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Nestlé® Materna® Month-by-Month Tracker

This tool highlights your baby’s pre-birth milestones and the important nutrients needed to optimize the health of you and your baby during pregnancy.

Try out our other pregnancy tools and more >

Click on your month of pregnancy to begin.

1ST TRIMESTER
2ND TRIMESTER
3RD TRIMESTER
  • 1ST MO.
  • 2ND MO.
  • 3RD MO.
  • 4TH MO.
  • 5TH MO.
  • 6TH MO.
  • 7TH MO.
  • 8TH MO.
  • 9TH MO.

Baby's size:

  • 4 - 5 millimetres in length
  • Weighs ½ gram

Baby's development:

  • In your baby's first month, his or her major organs begin to grow.
  • The heart starts pumping blood and the first signs of your baby's arms and legs appear.

What’s happening to you:

Maybe you feel a little dizzy, fatigued or nauseous as your body adjusts to being pregnant. Maybe not. Some women don’t experience any pregnancy symptoms until month two or three and some women may never experience symptoms at all. If that’s you, celebrate – you’re one of the lucky ones.

TIP:

Now that you’ve just found out you’re pregnant be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any medications and avoid handling toxins like insecticides, cat litter and poisonous substances.

What’s happening to baby:

The journey to becoming a baby begins. After conception the fertilized egg will begin dividing into multiple cells. By the end of your first month of pregnancy, all of the major organs have begun to take shape even though the embryo is only about the size of a kidney bean.

Amazing, isn’t it?

Pregnancy is based on a 40 week schedule – the egg isn’t fertilized until week 3.

Baby's size:

  • Less than 4 centimetres in length
  • Weighs less than 5 grams

Baby's development:

  • Your baby's head and brain are growing quickly.
  • Eyes, nose and mouth appear on the face, and the arms and legs grow longer.
  • Toes and fingers are forming.

What’s happening to you:

You might be feeling a little drained this month. Your body’s producing more blood now, causing your heart to work harder – plus, pregnancy symptoms like nausea can also leave you feeling drained.

TIP:

Try taking small naps, brisk walks and eating healthy snacks to keep up your energy. Stay positive – by second trimester you should be feeling much better.

What’s happening to baby:

The zygote has graduated to an embryo and now the brain, spinal cord, heart and other organs are beginning to form. By the end of the month an ultrasound might even be able to detect a quickly beating heart – about 150 beats per minute.

Amazing, isn’t it?

An amazing 250,000 cells a minute are being produced at week 10 – supporting in utero brain growth.

Baby's size:

  • 6–7 centimetres in length
  • Weighs 14 grams

Baby's development:

  • Your baby's face has a distinctly human profile.
  • You can now know if your baby is a boy or a girl.

What’s happening to you:

You might feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster ride this month. Mood swings are very common early in pregnancy because of your fluctuating hormone levels. You may notice your breasts beginning to enlarge and your waistline too.

TIP:

Getting enough rest and healthy snacking is key to keeping your energy levels up.

What’s happening to baby:

All of the major organs your baby will need throughout life are now fully developing. Your baby begins to swallow and kick – and maybe suck her thumb (watch for this at your next ultrasound).

Amazing, isn’t it?

By week 14 the most unique feature your baby will have begins to form – fingerprints.

Baby's size:

  • 12 centimetres in length
  • Weighs 110 grams

Baby's development:

  • Your baby’s body is getting longer; this is a time of rapid growth.
  • Hair and nails appear.

What’s happening to you:

Your heart is pumping 20% more blood than it was before you were pregnant. Don’t be surprised if this increase in blood volume causes you to sweat more than usual.

TIP:

Try to lie on your left side when you’re sleeping. This is the preferred position throughout pregnancy because it improves blood and nutrient flow to baby – and reduces swelling in your hands, feet and legs.

What’s happening to baby:

Your baby can squint, smile and frown as the brain continues to develop. By the end of month 4 your baby can probably detect sound and begins to be comforted by your heartbeat – and your voice.

Amazing, isn’t it?

By week 16 even a tiny fetus is no longer free from one of life’s little bothers – hiccups.

Baby's size:

  • 16 centimetres in length
  • Weighs 320 grams

Baby's development:

  • As your baby starts moving about, you may feel the motions for the first time.
  • Your baby curls into the fetal position and is sucking his or her thumb.

What’s happening to you:

Your uterus has expanded to reach your navel and will continue to grow about 4/10 of an inch every week. Your abdominal muscles will begin to stretch and separate to accommodate your growing uterus. Don’t be surprised if your belly button changes from an “innie” to an “outie”.

