The lungs of your baby are getting ready, and not only for that first post-birth cry! The substance that lines the inner surface of the ends of their bronchial alveoli are increasing to ensure their flexibility and prevent them from collapsing. Exchanges between you and the placenta continue. That’s what helps maintain the volume of amniotic fluid, contained in what is called the amniotic sac. For some women, when their little one’s appearance is imminent, their “water will break” – your sign to call your doctor!
From one day to the next, you may be breathing more freely and noticing that if you had indigestion, it seems to be improving. What’s going on? It’s simple: your baby is doing what it needs to do. Clever baby, they have moved their head downwards into your pelvis, giving your lungs and stomach a bit more space. In the last few weeks of your pregnancy, you may have the feeling that your body is beginning to prepare for your little love’s birth.
Although eating a variety of healthy foods each day provides you, and your baby, with needed nutrients and calories, there is another group of foods that deserves special attention: the fats group. Yes, there is need for some fat in the diet. Choose foods with healthy fats - especially omega-3 fats. There’s a reason that some types of Omega-3s are called "essential fatty acids” because they are essential. Our bodies cannot synthesize them. You may have heard of ALA (alpha-linoleic acid) as an essential fat that is found in plant foods such as nuts and seeds. Another kind of omega-3 is DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), found primarily in fatty fish. These essential fatty acids participate in the structure of cell membranes, in particular in the brain and eyes. Involved in regulating the information flow between cells, especially neurons, omega-3 is imperative for normal immune function. Collectively, you will find omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed and canola oils, walnuts and walnut oil, wheat germ, and fatty fishes such as salmon. As you eat these foods, the healthy fatty acids are also passed to your baby providing benefits to you both.
As pregnancy winds down, some women start planning to and learning about breastfeeding. Know that nursing a baby is natural, and you and your baby will learn together. Your little darling already knows exactly what to do, having already practiced sucking while in the womb. And if you ever have difficulty getting it off the ground, talk to your doctor or midwife about resources in your community to support breastfeeding. Mother’s milk is the best thing you can give your child, a real miracle of nature. What‘s more, your milk automatically adjusts to your baby’s needs. At the start of the meal, the milk is thin and watery to quench baby’s thirst and then it gets thicker and richer to satisfy your baby’s appetite. If your child develops a bigger appetite, your body will quickly adjust and produce more milk. Amazing!
Health Canada. Canada’s Food Guide: Healthy eating when pregnant and breastfeeding. Healthy eating when pregnant and breastfeeding - Canada's Food Guide Accessed September 2021.
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