At roughly 38cm long and 2lb 3oz in weight, your baby’s senses are developing; their eyes are capable of seeing and registering the world around them and they can taste, touch and recognise your voice.Naturally, the bigger they get, the less space they have in the womb, so you may feel them kicking even more as they try to extend and stretch. Babies at this stage often lie in the foetal position – where the legs and arms are pulled towards the chest – as it’s more comfortable when space is limited.
Gestational diabetes affects some pregnant women. Your midwife will regularly ask for a urine sample in order to screen you for glucose; too much glucose in your urine indicates a high level of blood sugar – a classic symptom of diabetes. If your midwife thinks you’re at a high risk you’ll also need a screening test at between 24 and 26 weeks. Gestational diabetes can sometimes be controlled by eating a healthy diet, or you may be given medication to help manage it. If you do develop diabetes in pregnancy it should go after you’ve given birth, when your body returns to normal. Remember, sticking to a healthy diet and taking regular exercise will help.If your blood group is rhesus D (RhD) negative, you’ll be given either a single anti-D injection at 28 weeks, or in two doses at 28 and 34 weeks. This will prevent your antibodies from harming your baby during this and any subsequent pregnancies. Your baby’s blood will also be tested at birth by taking blood from the cord. You may then be given a further injection, if necessary.
Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPs) are types of omega-3 fatty acids. They are essential for the healthy growth and development of your baby’s brain and eyes. They are especially important during the last three months of pregnancy, when your baby’s brain really starts to grow. Research has also shown that a higher intake of LCPs during pregnancy can help to reduce the risk of preterm delivery, and may be associated with improved visual and brain development in infancy, which is why LCPs continue to be important postnatally. After your baby is born, you will be able to pass these nutrients on through your breastmilk, which naturally contains LCPs, although the levels will vary depending on your diet. So try to keep up your LCP stores with the right foods. The main sources of omega-3 LCPs are fresh, oily fish, like mackerel or sardines, so try to eat two portions each week. It's not recommended that you eat more than this as these fish can contain pollutants, like mercury. You should also avoid fish oil supplements, unless they are specifically designed for pregnancy, as they can contain high levels of vitamin A which could be unsafe for your developing baby.
If you have a question about what you should and shouldn’t be eating during pregnancy, call our expert team of healthcare professionals and nutritionists anytime on 0800 996 1000.