As always, lots going on this week. Neural development of your baby continues as does the maturation of her nervous system. Her skin is still very thin and quite transparent, with small blood vessels visible through it. Something called Tact Corpuscles continue appearing all over the body until the 20th week of pregnancy. The nerve fibres of the spinal cord are beginning to be surrounded by myelin, an insulating sheath made of a substance rich in lipids which allows for good nerve conduction. Your baby’s intestine continues to develop and is now in its permanent place in his abdomen. All is as it should be.
Grit your teeth: many older women still tell pregnant women stories about teeth falling out during pregnancy. Good news: That is outdated nonsense! For some women, the baby bump is now showing. If you are very slim, or have had a baby before, it is more likely that there is something to see. In others, no one can tell by looking. But this is the time when trousers or skirts get hard to fasten and waistlines are harder to discern. Obviously, not every woman is happy about these changes. The best way of dealing with this is to stay fit (with your doctor’s approval). Especially as this will help you get back into shape again more quickly after the birth.
Fats and essential fatty acids are, well, essential in your diet. However, few of us are at risk of not getting enough. Here are some practical tips for fat intake. First of all, use a light hand when adding fats while cooking. Use only enough to grease your pan - one tablespoon of oil is generally enough. And explore different ways of cooking (steaming, baking, et cet.) Both will help you better control your fat intake. Also, choose “good” raw oils in your salad dressings. Some are irreplaceable sources of essential fatty acids for you and your baby, such as canola and walnut oils. One tablespoon per person is a good rule of thumb!
Artificial sweeteners have a terrible reputation. An Italian study also recently invited a great deal of controversy with its latest findings about aspartame. But there is no evidence that artificial sweeteners - in moderation, of course - can harm the health of pregnant women or their foetuses. The AFSSA (French Agency for Food Safety) – Please not you might adapt with your local regultarory - has also announced, based on the latest data shared by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority ), that aspartame seems to be relatively safe.