Pregnancy Stages and Nutrition - All you need to know
The duration of the first trimester is from conception to 12 weeks. It is collectively the first three months of pregnancy. The baby’s development will start from small cells up to a fetus having baby features.
Month-1 (week 1-4):
A fluid-filled sac forms around the growing fertilized egg called the amniotic sac filled with amniotic fluid, which functions as a cushion to the embryo.
A round, flat organ that aids in supplying nutrients from the mother to the baby is called the Placenta. It is known as the food source for the developing baby throughout pregnancy.
During the initial few weeks, large dark circles for the eyes and a primitive face will form with the lower jaw, mouth and throat still developing.
The circulation begins with the blood cells taking shape, and the tiny heart tube beats 65 times per minute at the end of 4 weeks.
After the first month, the exact size of the baby is ¼ inch long, which is much smaller than a grain of rice.
Month-2 (week 5-8):
There is a continuation in the development of the baby’s facial features, and each grows like a small fold from either side of the head.
Tiny buds are formed, which gets developed into the arms and legs. Toes, fingers, and eyes also are formed.
The brain, neural tissues and spinal cord development, and the neural tube are well developed.
The sensory organs and digestive system start to develop.
The cartilage is now found to be replaced with bones.
When compared with the entire proportion of the body, the baby’s head is, more significant and from the 6th week onwards, the heartbeat can be detected.
The fetus is now changing the name to the embryo by the end of the 8th week.
The baby is about 1 inch long towards the end of the second month, weighing around one gram.
Month-3 (week 9-12):
In this month, the baby’s feet, arms, toes, and fingers are entirely developed. During this time, the baby tries to open and close fists and mouths. The ears are formed externally, and the finger and toenails are in process.
The foundation of teeth has been initiated at the base of the gums. The development of a baby’s reproductive organs begins, but it is still challenging to determine the gender of the baby through ultrasound.
The baby is entirely formed by the end of 3 months. Every limb and extremities are formed and will continue to develop to become functional. The liver starts producing bile, and the urinary and circulatory systems are working.
The baby’s length by the end of the third month is 4 inches, weighing around 28 grams. The most crucial features are developed in the baby; therefore, chances of miscarriage are drastically reduced after three months.
Morning sickness felt by the mother and any other discomfort faced by her ultimately fades during the second trimester. The mother can feel the baby’s movements in this trimester. The doctor can also determine the gender of the baby during this phase. However, getting to know gender is illegal in some countries.
Month-4 (week 13-16):
Doppler, an instrument that can help to hear the baby’s heartbeat, can detect in this month. Nails, hair, eyelids, eyebrows and eyelashes are completed this month. Bones and teeth become more robust and denser.
The baby is now capable of sucking the thumb, make faces, stretch and yawn. The genitalia and reproductive organs are completely formed and can be detected using ultrasound.
The nervous system begins its normal functions. Towards the end of the 4th month, the baby is 6 inches long and weighs 110 grams.
Month-5 (week 17-20):
In this month, the baby’s movements can be felt. The muscles develop, and quickening is the term for the first movement in the womb. Hair growth on the head is noticed. Lanugo is the fine soft hair that covers the baby’s back, shoulders, and temples.
It is protection, as is usually shed after the first week of life after birth. Vernix Caseosa is a whitish coating on a baby’s skin that protects from amniotic fluid exposure on the baby’s skin.
This Vernix Caseosa is shed before birth. Towards the end of the 5th month, the baby is 10 inches in length and weighs ¼ to ½ kilogram.
Month-6 (week 21-24):
Now, the baby’s skin is reddish in colour, wrinkled, and the veins are visible through the skin, translucent. The eyes open after the eyelids part in this month. The response to sounds is evident by movements and an increase in the baby’s pulse.
Baby hiccups are noticed through jerky movements in the womb. The baby can survive from the 23rd week if born prematurely with the intensive care unit (ICU). At the end of 6 months, the baby’s length is 12 inches, and the weight is around 1 kilogram.
Month-7 (Week 25-28):
Body fat reserves are continuously forming, and the baby begins to mature. The hearing sense is complete. The doctor can detect frequent position changes of the baby in the womb, which can be due to the stimuli like: sounds, light and pain.
