Week 9 of Your Pregnancy
Will it be a boy or girl? Well, it’s a little too early to tell3! But during week 9, your baby’s muscles and bones are continuing to grow, and you’ll require a healthy supply of Vitamin D. How do you obtain Vitamin D, and which foods are off the menu?
At 9 weeks, your little baby measures between 2cm and 3cm! Your baby’s mouth, tongue and taste buds will start to form, along with his brain, heart, lungs and kidneys. His eyes are becoming more defined and his nose will be assuming a recognisable shape! The brain is growing with 100,000 neurons per minute. If you haven't visited the doctor since becoming pregnant, week 9 is a good time to schedule your first antenatal visit. To listen to your baby's heartbeat, try using a handheld ultrasound device.
Do you feel more sensitive than in the past? It can be due to the increased blood circulation and your muscle tissues loosening up. One example is being more prone to bleeding gums. Your sensory organs are indeed more sensitive now you might have already noticed changes in your smell and taste. You may dislike foods that you used to love, or start liking foods that you once detested. There are some that become more sensitive to sounds and touch as well.
Eating Safely for Good Health
Eating healthy is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby! Did you know that your immune system is naturally suppressed during pregnancy5? This leaves you to become more vulnerable to infection, so do take extra care with food preparation and hygiene.
Here are some foods that can cause food poisoning. Avoid them if you can, or in doubt, throw them out!
- Raw or undercooked eggs, as well as foods that are made from them, such as condiments and desserts
- Rare and undercooked meat and fish
- Sushi and other foods that contain raw meat and fish
- Unpasteurised milk, cheese or yogurt
Vitamin D: Nutritional Insurance for Your Child's Bones
During pregnancy, your body needs not 10, not 20, but more than 30 different nutrients! (SingHealth) One of the most important nutrients is Vitamin D. Vitamin D contributes to the normal growth and development of your baby’s bones by regulating the levels of calcium and phosphate in his body6.
The Vitamin D you consume now helps to build up your baby’s bodily stores, which it will rely on in the first few months of life7. While it’s most efficient to get Vitamin D through exposure to direct sunlight, it is also present in certain foods. The best way though is to make sure you’re getting the recommended 15.0 mcg per day8 by taking a supplement.
Which Foods Are Rich in Vitamin D?
Increase your Vitamin D intake by eating the following:
- Oily fish, including mackerel, sardines, salmon, trout (remember to limit to 2 portions a week)
- Eggs — the yolk contains the vitamin D
- Fortified foods — some brands of milk and breakfast cereals have added vitamin D
1. NHS UK. You and your baby at 9-12 weeks pregnant [Online]. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-9-10-11-12.aspx [Accessed June 2014]
2. Deans A. Your New Pregnancy Bible, The experts’ guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. 4th ed. London: Carroll & Brown Publishers Limited, 2013. p. 33.
3. Curtis GB, Schuler J. Your pregnancy week by week. 7th ed. Cambridge: Fisher books, 2011. p. 129.
4. Murkoff H, Mazel S. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. 4th ed. London: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2009. p. 169.
5. NHS UK. Why are pregnant women at higher risk of flu complications? [Online]. 2013. Available at: www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/3096.aspx?CategoryID=5 [Accessed June 2014]
6. European Union. Commission Regulation (EC) No 983/2009 of 21 October 2009 on the authorisation and refusal of authorisation of certain health claims made on food and referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health. OJ L 277 2009;3-12./p>
7. NHS UK. Vitamins and nutrition in pregnancy [Online]. 2013. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/vitamins-minerals-supplements-pregnant.aspx [Accessed June 2014]
8. EFSA. Dietary reference values for vitamin D. 2016. Available at: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/4547
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