Gaining weight fast in week 23
You’re over halfway through your pregnancy and your baby is gaining weight rapidly1. By the time you're 23 weeks pregnant they will have reached around 20cm in length and weigh about 450g (just under 1lb)2.
Most mums can already feel their baby moving by this time – they will kick and twist and turn and stretch, and now even have the ability to grasp the umbilical cord if it passes near their hand. Your baby’s developing skin is still transparent2 at this stage and because it grows faster than their body can put on weight, it looks slightly saggy1. As they lay down more fat stores, it will lose its delicate appearance and begin to look more plump1.
“Research shows that deep voices are easier for your baby to hear from within the womb.”
Your baby’s hearing is well developed now, and they can hear your own voice as well as other people’s. If your partner needs extra encouragement to talk to your baby, you can let them know that studies have shown deeper male voices to be easier for babies to pick up2.
Calcium – the future for healthy bones
Calcium is important for both you and your baby, and should form a key part of your balanced diet.
“The RNI for calcium is 700mg per day3, all of which should be available from a healthy, balanced diet.”
Essential for building bones and teeth, calcium also supports normal muscle function, helps blood clot; and promotes the development of healthy muscle tissue and nerve function4.
During pregnancy your body becomes more efficient at absorbing calcium5, but it’s still important to make sure your diet contains calcium-rich foods. The Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) for calcium is 700mg per day, whether you’re pregnant or not3. All of this should be available from a healthy, balanced diet.
Add some of these foods to your shopping list to help boost your calcium intake:
- Dairy products, including pasteurised milk, yogurt and cheese (not soft blue cheese, or soft cheese with a white rind)
- Fish with edible bones (like sardines)
- Nuts and seeds, especially almonds and sesame seeds
- Figs or dried apricots
- Green vegetables like curly kale or spinach
- Calcium-fortified breakfast cereals
- Calcium-fortified drinks such as some soya milks