Month 4 sees developments in your developing baby’s cognitive and visual faculties
At around 16 weeks of your pregnancy, your developing baby’s brain is developing around 100 million neurons to support his visual senses. Even at this early stage, his retina may become sensitive to bright light1.
How do you help nurture your developing baby’s sense of sight?
Experts recommend that women should eat around 200 mg of DHA each day, during pregnancy2. A great source of DHA is fish, including salmon and sardines. Alternatively, flaxseed, walnuts, canola oil and leafy green vegetables also contain DHA, although at much lower levels than fish. All of these foods contribute to the normal development of your developing baby’s brain and eyes3.
There are also convenient snacks that are good brain foods. Try munching on a handful of nuts between meals or when you are busy. Nuts are an excellent source of protein, magnesium, vitamin E, and B vitamins, and they’re good for you too. Research has shown that eating a handful of nuts as a snack can lower heart-disease risk by 35%4.
Your developing baby is starting to grow hair – and not just on his head. This soft downy hair is called lanugo, and it’s even growing on his face and body. Don’t worry, it disappears either shortly before, or after delivery.
What else does your developing baby discover this month?
You might be able to tell from your ultrasound how fast your developing baby is growing! At this stage, he is already around five inches (12.7 centimeters) long and weighs close to four ounces (113 grams) – about the size of an avocado. He’s also developing a sense of touch and is even brushing up against the wall of your uterus as he moves around exploring his environment.
You might even feel some early movement at this phase, as your developing baby holds onto his umbilical cord, sucks his thumb and even kicks – all part of exploring his sense of touch.
2The March of Dimes. Omega-3 fatty acids. Downloaded from http://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/omega-3-fatty-acids.aspx. Accessed on October 2015.
4Kris-Etherton, Penny M., et al. The role of tree nuts and peanuts in the prevention of coronary heart disease: multiple potential mechanisms. J Nutr 2008; 138(9):1746S-1751S.