Week 23 of your pregnancy is a time to sing and dance, and not because you're about halfway to your little one's birthday. At this point, your baby can hear outside noises and feel you sway, shimmy and shake, so show off your pipes and your dance moves—it could have benefits for the both of you.
Tip of the week:
While excessive water retention may make you want to limit fluids, it's really important to stay hydrated to prevent headaches, cramping, urinary tract infections and, perhaps counterintuitively, swelling. If you get tired of water, try fruit juice without added sugar, low-fat or skim milk, certain herbal teas or vegetable juice. You can also add a squeeze of lemon or lime to jazz up your water. You can also get extra liquids from things like soups and stews, as well as all fruits and vegetables with high liquid content.
Studies suggest that music may be stimulating to fetuses and may even cause babies to breathe along to the rhythm. Moreover, song and dance are well-known stress reducers for adults, so breaking into song could help keep you relaxed throughout the rest of your pregnancy.
What else is going on inside that tummy? Well, your baby is developing nipples, and his face is just about fully formed. It just needs a little bit of fat to plump it up to its adorable baby look.
If you felt your ears twinge at the word "plump," it might be because that's how you're feeling right about now, and we're not just talking about your tummy. Around this time, you may be retaining more water than usual, sometimes leading to swollen feet and ankles. This happens because blood circulation in the legs has a tendency to slow when a woman is pregnant, potentially because there's so much going on higher up. Additionally, blood chemistry changes could make you hold more water than you're used to.
To help alleviate puffed up lower extremities, lie on your side and don't miss a chance to prop your feet up when relaxing. Also, try to stretch regularly and move around as much as you can, because sitting or standing for extended periods will only worsen the problem. Finally, choose comfort over fashion for now: don support stockings and roomy, supportive shoes.
It's important to know that swelling can also be a symptom of preeclampsia, which is high blood pressure. Other signs of this condition include sudden weight gain, headaches, belly pain on the lower right side, irritability, low urination, nausea and changes in vision. If you notice these symptoms, talk to your health care provider.