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14 weeks pregnant

14 weeks pregnant + vitamin k K for kale

SUMMARY

Around the time you're 14 weeks pregnant, your baby’s kidneys are beginning to work, processing any amniotic fluid that they swallow. Their eyelids are developing and tiny nails are appearing at the ends of the fingers and toes. Learn why vitamin K is so important in pregnancy and how you can make sure you and your baby get enough.

Moving their own fingers and toes

At roughly 85mm long1, your baby is now starting to practise their breathing movements2, even though they get all the oxygen they need through the umbilical cord from the placenta. By around the 14th week of your pregnancy their kidneys have started to work and they may begin to swallow small amounts of amniotic fluid1. This passes into their stomach, through their kidneys, and back into the amniotic fluid as urine1.

 "Your baby’s development at 14 weeks"

By around week 14 your baby’s movements will be less erratic as they start to turn and stretch their hands, wrists and legs2. They’ll also continue to develop eyelids, fingernails and toenails, and they might even have a small amount of hair on their head2. Your baby will also start growing another type of hair, known as lanugo, which forms all over their body and keeps them warm in these early weeks3. Later on in your pregnancy, they’ll shed this hair as they develop a layer of fat3. Another important development at this stage is that their neck will continue to grow which means their chin will no longer be resting on their chest4.

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Everything is O.K

As part of your healthy balanced diet, it’s important to ensure you’re getting enough vitamin K. While it’s essential for blood clotting and bone health5, adults only need a tiny amount – around 0.001mg a day for each kilogram of their body weight6. And because your body stores any vitamin K that it doesn’t need immediately in the liver, you don’t need to include it in your diet every day7.

If a baby doesn’t get enough vitamin K during pregnancy, they can develop a rare bleeding disorder after birth8. So although vitamin K deficiency is rare in babies, most are given a booster injection just after they’re born.

Synthetic vitamin K can be toxic6. So instead of taking supplements, include plenty of vitamin K-rich foods in your pregnancy diet to ensure both you and your baby get enough.

“Fresh raw salads and leafy green vegetables are high in vitamin K and other nutrients"

Foods that contain vitamin K include9:

  • Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, cabbage and kale
  • Vegetable oils, especially soyabean oil
  • Eggs
  • Lean meat
  • Dairy products

Next Steps

Try these meal and snack ideas to include good sources of vitamin K as part of your healthy, balanced diet:

  • Vegetable stir-fry using soya oil
  • Spinach and cheese Spanish tortilla
  • Coleslaw as a side dish to your lunch
  • Spinach salad with grilled chicken
  • Smoothie made with milk, a spoonful of yogurt and your favourite berries

View references

Hide references

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1. NHS UK. You and your baby at 13-16 weeks pregnant [Online]. 2013. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-13-14-15-16.aspx [Accessed July 2014]

2. Deans A. Your New Pregnancy Bible, The experts’ guide to pregnancy and early parenthood. 4th ed. London: Carroll & Brown Publishers Limited, 2013.

3. Curtis GB, Schuler J. Your pregnancy week by week. 7th ed. Cambridge: Fisher books, 2011.

4. Murkoff H, Mazel S. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. 4th ed. London: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2009.

5. European Union. Commission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012 of 16 May 2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods, other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health. OJ L 136 2012;1-40.

6. Department of Health. Report on Health and Social Subjects 41. Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom. London: TSO, 1991.

7. NHS UK. Vitamin K [Online]. 2012. Available at: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Vitamin-K.aspx [Accessed July 2014]

8. NHS UK. What happens straight after the birth? [Online]. 2013. Available at: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/what-happens-straight-after-the-birth.aspx [Accessed July 2014]

9. Gandy J (ed). Manual of Dietetic Practice. 5th ed. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2014. p. 759.

Last reviewed: 14th July 2016
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