Your 12th week
Much to the joy of your family and friends, you are finally showing! As you enter your second trimester, throw on loose, comfy clothes for an easier time, and support your baby’s growth and development with Omegas 3 and 6.
Your baby’s beautiful facial features are more clearly defined. If you look closely, you can see its eyelids, though they will remain closed for some time3. Inside the gums sit 20 small buds, which will eventually emerge as baby teeth4.
At week 12, you are likely to have your first ultrasound scan! Also known as the dating scan, it allows your doctor to get a more accurate idea of your baby’s due date.
Did you know that your baby has doubled in size over the last 3 weeks alone? At 12 weeks, your baby is the size of a rambutan! Your baby’s vital organs, bones and muscles are now in place and are ready to grow and mature over the coming months.
Your favourite blouse pinches the neck and is tight at the bosom? This is due to the increased production of the thyroid gland during the hormonal changes which alters the activity and their size. This may also be the reason as to why you are irritated more frequently as of late. It is time to give yourself a treat and rest well.
Strong urge to urinate?
The strong urge to urinate is due to the ongoing exchange of amniotic fluid, which is usually accompanied with constipation. The constipation is caused by a change in hormone balance surrounding the intestines which reduces its activities. But that's okay, just eat more foods that are high in fibre (E.g. dried fruits). Do not forget to drink lots of fluid to bring your intestine back on track.
Omegas 3 and 6: Fats with Benefits
Get your precious bundle of joy off to a good start with omegas 3 and 6! Omegas 3 and 6 are two types of LCPs, which is short for long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Other mums may also be telling you about DHA, and here’s what it is – DHA, which is short for docosahexaenoic acid, is an omega-3 LCP. DHA contributes to your baby’s brain development5 and supports the normal development of your baby’s eyes. DHA also boosts development post-birth, especially during the first year!
A Daily Serving of Healthy Fats
To support your baby’s brain development, include an extra 200mg of DHA each day in the form of a supplement (fish oil capsule).
Say hello to oily fish as well, which are excellent sources of DHA. Eating 1 to 2 portions of oily fish per week will provide sufficient DHA for you and your baby. However, eat no more than 2 portions per week due to the toxins these fish may contain!
On the days you don’t eat oily fish, snack on a handful of nuts, or start your day with a bowl of wholegrain cereal as well as omega-3 fortified margarine and eggs. Other omega 3-rich snacks6 include:
- Mackerel on a slice of wholegrain toast
- Grilled salmon with steamed leafy vegetables
- Salmon fishcakes
- Omega-3 fortified eggs
1. Murkoff H, Mazel S. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. 4th ed. London: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2009. p. 169.
2. NHS UK. You and your baby at 9-12 weeks pregnant [Online]. 2013. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-9-10-11-12.aspx [Accessed June 2014]
3. Stoppard, M. New Pregnancy and birth book. The classic Guide for parents to be. New York: Ballantine Books, 2009. p. 83.
4. Medline Plus. Fetal development [Online]. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002398.htm [Accessed June 2014]
5. European Union. Commission Regulation (EU) No 440/2011 of 6 May 2011 on the authorisation and refusal of authorisation of certain health claims made on foods and referring to children’s development and health. OJ L 119 2011;4-9.
6. Gandy J (ed). Manual of Dietetic Practice. 5th ed. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2014. p. 759.
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