As you approach your third trimester your baby is growing rapidly and measures roughly 34cm long and 1lb 6oz in weight. The sensory developments they’ve been going through mean they may now be able to recognise your partner’s voice, and may even find certain music soothing. The part of their brain which registers conscious thought is gearing up – soon they’ll be able to store memories from their time spent inside the womb, ready to be recalled after they’re born.
Weight gain during pregnancy is necessary and natural – it’s essential to your baby’s growth and development and provides a food store if you go on to breastfeed. The healthy amount of weight it’s recommended you gain depends on your pre-pregnancy weight. If you’re a healthy weight, you should aim for a weight gain of between 22 to 28lbs over the course of your pregnancy. If you were previously overweight, a gain of 15 to 25lbs is considered healthy.
Although pregnancy is not the time to diet, a healthy, balanced diet doesn’t mean you should be eating for two. Over-indulging now will make it harder to shift the weight after the birth. A sensible, varied diet covering all of the main food groups is all you and your baby need.
For many mums, weight gain can cause stretch marks. The best thing you can do to avoid and minimise them is to moisturise regularly using a vitamin E cream, helping your skin to retain its elasticity and stretch with your bump as it grows. If there’s another remedy you’d like to try, be sure to check with your midwife first.