The diminishing amniotic fluid is noticed. Even if the baby is born prematurely, the chance of survival is more after the 7th month. The baby’s length is 14 inches, and weight is around 1-2 kilograms at the end of the 2nd trimester.
The ability to gain weight by the baby in the final trimester is drastically increased due to an increase in body fat which will help the baby survive after birth. The full-term pregnancy lasts for 40 weeks and can be ten months too.
Month-8 (week 29-32):
The baby develops fat reserves for supporting survival after birth; the development process is continuing. The doctor can notice the kicks of the baby very often. The baby can see and hear as the brain development is rapid during this stage.
The majority of the internal systems are well developed, but the lungs are still immature. The baby is around 18 inches long and weighs about 2 ½ kilograms.
Month-9 (week 33-36):
The lungs are fully developed now, and the baby continues to grow and develop. The baby’s reflexes are coordinated and can therefore grasp firmly, turn the head and respond to touch, sound and light. The baby is about 17-19 inches long, weighing 2 ¾ to 3 ½ kilograms at the end of 9 months.
Month-10 (week 37-40):
The chance of labor is awaiting anytime. The baby’s movement is less due to lack of space inside as the baby is completely grown and has filled the entire space.
The baby’s head position is towards the opening of the uterus, ready for birth, and uncomfortable stress on the uterus can be felt where the final stretch makes the baby drop down to the pelvis for delivery. The baby weighs around 3 ¾ kgs and is 18 to 20 inches long at birth.
Indian Diet for Healthy Pregnancy:
This snack is essential for pregnant mothers as it is instrumental in preventing morning sickness. The snack should be light and energy-dense. A glass of Milk or Milkshake is ideal for a great morning start.
Milk is one of the preferred options as milk is rich in Calcium which helps develop bones and teeth in the baby. Almonds are an excellent source of Protein, Iron, Vitamin E, and healthy fats. Pregnant women can consume almonds in Almond Milk which is indeed the best option for ladies who are allergic to cow milk.
A glass of Tomato or Apple Juice is beneficial in purifying the blood and is an excellent source of Vitamin C and Iron.
The most commonly consumed Indian breakfast is Rava Upma and Poha. Poha is one of the best options for Iron and Carbohydrates, whereas Rava Upma is filled with micronutrients like Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium.
Parathas are an excellent source of calorie-filled breakfast and should be made with lesser oil options.
Whole Wheat loaves of bread are rich in Fibre along with other essential nutrients. Oats are rich sources of Iron. A sandwich made with micronutrient-rich Vegetables is healthier and more convenient to prepare. Fruits can be consumed as a salad too.
Soups are one of the delicacies which can be taken as a mid-morning snack. They are light meals with packed nutrients. Some of the best options in Soups are Chicken, Tomato, Carrots, Beetroots, Spinach, which are cost-effective and nutritious.
Rice with Chicken curry and Raita is one of the better options for lunch. Parathas and Dry Chapathis with Curd or Chickpeas Gravy are recommended too. Chicken is one of the best options for Lean Proteins and Vitamin B-3.
Khichadi is also good, and Curd Rice is a simple light meal.
The benefits of rice as an option for lunch are that it boosts energy instantly, improves the mother’s immune system, and prevents urogenital infections as rice has diuretic properties. Roti and Parathas are one of the best sources of Fibre and Carbohydrates.
Evening Snack- 4 PM
Light evening snacks like Dhokla, Panniyarams, Smoothies, Nuts & Dry Fruits, Boiled or Roasted Peanuts, lightly fried Cutlets are good options to satisfy the stomach between lunch and dinner.
Dinner- 8 PM
Dinner should be a heavy meal like breakfast and lunch. Dal is the best protein option and can be accompanied with Rice and Dry Chapathis or Roti. Curd, Parathas, Kitchadi and Curries are also nutritious. Buttermilk or Yogurt can also be added as it aids indigestion.
A glass of warm Milk is preferred as a sleep-inducing option. Pregnant women can add Dates can be added to milk to increase Iron content. Milk has a melatonin sleep enhancer, and dates help in stimulating uterine contractions.
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