At this stage your baby probably weighs more than 2kg and is over 40cm from head to toe. The brain and nervous system are now fully developed and baby’s bones are starting to harden. This is a time to take it easy as the extra weight of your baby may be making you tired and you may be experiencing back-ache.

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Keeping active

Heart-burn and indigestion
At this point in your pregnancy you may be experiencing indigestion, often in the form of heartburn when stomach acid escapes into the gullet causing a burning feeling in your chest. This is probably due to a combination of hormonal changes and increased pressure on the stomach from the womb. Unfortunately there is no way to guarantee you will avoid indigestion, but watching what you eat may help.

Tips to avoid indigestion
•    Try having frequent smaller meals, rather than big meals.
•    Avoid foods with a high fat content [add link]
•    Keep a note of foods that seem to trigger indigestion for you and avoid eating them at this stage
•    Don’t eat too much just before going to bed.

Staying hydrated
Did you know that during pregnancy your fluid needs are higher? Estimates of how much extra fluid is needed in pregnancy vary from about 300ml in Europe to 500ml in the US. In reality, the amount we need to drink varies from person to person so is will vary amongst pregnant women too. You will certainly need to drink more than before your pregnancy to compensate for your increased blood volume and the fluid surrounding your baby. Thirst is your body’s way of telling you that you need to drink, and by the time thirst kicks in you are already a little dehydrated, so you should always respond to your thirst. Another way of monitoring your hydration is to check your urine colour. It should be a pale straw colour and if it is darker than this then you probably need to drink a bit more fluid. Click here for more information about hydration. It is likely that you will need at least 2 glasses of fluid more than before you were pregnant, so it’s a good idea to get into the habit of drinking fluid regularly, both with and between your meals.

What to drink?

Plain water is a good choice, but all non-alcoholic drinks can count towards your fluid intake, including milk, juice, smoothies, soft drinks, squashes and hot drinks.  Note that you should keep your caffeine intake below 200mg per day during pregnancy. – A mug of instant coffee contains about 100mg (about 140mg for filter coffee) caffeine and a mug of tea about 75mg - click here for more information.

When it comes to choosing drinks, be aware of both their calorie content and their potential effect on your teeth. Drinks containing sugar (including juices and smoothies) can add significant amounts of calories to your diet, so be aware that they contribute to your energy intake in the same way as foods do. With regards to your dental health, the sugar content and the acidity of drinks can have an impact. Frequent consumption of sugar can increase your risk of dental caries, while acidic drinks such as fizzy soft drinks, juices and smoothies can increase risk of dental erosion. During pregnancy your teeth and gums can feel particularly sensitive, and you will not be able to have any dental work done, so it is a really good time to make sure you are looking after your teeth.




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