Lots of new developments this week. Your baby is starting to swallow amniotic fluid, which is absorbed by their digestive tract and excreted as urine through the kidneys. Your baby’s skin cells that are responsible for the pigmentation of their skin after they’re born are being formed, and soft hair on their eyebrows and head are starting to appear. Bones continue to form and their little skeleton is gradually coming together.
At 13 weeks, your baby is around the size of a nectarine and can now open and close their fists, as well as open and close their mouths to make swallowing motions.
Usually, by the end of the third month all those little ‘discomforts’ of early pregnancy begin to fade and you may find yourself feeling pretty good. Take every opportunity to get outside, to enjoy some fresh air, even if all is not blue skies and bright sunshine.
As you know, when you’re pregnant your nutritional needs change because you’re nourishing your growing baby’s body as well as your own. Although you need approximately 50% more of some important nutrients to create an environment that will best support your baby’s growth and development, this doesn’t require you eating 50% more kilojoules! During your second trimester, if you’re starting from a healthy weight, you will need about 1,400 kilojoules more than what you ate before you were pregnant. It is important that your calories are chosen wisely: small changes can make a big difference.
For example, a breakfast of eggs provides zinc as well as protein. Zinc is a mineral that helps build a healthy functioning immune system and protein is the building block for numerous essentials, from enzymes to antibodies. A glass of milk or a serving of yogurt will give you calcium, which, together with vitamin D, is the foundation for healthy bones. A slice or two of wholegrain toast, along with a small piece of fruit, provides fibre, and carbohydrates which is the primary fuel for you and your baby.
Time to start thinking about breastfeeding. It might seem early, but the “superpowers” of breast milk for your baby (and you) cannot be underestimated – and pregnancy is the perfect time to prepare. Get started here.