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Welcome to Week 23

You are only 3 weeks away from completing your second trimester. Your belly is now round and you likely look pregnant to anyone observing even from a fair distance away.

Update on Your Body

You may have gained around six kilos in total by now – a little more or less than this is fine too. Your uterus is now around 1.5 inches above your navel. By this point, you may start to notice increased vaginal secretions, and may experience a persistent backache as the pressure on your spine increases. Some women begin to experience urinary incontinence around this time.

This happens due to increased pressure on the bladder. Rest assured that this is only temporary and rarely lasts beyond childbirth. Even so, make sure you practise pelvic floor exercises regularly to strengthen your pelvic muscles.

Update on Your Baby

The fine hair covering your baby’s body, known as lanugo, may begin to darken this week and may even be visible during your next ultrasound.

Your Baby’s Size

11.4 inches, or the size of a grapefruit.

Tips for an Expectant Mom

Dos

You may experience lower back pain with all the extra weight you’re carrying. Seek out a gentle oil massage, keep a hot water bag against your back, correct your posture by keeping your neck and back erect while you walk, avoid standing for too long, try sleeping on your side and practise back-strengthening activities like swimming and walking, daily.

Practise Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor and arrest urinary incontinence. Explore your maternity leave policy and decide when you’d like to start it. Speak to your boss about when and how long you would like to go on leave. You may also want to discuss work-from-home options.

Don’ts

If you are worried about your weight gain, discuss it with your doctor. Do not make any changes to your diet or lifestyle without consulting your doctor first.

Tips for an Expectant Dad

Dos

While your partner arranges for her maternity leave, inquire about your paternity leave policy. If no such policy exists, you may want to plan and avail your paid leave, casual leave and privilege leave accordingly.

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