You’ve entered your second trimester and are now four months pregnant. As your developing baby’s brain continues to develop his visual senses, let’s look at how you can help support this essential stage of his development.

Month 4 sees developments in your developing baby’s cognitive and visual faculties

You’ve entered your second trimester and are now four months pregnant. As your developing baby’s brain continues to develop his visual senses, let’s look at how you can help support this essential stage of his development.

 

Month 4 sees developments in your developing baby’s cognitive and visual faculties

 
It’s a big month for your developing baby, as he’s developing his brain and sense of sight. Between weeks 15 to 18 of your pregnancy, your developing baby’s visual cortex is forming, although at this stage his vision is a little fuzzy. His eyesight won’t actually become clear and sharp. At the same time, the lateral fissure, a distinctive groove in the brain’s cerebral cortex, develops. This area will eventually become responsible for his memory, language skills and even consciousness.
 

 

How do you help nurture your developing baby’s sense of sight?

 
Since your developing baby is relying on you for all his nutrition, you can help nurture his developing brain and eyes by eating a well-balanced diet with essential nutrients such as DHA, an omega-3 fat.
 
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.

 

 

What else does your developing baby discover this month?

 
At this month’s ultrasound appointment, you’ll be able to see your developing baby’s heart beating and can discern those tiny fingers and toes, arms and legs. You’ll even be able to make out the brain and spinal cord, and chances are – if you don’t already know – you’ll be able to discover your developing baby’s gender.

 

 
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.
 
Next month, your developing baby starts to recognize your voice as he develops his sense of hearing. To find out how to help support the development of his aural senses, read more about pregnancy stages: month 5.
 
Missed out on last month’s pregnancy milestones? You can track how far you and your developing baby have come in pregnancy stages: month 3.
 
Want to learn more about how your developing baby will develop over your pregnancy – plus, nutritional advice for you and your developiong baby, online support and more? Then sign up for Enfamama A+ Club to receive new articles, useful tips and rewards that can help you and your developing baby!
 

References:

1http://www.baby2see.com/development/week17.html

2The March of Dimes. Omega-3 fatty acids. Downloaded from http://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/omega-3-fatty-acids.aspx. Accessed on October 2015.

3http://www.fhs.gov.hk/english/health_info/woman/20036.html#1

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.