TIP:

Eating a balanced diet of small, frequent meals may help to regulate your blood sugar levels, and prevent dizziness.

What’s happening to baby:

By now, the skin is coated in a white greasy substance call vernix caseosa to help protect the developing skin from the amniotic fluid. Baby’s senses are developing, too. Baby may touch her face or stretch out muscles by pushing against your uterus.

Amazing, isn’t it?

Her heartbeat is loud enough to hear with an ordinary stethoscope.

Baby's size:

  • 21 centimetres in length
  • Weighs 630 grams

Baby's development:

  • Now your baby is gaining weight.
  • His or her eyes are being framed with eyebrows and fringed with eyelashes.

What’s happening to you:

As your uterus – and baby – grows you may begin to urinate more frequently, experience back pain and a little heartburn. But, don’t despair, this month you may experience one of pregnancy’s most cherished moments – your baby’s first kick.

TIP:

Try eating smaller more frequent meals, avoid spicy foods and eating before bed to help reduce the risk of heartburn.

What’s happening to baby:

The lungs begin producing surfactant, a substance that will prevent baby’s lungs from collapsing and help your baby take her first breath and cry in life. She will explore her surroundings with developing dexterity – including her umbilical cord.

Amazing, isn’t it?

At week 26 baby is approximately 12 inches long and can weigh as much as two pounds.

Baby's size:

  • 25 centimetres in length
  • Weighs 1,100 grams

Baby's development:

  • Your baby is breathing rhythmically.
  • From now on, his or her eyelids will open and close.

What’s happening to you:

You might feel like your hips are a little unstable this month. Don’t worry it’s completely normal – your ligaments are getting looser as your body prepares for labour. Your uterus is now three inches above your belly button making it harder for you to breathe.

TIP:

Your baby’s nutritional needs are beginning to peak. Remember to continue to follow Canada`s Food Guide to Healthy Eating and get plenty of protein, vitamin C, folic acid, iron and calcium in your diet. Nuts, oranges or milk are all great choices.

What`s happening to baby:

Your baby`s eyelids finally open and his organ and nerve development are almost complete. By week 29 he will start to gain weight very quickly.

Amazing, isn’t it?

By the end of month 7 your baby will react to sound by moving.

Baby's size:

  • 28 centimetres in length
  • Weighs 1,700–1,800 grams

Baby's development:

  • Your baby instinctively reacts to light.
  • As birth approaches, his or her skin is smooth and radiant.
  • Your baby is plump with chubby arms and legs.

What’s happening to you:

As you continue to gain weight for baby you may experience some swelling in your legs and your abdomen may begin to ache. You may also notice numb spots or sensitive area on your upper abdomen as your skin and nerve endings continue to stretch.

TIP:

You may notice colostrum leaking from your breast this month. Try using breast pads to protect your clothes.

What’s happening to baby:

Your baby will shut his eyes when he’s napping and open them when he’s awake – and according to brain scans your baby will begin to dream by the end of month eight. He’s still growing and developing – head size continues to increase, the lungs are continuing to mature and fat is continuing to fill out the skin.

Amazing, isn’t it?

By the end of week 32 many babies already have a full head of hair.

Baby's size:

  • 32–36 centimetres in length
  • Weighs 2,500–3,400 grams

Baby's development:

  • He or she is fully grown and ready to be born.

What’s happening to you:

Your body – and your baby – are preparing for labour and the increased pressure from baby’s head could make you feel like baby is going to arrive at any moment. This pressure usually means the baby is dropping down and preparing for birth – putting pressure lower than usual in your pelvis area. You may also begin to experience practice or pre-labour contractions, which are different from labour contractions.

TIP:

Drinking more water can help reduce some of the water retention-related puffiness in your hands and feet.

What’s happening to baby:

Baby continues to develop and now has a total of 300 bones (100 more than an adult). Your baby’s immune system begins to develop and he can grasp things with fingers.

Amazing, isn’t it?

Baby hasn’t stopped growing yet – he will continue to develop half an ounce of fat a day.


Click on the nutrients to discover the important role they play in optimizing your health and the health of your baby.

