Help your baby develop in the twelfth week of your pregnancy
Find out how you can fuel your baby’s progress in developing nerve fibres, which coordinate the different parts of the brain, during the twelfth week.
What’s happening this week?
Your baby’s organs, muscles, and limbs are now in place and continue to developi. This week, baby’s brain may begin to develop callosal axonsii or nerve fibers that are crucial for coordinating motor, sensory, and cognitive functionsiii.
Most of your baby’s internal systems are fully formed and working. For example, the kidneys can process amniotic fluid and pass it as urine, and muscles in his or her digestive systemiv are able to contract. The pancreas and liver also start to function, producing insulin and bile respectively.
He or she is now about 2.5 inches long (6.3 centimeters) and weighs about half an ounce (14 grams)v.
What can you expect?
Though not ideal in many social situations, it’s common for Mums-to-be to experience more burping, bloating, and gas during this periodvi. These tips will help to reduce the digestive discomfort and allow you to enjoy your pregnancy further:
- Eat small meals throughout the day, rather than three big meals, to prevent bloating. Refrain from eating too much, too quickly, as you’ll end up swallowing air.
- Avoid gas-inducing food like onions, beans, fried food, and carbonated drinks.
- Keep exercising. Gentle physical activity can aid digestion.
- Keeping your motions slow while exercising will protect your joints as they may be loosening up at this pregnancy stage. This is due to your body’s production of a hormone called relaxin, which will eventually help the cervix to widen during laborvii.
- Remember to consult your doctor before doing any exercises during your pregnancy.
What can you do to support your pregnancy?
Your first trimester is about to come to a close and as you look forward to the next phase of your pregnancy, take a moment to marvel at how much your little one has grown, thanks to the nourishment and care you have provided him or her
Continue to eat plenty of ‘brain foods’ such as DHA-rich salmon and sardines, to fuel your baby’s brain development, which is central to all this remarkable growth.
A healthy diet, including a variety of vegetables and fruits, protein-rich foods which include milk, beans, whole grains and nuts, combined with appropriate prenatal supplements will ensure your baby gets a balanced nutrient intake crucial for his or her overall development – physical, cognitive, and emotional.
This week is also when you can take the combined screening test to check for trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) and trisomy 18 (Edward syndrome)viii. Consult with your doctor on the nature and benefits of this test, if you’re considering taking it.