Kale Leaves

      14 weeks pregnant

      Kale Leaves

      K is for kale

      Around the time you're 14 weeks pregnant, your baby’s kidneys are beginning to work, processing any amniotic fluid that they swallow. Their eyelids are developing and tiny nails are appearing at the ends of the fingers and toes. Learn why vitamin K is so important in pregnancy and how you can make sure you and your baby get enough.


      Your baby's development at 14 weeks

      Moving their own fingers and toes

      At roughly 85mm long, your baby is now starting to practise their breathing movements, even though they get all the oxygen they need through the umbilical cord from the placenta. By around the 14th week of your pregnancy their kidneys have started to work and they may begin to swallow small amounts of amniotic fluid. This passes into their stomach, through their kidneys, and back into the amniotic fluid as urine.

      By around week 14 your baby’s movements will be less erratic as they start to turn and stretch their hands, wrists and legs. They’ll also continue to develop eyelids, fingernails and toenails, and they might even have a small amount of hair on their head. Your baby will also start growing another type of hair, known as lanugo, which forms all over their body and keeps them warm in these early weeks. Later on in your pregnancy, they’ll shed this hair as they develop a layer of fat. Another important development at this stage is that their neck will continue to grow which means their chin will no longer be resting on their chest.

      Everything is O.K

      As part of your healthy balanced diet, it’s important to ensure you’re getting enough vitamin K. While it’s essential for blood clotting and bone health, adults only need a tiny amount – around 0.001mg a day for each kilogram of their body weight. And because your body stores any vitamin K that it doesn’t need immediately in the liver, you don’t need to include it in your diet every day.

      If a baby doesn’t get enough vitamin K during pregnancy, they can develop a rare bleeding disorder after birth. So although vitamin K deficiency is rare in babies, most are given a booster injection just after they’re born.

      Synthetic vitamin K can be toxic. So instead of taking supplements, include plenty of vitamin K-rich foods in your pregnancy diet to ensure both you and your baby get enough.

      Fresh raw salads and leafy green vegetables are high in vitamin K and other nutrients

      Foods that contain vitamin K include:

      • Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, cabbage and kale
      • Vegetable oils, especially soyabean oil
      • Eggs
      • Lean meat
      • Dairy products


      Try these meal and snack ideas to include good sources of vitamin K as part of your healthy, balanced diet:

      • Vegetable stir-fry using soya oil
      • Spinach and cheese Spanish tortilla
      • Coleslaw as a side dish to your lunch
      • Spinach salad with grilled chicken
      • Smoothie made with milk, a spoonful of yogurt and your favourite berries

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      Questions about feeding and nutrition?

      Our midwives, nutritionists and feeding advisors are always on hand to talk about feeding your baby. So if you have a question, just get in touch.