Breastfeeding is the best nutrition for healthy growth and development of babies. Good maternal nutrition helps sustain an adequate supply and quality of breast milk. Unnecessary introduction of bottle-feeding, partially or fully, or of other complementary foods and drinks may have a negative impact on breastfeeding, which may be irreversible. Consult your doctor and consider the social and financial implications before deciding to use breast milk substitutes or if you have difficulty breastfeeding. Follow usage, preparation and storage instructions of breast milk substitutes or of other complementary foods and drinks carefully as improper or unnecessary use may pose a health hazard.
Your baby's spine gradually develops and his body is now developing proportionately, making him leaner-looking.
His sense of hearing, taste and touch are now developed. He can hear your heartbeat, and react to sounds beyond the womb. He can also differentiate sweet and bitter tastes, and will also respond to your touches by contracting his muscles, turning his head and clenching his fists.
Pay attention to your posture and movements
Don't stand too long, and remember to balance your weight on both legs, and keep them slightly apart so that the pressure points are at the centre of your soles, as this will be less tiring. At about the 20th week, you can consult your doctor about wearing a cummerbund to prevent lower back pain.
Drink plenty of water in the morning and use the toilet regularly. Also take plenty of fruits and vegetables for fibre to aid digestion. As your womb grows, your pelvic veins become swollen due to pressure, making you prone to haemorrhoids. You can use baby wipes or moistened tissues to gently clean the affected area after passing motion.
Care for your nipples
If you plan to breastfeed, remember to apply cooling cream or olive oil on your nipples after bathing, and use a clean thumb and finger to massage your nipples and areolae gently. Do this for 5 minutes twice a day. If you have flat or inverted nipples, you should evert the nipples starting from the 17th week, to lower risks of a miscarriage. The nipple should be drawn out gently and held for some time once a day.