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13-week pregnant: baby development and diet tips

The start of your second trimester is the start of lots of new development milestones for your baby. Read more about this week.

2 mins to read May 11, 2021

Lots of new developments this week. Your baby can swallow amniotic fluid, which is absorbed by his digestive tract and excreted as urine through his kidneys, which are functioning as of not very long ago. His skin has cells called melanocytes that will be responsible for the pigmentation of his skin after he is born. His bones continue to form and his little skeleton is gradually coming together. He is, of course, absolutely gorgeous!

Usually, by the end of the third month, all those little ‘discomforts’ of early pregnancy begin to fade and you should find yourself feeling pretty good. Take every opportunity to get outside, to enjoy some fresh air, even if all is not blue skies and bright sunshine.

As you know, when you’re pregnant your nutritional needs change because you’re nourishing your growing baby’s body as well as your own. Although you need approximately 50% more of some important nutrients to create an environment that will best support your baby’s growth and development, this doesn’t require you eating 50% more calories! During your second trimester, about 340 calories more than what you ate before you were pregnant can give a woman of a healthy weight, and her baby, enough energy. It is important that your calories are chosen wisely: small changes can make a big difference. For example, a breakfast of eggs or fortified cereal provides zinc as well as protein. Zinc is a mineral that helps build a healthy immune system and protein is the building block for numerous essentials, from enzymes to antibodies. A glass of milk or a serving of yogurt will give you calcium, which, together with vitamin D, is the foundation for healthy bones and teeth. A slice or two of wholegrain toast, along with a small piece of fruit, provides fiber and carbohydrates, the primary fuel for you and your baby.

Thinking about breastfeeding? The “superpowers” of breast milk for your baby (and you) cannot be underestimated – and pregnancy is the perfect time to prepare.