This is the month that your developing baby develops his sense of taste. Here’s how you can help provide good nutritional habits for both you and your developing baby.
Your developing baby is learning about his tastes in weeks 11 to 14
Your developing baby develops taste buds and early taste perception during this period, through to about week 14 of your pregnancy. This means that many of his future food preferences will be influenced by what you eat.
Since your developing baby’s food preferences start in the womb, it’s important to give your developing baby the taste of nutritious foods in life.
Foods, rich in calcium – essential for the development of your developing baby’s teeth and bones – include sesame seeds, almonds, mustard greens, dried shrimp, and fish like sardines that are eaten bones and all.1
It is recommended to take prenatal multivitamin to get the recommended amount of essential nutrients.2
Try to avoid fatty foods during pregnancy and start to think about alternatives to drinking coffee or green tea. This doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite beverages, just try to limit your caffeine intake to no more than 200mg per day to reduce the risk to your developing baby’s health3.
How does your developing baby eat?
You pass your developing baby the nutrients he needs along the umbilical cord. This lifeline runs from an opening in your developing baby’s stomach to the placenta in your womb. The cord becomes fully functional between weeks 11 to 14 of your pregnancy, and contains two arteries and one vein. This important vein supplies nutrition and oxygenated blood to your developing baby; and his heart pumps deoxygenated blood and waste away via the umbilical arteries.
This means that aside from your diet’s influence on your developing baby’s food preferences, what you eat during your pregnancy has a direct impact on his growth and development. Take DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that helps his brain and eye development4. Stick with well-balanced food choices so your developing baby can get balanced nutrition too. After all, he’s relying on you for all his needs!
Did you know?
Even at this early age, your developing baby can develop hiccups, although you won’t feel them. His vocal cords will begin to develop around week 13.
What other developments is your developing baby going through?
During this stage of your pregnancy, your developing baby now weighs about one ounce (28 grams) and measures about 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) and his internal organs are now functioning.
By the end of this month, he’ll have tiny ears, eyes, eyelids, eyebrows and even hair. His fingernails, genitals, and teeth are all starting to grow and develop too. Your developing baby’s gender can now be discerned from your ultrasound, although you’ll usually be asked whether you want to know if you’re having a boy or a girl, or whether you prefer to find out later. You’ll also be able to see your developing baby and listen to the beat of his tiny heart via ultrasound.
Next month, when the second trimester of your pregnancy begins, your developing baby is also developing his other senses and will be able to see for the first time. To learn how his visual senses develop, read more about pregnancy stages: month 4
Missed out on last month’s pregnancy milestones? You can track how far you and your developing baby have come in pregnancy stages: month 2
Your pregnancy diet influences your developing baby’s food preferences in the future. Learn how to make an easy and quick meal that’s delicious and contains essential nutrients such as DHA and other important vitamins and minerals for your developing baby and you.
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1Calcified Tissue International March 1991, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 153-156, Calcium content of common food items in Chinese diet K. K. Pun, L. W. L. Chan, V. Chung, F. H. W. Wong
2American 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.
4nnis SM. Dietary (n-3) fatty acids and brain development. J Nutr 2007;137:855-859