Your baby has started to develop its heart and brain as well as bumps to form its arms and legs. By week 7 your baby will be about 10mm long.

Caffeine

Recipe idea

Keeping active

Alcohol

During pregnancy you are advised to avoid drinking alcohol altogether. However, if you do decide to drink alcohol, it’s recommended that you should not have any more than 1 to 2 units of alcohol once or twice a week and that you should never get drunk during your pregnancy. Units of alcohol for some alcoholic beverages are highlighted below.

Alcoholic Beverage                                                                         

  • ½ pint of beer, lager or cider (standard strength 3-4% ABV) = 1 unit
  • 1 pub measure of spirit (e.g. vodka, gin, whiskey, rum etc) = 1 unit
  • Alcopop drinks (e.g. Bacardi breezer, Wicked, Smirnoff ice) = 1.5 units
  • 1 175ml glass of 12% ABV wine = 2 units


Folates and folic acid supplements

If you haven’t been taking a folic acid supplement pre-conception then you should start now. It’s very important to take folic acid during the early stages of pregnancy because it helps to reduce the risk of your baby developing spina bifida and other neural tube defects, which occur when the neural tube (the part of the baby that develops into the brain and spinal chord) does not form properly. These are very serious conditions which can cause disability and death in the developing child.

You should take a 400mcg supplement (or more if advised by your doctor) daily up to the 12th week of your pregnancy. The amount of natural folates needed from your diet is also higher throughout pregnancy (100mcg extra – 300mcg in total) so you should also try to consume more foods that contain folate (the natural form of folic acid). These are foods such as fruits (e.g. oranges), green leafy vegetables, brown rice, potatoes and foods fortified with folic acid e.g. bread and breakfast cereals. Below is an example of how you can get 300mcg of folate from foods in your daily diet (quoted folate content is approximate):

•    50g serving of breakfast cereal        167mcg
•    160ml glass of orange juice             29mcg
•    Chicken salad sandwich                   53mcg
•    Banana                                            12mcg
•    Serving of broccoli (85g)                  54mcg
•    Total                                      315mcg

Vitamin D supplements

You should also take a 10mcg vitamin D supplement each day throughout your pregnancy. This is because Vitamin D can help you and your baby to better absorb calcium from food to build and maintain bones and teeth. Although we can get some vitamin D from our diet, most of our vitamin D comes from sunlight therefore it is important that women should take a vitamin D supplement throughout their pregnancy, especially in the winter months. It appears that many women of childbearing age in the UK may have low levels of vitamin D, so it is particularly important to take your vitamin D supplements throughout pregnancy and also when breastfeeding.

 

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