  • Calcium
  • Chromium
  • Folic Acid
  • Iron
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc
Calcium
  • Calcium is important for growing strong bones and teeth, a healthy heart, nerves, and muscles, and to develop normal heart rhythm and bloodclotting abilities.
  • Some doctors may recommend a calcium supplement in addition to diet and the calcium in your prenatal multivitamin, in order to optimize calcium intake during pregnancy.
Recommended intake during pregnancy
  • 1,000 mg per day
Dietary sources include:
  • 1% milk
  • Sardines
  • Soy beverage (unsweetened, enriched)
Chromium
  • Plays a role in the regulation of blood sugar levels.
  • Involved in the metabolism of protein, carbohydrates, and fat from the food you eat.
Recommended intake during pregnancy
  • 30 mcg per day
Dietary sources include:
  • Whole-grain bread
  • Broccoli
  • Peanut butter
Folic Acid
  • Key nutrient for the prevention of neural tube defects (NTDs) such as spina bifida.
  • Your body needs folic acid for the rapid cell growth that occurs during pregnancy.
  • Both Health Canada and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) recommend folic acid supplementation.
Health Canada
  • It is recommended that all women of childbearing age take a multivitamin containing 0.4 mg folic acid every day1.
SOGC
  • Preconception: For women with no personal health risk for NTDs, take a daily multivitamin containing 0.4 mg to 1.0 mg of folic acid at least 2-3 months prior to conception.
  • Your baby’s neural tube starts to develop in the third week after conception, and pregnancy might not be known or confirmed by then. That’s why it’s important to optimize your folic acid intake prior to conception to help prevent NTDs.
  • Pregnancy/postpartum/breastfeeding: Continue to take a daily multivitamin containing 0.4 mg to 1.0 mg of folic acid.
  • Women with a high risk of NTDs due to a personal NTD history or a previous NTD pregnancy, should consult their doctor for recommended levels of folic acid supplementation2.
Dietary sources include:
  • Asparagus
  • Kidney Beans
  • Spinach
References

1Adapted from Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide. Women of Childbearing Age. Health Canada, 2007.
2 Adapted from: Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Pre-conception folic acid and multivitamin supplementation for the primary and secondary prevention of neural tube defects and other folic acid-sensitive congenital anomalies. J Obstet Gyneacol Can. 2015; 37(6):534-549.

Iron
  • Essential for making hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.
  • During pregnancy, iron requirements increase significantly. Blood volume increases and extra iron is required for your growing baby and the placenta.
  • Iron deficiency may lead to anemia in the mother as well as the baby. This may weaken your body’s ability to fight off infection.
Recommended intake during pregnancy
  • 27 mg per day
Dietary sources include:
  • Strip loin steak
  • Turkey (dark meat)
  • Bran flakes
Vitamin A
  • Cell growth
  • Bone growth
  • This vitamin is critical for vision, including night vision.
  • Vitamin A also helps to maintain skin health and mucous membranes.
  • Vitamin A plays an important role in the function of the immune system.
Recommended intake during pregnancy
  • 770 mcg per day
Dietary sources include:
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Plain yogurt
Vitamin B6
  • Helps your body to metabolize protein, fats and carbohydrates from the food you eat.
  • Involved in red blood cell formation and is important to the development of your baby’s brain and nervous system.
Recommended intake during pregnancy
  • 1.9 mg per day
Dietary sources include:
  • Banana
  • Chicken breast
  • Canned chickpeas
Vitamin C
  • Essential for tissue repair, wound and bone healing, healthy skin and fighting infection.
  • Helps your body absorb iron when eaten with iron-rich foods.
Recommended intake during pregnancy
  • 85 mg per day
Dietary sources include:
  • Citrus fruits
  • Leafy vegetables
  • Potatoes
Vitamin D
  • Helps build your baby’s bones and teeth. Plays an important role in maintaining bone health by helping the body to absorb and use calcium.
  • Vitamin D plays a role in the reduction of inflammation and in immune function.
  • Depending on where you live in Canada, your doctor may recommend a higher intake of vitamin D during pregnancy3.
Recommended intake during pregnancy
  • 15 mcg or 600 IU per day
Dietary sources include:
  • Salmon
  • Whole egg (vitamin D found in yolk)
  • Milk (fortified)
References

3 Canadian Paediatric Society. Vitamin D Supplementation: Recommendations for Canadian Mothers and Infants. Paediatric Child Health 2007. Reaffirmed 2015. 12(7):583-9.

Zinc
  • Your body needs zinc to produce DNA, which is the genetic material in your cells. Zinc is particularly important for the rapid cell growth that occurs during pregnancy.
  • Zinc helps support your immune system, aids in wound healing, and is involved in the senses of taste and smell.
Recommended intake for pregnancy
  • 11 mg per day
Dietary sources include:
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Ground beef
  • Baked beans
 
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