Your Pregnancy: Week 23
Back pain may be a constant and nagging ache for you right now. After all, your frame isn’t used to the added weight of carrying another human in your body. Your balance and posture will most likely change, throwing your back out of its normal position. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor before taking any pain relieving medication.
You might also be dealing with unwanted comments on your size. Whether people say you must be carrying twins because you’re so large or question your tiny belly, don’t let it get to you. Every pregnant woman develops at different rates, and the only opinion you should listen to is the doctor’s. Your belly gets measured at every appointment for a reason.
Before the panic of last-minute nesting sets in, and while you still have an abundance of energy, start cleaning places like closets and cabinets that might be hard hard-to-reach with a third-trimester belly. Avoid chemical cleaners and heavy lifting, however.
Start planning the baby’s nursery. Need ideas? Take a look at our Family Style blog for our favorite products.
Lovemaking is normally okay (and still fun!) except if your pregnancy has been deemed high-risk. Talk to your practitioner if you’re concerned about sex safety.
It’s time to cover your morbid bases: Look into life and disability insurance and create a will (including chosen guardianship.)
Your baby’s brain is now starting to grow rapidly, with billions and billions of brain cells developing in the next couple of weeks. These brain cells will control every aspect of your baby – from breathing to circulation, recognizing sensory stimulation to movement, and everything in between.
Advice from Dr. Shari E. Brasner
In addition to lower back pain, some pregnant women also experience upper back pain, which is caused by the weight of newly huge breasts and can be helped considerably by going out and treating yourself to a really good, supportive bra. Now is not the time for something flimsy and sheer; stick with heavy-duty, spandex material throughout. If you don’t support the breasts well, they will stretch out the ligaments that keep them perky.”
Babble recommends Dr. Brasner’s pregnancy book, Advice from a Pregnant Obstetrician.
Mom-To-Mom Advice: Pregnancy on The Job
Most women work through pregnancy. In general, there’s no reason not to, unless your job is particularly dangerous or your pregnancy is complicated in such a way that you’re not able to go to work. For the vast majority of us, working is not a choice, and that goes for after the baby comes as well. The number of women who continue working after their child’s birth has been increasing steadily over the last decade, and is currently estimated at around 70%.
If you know you want (or need) to stay at your job after your baby is born, your goal during pregnancy should be to continue doing your job as well as you possibly can throughout. This may be just fine. You may feel some extra focus and enjoy working, but it’s not always easy. Early on, you are likely to feel sick or so exhausted that you end up falling asleep at your desk. Later, physical discomforts can be a drag.
Of course, every job is different, and a lot depends on what’s expected of you. A boss who’s understanding about pregnancy might appreciate your state as temporary or perhaps see starting a family as a sign of increased commitment to the job. Another might feel worried that any distraction is just the first step on a road to disengagement. This pregnancy means the world to you personally, but to your employer, it can mean a number of things depending on his or her background, ideas about pregnancy, motherhood, maternity-leave policy in your workplace, and the nature of your job.
It is a good idea to make your intentions clear early on. If you don’t clarify things with your superiors, they may be left guessing about what you plan to do when your baby arrives, which may not be in your best interest. If you’re sure about your plans, reassure them. But what if you don’t know? And what if you change your mind? Although honesty is always the morally advisable route, many professionally oriented people would recommend moving ahead as if all systems are go until you definitely know otherwise. You will have to gauge for yourself what makes the most sense, taking into account your career and your relationship with the company as well as the people you work with.
Babble recommends From the Hips, by Rebecca Odes and Ceridwen Morris.