This is the month that your baby develops his sense of taste. Here's how you can help ensure good nutritional habits for both you and your baby.
Your baby is learning about his tastes in weeks 12 to 15
Your baby develops taste buds and early taste perception during this period. This means that many of your baby's future food preferences will be influenced by what you eat.
Since your baby's food preferences start in the womb, it's important to make sure you give your little one a great nutritional start in life.
Be sure to opt for a healthy diet of vegetables, fruit, lean meat or meat alternatives like fresh tofu and soy milk fortified with calcium. Other foods rich in calcium – essential for the healthy development of your baby's teeth and bones – include sesame seeds, almonds, mustard greens, dried shrimp, and fish like sardines that are eaten bones and all.
Experts also recommend taking a prenatal multivitamin to ensure you get a recommended amount of essential nutrients.
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 200 mg per day to reduce the risk to your baby's health.
How does your baby eat?
You pass your baby the nutrients he needs through the umbilical cord. This lifeline runs from an opening in your 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 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 baby's food preferences, what you eat during your pregnancy has a direct impact on his healthy growth and development. Make sure you are getting enough DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that acts as a building block for your baby's brain and eyes. Stick with healthy food choices to make sure your little one is getting the best nutrition. After all, he's relying on you for all his needs!
Did you know?
Even at this early age, your 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 baby going through?
During this stage of your pregnancy, your 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 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 at birth. You'll also be able to see your baby and listen to the beat of his tiny heart via ultrasound.
Next month, when the second trimester of your pregnancy begins, your 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 little one have come in pregnancy stages: month 2.
Your pregnancy diet influences your baby's food preferences in the future. Learn how to make an easy and quick meal that's delicious and contains essential DHA for baby and you.
Want to learn more about how your baby will develop throughout your pregnancy? Download the Enfamama A+ Pregnancy Mobile App on Google Play or the iOS App Store. It has tailored features designed to aid you in this happy and exciting journey!