You’re now 23 to 26 weeks pregnant and your developing baby is showing just how strong his muscles have become by kicking and moving actively in the womb. Find out what foods fuel your developing baby’s motor skills and help support his overall growth and development.
Your developing baby’s physical and mental gym work
All this gym work will pay off in the future as your developing baby is practicing the movements that will help him eat, drink and breathe. His brain, which continues to develop, is also helping him to learn these skills.
During weeks 24 to 25, his neurons – those cells that conduct nerve impulses, which formed in the first trimester – migrate to different areas in his brain in order to be ready for action.
While your developing baby is hard at work practicing his motor skills, you can help to support his progress by eating well and nourishing yourself and your developing baby.
What foods do you eat to help his body and brain and nourish yourself?
It’s also time to eat more protein and that means including more chicken, fish, rice and eggs in your meals. The amino acids in protein are the building blocks for your developing baby’s cells and for your growing body.2
You’ll also need to increase the amount of protein you consume in the second and third trimester of your pregnancy from about 45 grams per day to 70 grams per day3. An egg has about 6 grams; one cup of skimmed milk has 8 grams; half a cup of raw tofu has 20 grams; and half a roasted chicken breast has around 27 grams. So you should have no trouble getting the required amount.
Drink enough water. Water helps carry nutrients to your cells, takes away waste and prevents you from getting dehydrated and fatigued. Pregnant women are advised to consume at least 10 glasses of water per day.4
Help your developing baby grow strong bones and teeth by getting enough calcium on a daily basis. Foods, such as beancurd, soft tofu set with calcium salt, soy milk fortified with calcium, dried shrimp, sesame paste, cooked eggs, and vegetables like choy sum, kale, bok choi, mustard greens, and broccoli,5 are all good sources of calcium.
Your developing baby is learning to “tune out’’ and is developing an early form of memory and learning called ‘habituation’, which he’ll continue to develop. It means that he will be able to sleep through many of those familiar noises he’s already hearing, like street noise.
Your developing baby’s early preparation
2Medline Plus, National Institutes of Health. Protein in diet. Downloaded from https:www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002467.htm. Accessed on October 2015.
4Mayo Clinic. Water: How much should you drink every day? Downloaded from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256. Accessed on October 2015.