Your Nutrition – Pregnancy Week 23

Your Nutrition – Pregnancy Week 23


Second Trimester

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In pregnancy week 23, your focus on nutrition and wellness continues. Remember to continue eating regularly scheduled, balanced meals. This will help you keep your energy up.

Your Nutrition Tips of This Week

Bigger may not be better during pregnancy. The key here is to maintain a balanced diet. Here are some tips.

Watch your weight
Despite the common myth that pregnant women should eat more, it can result in you having a bigger baby. This then makes it harder for you to deliver and more difficult for you to lose the extra weight eventually.¹

According to HealthHub, the extra calories you eat should be from nutrient-rich foods to support you and your baby’s nutrition. Remember, it is OK to enjoy the occasional snack, as long as it does not displace the other nutritious foods in your diet. You can also try to find healthier alternatives to help you reduce your intake of high-calorie snacks.2

It is all about balance
A balanced diet that includes a wide variety of food from different groups, while focusing on high nutrient foods and watching the total caloric intake, is recommended for pregnant women.

Some doctors may also advise pregnant women to add multi-vitamins, calcium and DHA supplements to their diet.¹

Your Wellness Tips This Week

As your baby bump continues to grow, it can be tough to do some activities as easy as putting on your seatbelt. Here are some wellness tips for you this week.

Simplify your exercises
Exercising does not always mean running a marathon or doing an intense routine. At 23 weeks pregnant, simple activities would suffice. Right now, while your body might be feeling its pregnancy best, try building a little more activity into your daily routine. Try these tips:

  • Park your car further away from the entrance when you go to register at the baby store!
  • Choose the steps instead of the elevator to take that file two floors up.
  • Look for opportunities to move more and sit less as you go about your daily routine.

Buckling up
Wondering how best to buckle your growing belly? Whether it is around the corner or a long trip, the safest way for you and your baby to travel in the car always is with the seat belt fastened.

  • To maximise safety and minimise discomfort, position the lower belt below your stomach, lying across your pelvis and upper thighs.
  • Position the shoulder strap over your shoulder, diagonally between your breasts.

Your Baby's Development at Week 23

Much of your baby’s development during the 23rd week of pregnancy focuses on preparing for her first real breath once she is born. Here is what is happening this week:

  • Your baby weighs slightly more than 0.5 kg now, and she is about the length of an ear of corn.
  • Your baby’s lungs develop rapidly this week as they prepare for birth:
    • Her lungs are producing a substance called surfactant that allows the lungs to inflate and deflate without collapsing or sticking together.
    • Blood vessels in your baby’s lungs also are growing and developing in preparation for breathing.
  • Your baby is making breathing-like movements for practice, moving amniotic fluid in and out of her lungs.
  • Although your baby is getting all of the oxygen she needs from your placenta, this practice is important for developing her diaphragm muscles.
  • By your 23rd week of pregnancy, your baby actually looks like a baby. She still has little body fat and is still trying to fill out her wrinkly skin.

Your Changing Body at Week 23

While many developments are occurring within your body at 23 weeks pregnant, like many pregnant women, you might find yourself wondering about weight gain. This might be true as you see a consistent gain on the scale from week to week.

  • By the 23rd week of pregnancy, most women are gaining an average of 0.5 kg a week. By the end of your pregnancy, you might have gained 11.5 to 16 kg, or more. See below to find out where that weight goes.
  • Your doctor will discuss what is best for you individually.
  • Back pain probably continues during your 23rd week of pregnancy as your stomach stretches and your joints continue to soften in preparation for childbirth. Your lower spine will probably continue to curve backward, allowing you to keep your balance while still supporting the weight of your growing baby.
  • Increased vaginal discharge continues to be thin and white, which is normal. If you experience bleeding, or a change in discharge, contact your doctor.
  • A bit off balance, even clumsy? Clumsiness is a normal part of pregnancy as your baby rapidly grows. Not only is your center of balance off at 23 weeks pregnant and beyond, but the hormones that are loosening joints and ligaments can make it difficult to be graceful. Try these tips:
    • Take special care and do even normal activities more slowly.
    • If you do fall and are concerned, alert your doctor. But remember that your baby is well protected within your uterus and inside a protective cushion of amniotic fluid.

Where is the weight going?
These are estimated weights. Every woman and baby is different.

Baby 3 to 4 kg
Placenta 0.7 kg
Amniotic fluid 1 kg
Uterus 1 kg
Heavier breasts 1 to 1.5 kg
Additional blood volume 1.5 to 1.8 kg
Increased fluids 1.5 to 1.8 kg
Fat storage 2.7 to 3.6 kg

References:
1 Weight gain during pregnancy: What’s healthy and what’s not, Abbott Family. Available at https://abbottfamily.com.sg/articles/care/weight-gain#
2 Dr TAN Thiam Chye, Dr TAN Kim Teng, Dr TAN Heng Hao, Dr TEE Chee Seng John, The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth, World Scientific 2008. Available at https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/928/pregnancy-nutrition-during-pregnancy-eating-right-for-two
* Comparison among all maternal milk in Singapore as of January 2022, as declared on the label.

SG.2022.23688.SMM.1 (v1.2)

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