Congratulations! You’ve now entered weeks 8 to 11 of your pregnancy. There are some amazing milestones this month, so let's look at what foods you should be eating to give your baby the strength and nutrients to make his first movements and help the development of neurons in his brain.
Weeks 8 to 11 sees your baby moving actively
Your baby might be only two inches (five centimeters) long, but he's undergoing some amazing changes during the second month of pregnancy. Even though he's only about the size of your little finger, he now has tiny hands, feet, arms and legs. At around nine weeks, he's started to move in your womb, and can bring his hand up to his mouth. These first movements involve his whole body, but by month three he will be able to move individual limbs.
How can you give your baby the strength to move?
While you may not look or even feel pregnant yet, now is the time to make sure your little one achieves all those crucial milestones in his body's development. That means making healthy food choices, especially since he's eating what you consume! Having a balanced diet that contains the essential nutrients your baby needs, is the key to a healthy pregnancy. Try to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, lean meat or protein such as fish and eggs, and avoid fatty foods, alcohol and raw foods like sushi.
Bananas are a great natural food that are packed with B group vitamins and folate that your baby needs for spinal development. One banana delivers around 12% of your daily needs – more folate than any other commonly eaten fruit.
A daily multivitamin containing 16 to 20 mg of iron, essential for red blood cell production, will help you have a healthy pregnancy. Do check with your doctor or dietitian to make sure your multivitamin contains
the right amount of iron for you. Be sure to include iron-rich foods in your daily diet like pork, beef, eggs, dried beans and chickpeas, as well as almonds and cashews.
With your baby needing so many essential nutrients for his healthy development, it might just be time to start a daily menu planner to keep track of your little one's growing nutritional needs.
Did you know?
Although your baby's sex was determined at the time of his conception, his sex-differentiating hormones are released during the second month of life when he begins to develop sex organs.
He's beginning to move, but what's happening to your baby's brain?
It's also a remarkable time for your baby's intellectual and sensory growth. During this period, your baby's brain, spinal cord, nervous system and backbone are all being created and the heart and circulatory system are developing too.
In the first 16 to 18 weeks of your baby's life, his brain will create around 100 billion neurons. These neurons are the brain's basic building blocks. Your baby's thinking, feeling, breathing and, eventually, actions like walking, are made possible because these cells communicate with each other.
Eating a healthy and balanced diet at this stage of your pregnancy is one way you can help your baby grow and successfully reach all those milestones he'll need to meet in the coming months. That means your prenatal nutrition should include adequate amounts of Vitamin D, folic acid and DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid that helps your baby's brain and eye development).
Foods to eat during pregnancy include leafy green vegetables like bok choi, choy sum and watercress, all of which help your little one develop his nervous system. In addition, calcium-rich foods like beans, tofu, soy milk, cheese, broccoli and spinach aid in the development of healthy teeth and bones.
Your baby is also developing taste buds and will continue to do so in the third month of your pregnancy. To find out how you can help him develop his taste for healthy foods, read more about Pregnancy stages: Month 3.
Missed out on last month's pregnancy milestones? You can track how far you and your little one have come in Pregnancy stages: Month 1.
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!