Weeks 7 to 10 sees your developing baby moving actively
Your developing baby might be only two inches (five centimeters) long, but he’s undergoing some amazing changes during the second month of pregnancy. Even though he’s only about the size of your little finger, he now has tiny hands, feet, arms and legs. At around nine weeks, he’s started to move in your womb, and can bring his hand up to his mouth. These first movements involve his whole body, but by month three he will be able to move individual limbs.
How do you help support your developing baby's strength to move?
While you may not look or even feel pregnant yet, now is the time to help your developing baby achieve all those crucial milestones in his body’s development. That means making well-balanced food choices, especially since he’s eating what you consume!
Having a balanced diet that contains the essential nutrients your unborn child needs, is the key to a healthy pregnancy. Try to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, lean meat or protein such as fish and eggs, and avoid fatty foods, alcohol and raw foods like sushi1.
Doctors recommend taking a multivitamin with at least 400 µg (0.4 mg) of folic acid per day before you even conceive and continue to do so throughout your pregnancy. In addition to helping protect against birth defects, folic acid promotes healthy cell division and nourishes your unborn child's developing nervous system2.
Bananas are a great natural food that are packed with B group vitamins and folate that your developing baby needs for spinal development. One banana delivers around 12% of your daily needs3– more folate than any other commonly eaten fruit.
A daily multivitamin containing 16 to 20 mg of iron, essential for red blood cell production, will help you have a healthy pregnancy3. Do check with your doctor or dietitian that your multivitamin contains the right amount of iron for you. Be sure to include iron-rich foods in your daily diet like beef, eggs, dried beans and chickpeas, as well as almonds and cashews.
With your unborn child needing so many essential nutrients for his well-rounded development, it might just be time to start a daily menu planner to keep track of your developing baby’s growing nutritional needs.
Did you know?
Although your unborn child’s sex was determined at the time of his conception, his sex-differentiating hormones are released during the second month of life and he begins to develop sex organs.
He’s beginning to move, but what’s happening to your unborn child’s overall mental and physical development?
It’s also a remarkable time for your unborn child’s intellectual and sensory growth. During this period, his brain, spinal cord, nervous system and backbone are all being created and the heart and circulatory system are developing too.
In the first 16 to 18 weeks of your developing baby’s life, his brain will create around 100 billion neurons. These neurons are the brain’s basic building blocks. Your developing baby’s feeling, breathing and, eventually, actions like walking, are made possible because these cells communicate with each other.4
Eating a well balanced diet at this stage of your pregnancy is one way you can help your developing baby grow and successfully reach all those milestones he’ll need to meet in the coming months. That means your prenatal nutrition should include adequate amounts of Vitamin D, folic acid and DHA (an omega-3 fat that helps your unborn child’s brain and eye development).3,5,6
Your unborn child is also developing taste buds and will continue to do so in the third month of your pregnancy. To find out how you can help him develop his taste for well-balanced foods, read more about Pregnancy stages: Month 3
Missed out on last month’s pregnancy milestones? You can track how far you and your developing baby have come in Pregnancy stages: Month 1
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1Food Standards Agency UK. Eating while pregnant. Downloaded from http://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/multimedia/pdfs/publication/e.... Accesed on October 2015.
3American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. FAQ001 Nutrition during pregnancy. Downloaded from http://www.acog.org/-/media/For-Patients/faq001.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20151020T09.... Accessed on October 2015.
5Innis SM. Dietary (n-3) fatty acids and brain development. J Nutr 2007;137:855-859.
6Eyles DW, Feron F, Cui X, Kesby JP, Harms LH, Ko P, McGrath JJ, Burne TH. Developmental vitamin D deficiency causes abnormal brain development. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2009 Dec;34 Suppl 1:S247-57.