With their first muscles in place, your baby is moving a little, albeit involuntarily. Legs and arms are growing, elbows are forming and toes and fingers are beginning to look like ‘real’ toes and fingers. All the visual equipment is coming along nicely, too... Lots of little changes this week!
A craving for pickles is more than just a pregnancy cliché. Things you loved pre-pregnancy may turn you off now. Even your favourite perfume may now make you cringe. Your habits might change because your altered hormone levels have an effect on your sense of smell and taste. Your new cravings may even include gherkins. Unfortunately, you may also experience the exact opposite of cravings. Many mums-to-be have a lot of trouble with nausea, especially early in the morning.
Iron is an important nutrient to focus on during pregnancy, as your body requires more than normal. The addition of another little human inside leads to an increased blood volume due to the building of the reserves of the fetus and the placenta. What is a bonus is that you won’t be losing as much iron each month with your periods stopping during pregnancy. You should be able to meet you and your baby’s iron needs through dietary intake. Red meat, fish and chicken are great sources of iron. For those vegetarians, wholegrain cereals, beans and some nuts contain iron, but the iron from plant sources is less bioavailable. Talk to your health care professional if you are concerned you may not be meeting your needs.
Noticed any strong food aversions lately? Totally normal! It is common during pregnancy to have a deep distaste for certain types of food and especially those with strong odours, especially during the first trimester. To work around these food dislikes, simply opt for a ‘similar’ food, i.e. one in the same food group. So if you can no longer stand the sight of fish, eat chicken, or other white meat. If you can’t manage to eat some beta-carotene rich vegetables, remember to compensate by eating more fruits rich in the same nutrient, such as peaches and apricots.