Though your little one doesn’t need to make use of them in their current home –your baby’s senses of taste and smell continue developing this week. They are stimulated ever so slightly by your amniotic fluid. It carries the aromatic molecules from the food you eat and the smell of your environment to them! Thus, at birth, your baby will already be attracted to the smell of your skin, your milk, sweet taste (because the amniotic fluid is slightly sweet), and may even be familiar later on with foods you consumed regularly in late pregnancy. Soon, their brain will be mature enough for them to memorize these sensory experiences. Your eating habits, if you like Mediterranean food with lots of garlic for example, can already be introducing your baby to your culture in utero.
At this stage of pregnancy, your baby floats in plenty of amniotic fluid, which is replenished often. You may now understand why drinking plenty of water is important. Your respiration pattern changes too. Your breathing becomes more frequent and at times, you are out of breath. This may be due to the gain in weight but also it is a space issue, as your baby grows, your organs have less and less room.
It is true that with meats, preserves, cakes, appetisers, chips, and the heavy hand that many of us have when seasoning our food, we commonly consume two to three times the amount of salt needed by our bodies. Though you’ve probably been told to watch your salt intake, it would be a bad idea to remove it all together. Sodium is essential to water balance in the body. This balance can be disturbed by pregnancy hormones and requires a suitable supply of sodium to be effective. Just know that a suitable supply is only a small amount and you shouldn’t have any trouble getting enough sodium from foods without adding more. If you have any doubts or questions, talk to your doctor.
Hooray! You are just over the midway point of your pregnancy. This is a great time to pat yourself on the back! You have achieved something tremendous after all. Of course, like all mums-to-be, you have a lot of unanswered questions – like, for example, what happens from this point on. Apart from going to an antenatal class, talk to other mothers- and parents-to-be. It may be worth pencilling down your birthing plan and discussing this with your healthcare professional.