you have talked with both your supervisor and human resources department to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
You want to be informed on what your rights in the work place are during pregnancy.
Many women wonder how long they should continue to work while pregnant. Some women will stop working around the 7th or 8th month, while other women work up until their delivery day. There is not a right or wrong answer to how long you should work.
You can work as long as you feel you can, unless you develop complications that require bed rest.
You will also want to think about the following:
- After the baby is born, are you going to go back to work or become a stay at home mom?
- If you decide to work, who will care for your baby? Your partner? Another family member?
- Would you feel confident taking your baby to a day care or a mother’s day out program?
It is best to go ahead and begin discussing these issues with your partner so necessary arrangements can be made.
Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, is extremely important during pregnancy. While it is best to drink water, you can also drink vegetable juice, fruit juice, milk, and some herbal teas. You want to avoid coffee, and sodas due to their caffeine content.
They are also diuretics, which can decrease the amount of fluids in your body and cause you to become dehydrated. If you are drinking enough water, your urine should be pale yellow or even clear; dark yellow urine is an indication that you are not drinking enough water.
Drinking enough water can help prevent:
Paternity leave is when the father takes off time from work after the birth of a child. You will need to see what your employer offers in terms of paternity leave. Currently most of this is un-paid time off, but several states are working on laws that will change this to paid time off.
Begin discussing your options with your partner regarding paternity leave, and begin creating a game plan for the first several weeks of your new baby’s life.
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