Turn up the volume
Your baby is putting on weight and has full hearing by week 23 of your pregnancy. Their skin is growing rapidly and still has a transparent appearance, although that is set to change soon. As well as supporting bones, calcium helps muscles to function properly and should still form an important part of your balanced pregnancy diet.
Your baby's development at 23 weeks
Gaining weight fast in week 23
You’re over halfway through your pregnancy and your baby is gaining weight rapidly. By the time you're 23 weeks pregnant they will have reached around 20cm in length and weigh about 450g (just under 1lb).
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 transparent at this stage and because it grows faster than their body can put on weight, it looks slightly saggy. As they lay down more fat stores, it will lose its delicate appearance and begin to look more plump.
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 up.
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.
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 function.
During pregnancy your body becomes more efficient at absorbing calcium, but it’s still important to make sure your diet contains calcium-rich foods. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for calcium is 1200mg per day during pregnancy, which increases from 800mg per day for women of child bearing age. 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
Questions about feeding and nutrition?
Our midwives, nutritionists and feeding advisors are always on hand to talk about feeding your baby. So if you have a question, just get in touch.