Baby brain development during pregnancy is fascinating. It builds up over time: it starts during pregnancy and continues developing through, till early adulthood. And like a building, it needs a strong foundation.
So how can you as a mother help baby brain development during pregnancy – essentially develop an internal organ of the baby, while the baby is inside you?
There are just so many ways you can help raise your own healthy genius.
They say that food is the way to someone’s heart. In this case, it just might be the way to the brain. That’s right, one of the primary ways to improve baby brain development during pregnancy is to eat right.
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1. Fish –
Fish, especially oily fish, is a rich source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is important for helping the brain and central nervous system mature. Fishes like sardines are less likely to be contaminated with mercury than many other fishes and are good for vitamin D.
Fishes are also rich in Omega-3s. Omega-3s are found in brain-cell membranes, so there are plenty of ways they can influence brain function, says Lisa Eliot, PhD, assistant professor at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, in Chicago.
2. Vitamin Supplements –
Taking it will help ensure that you get the balance of nutrients your baby needs, like folic acid and vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, vitamin C to produce collagen, vitamin D for bone building, and zinc for brain development. If your vitamin upsets your stomach, don’t just ditch it. Try taking it with a meal, or talk to your doctor about switching brands.
3. Lentils –
Iron is crucial, affecting the production of brain chemicals and the formation of myelin, which is vital for swift and accurate message sending in the brain. Too little iron can lead to impaired mental development.
4. Eggs –
Eggs can boost the intelligence of the unborn baby, according to Dr. Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology journal. This is caused by the micronutrient choline, which is vital in having babies in the womb, develop parts of their brains linked to memory.
5. Spinach –
Your baby requires the naturally occurring folate in spinach for the production of new DNA. It also regulates cell metabolism (on top of your folic acid supplement). Its antioxidants also protect the baby’s brain tissue from damage.
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6. Avoid Alcohol –
Though fetal alcohol syndrome is associated with heavy alcohol abuse during pregnancy, even moderate amounts of beer, wine, or liquor can harm a baby’s brain, according to the March of Dimes. Light to moderate drinking can lead to problems with learning, attention, memory, and social skills down the road.
7. Peanuts –
Peanuts are a great snack food during pregnancy, being rich in protein, niacin, monounsaturated fats and folate. Their high vitamin E content supports DHA and also protects brain cell membranes. Choose unsalted roasted or natural peanuts with the skin intact for a hit of antioxidants.
8. Avocados –
Fat makes up around 60% of the developing brain. Avocados contain high levels of oleic acid which helps to create and maintain myelin, a fatty protective coating around nerves in the central nervous system.
While these are the gastronomical ways to better your child’s brain, there are many other factors that are also at play.
Woman’s age –
Women who give birth in their 30’s are more likely to have intelligent children, according to Researchers at the London School of Economics. This may not be due to the age itself but, according to LSE researcher Alice Goisis, “First-time mothers in their 30s are, for example, likely to be more educated, have higher incomes, are more likely to be in stable relationships, have healthier lifestyles, seek prenatal care earlier and have planned their pregnancies.”
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Love and care for the baby –
Mothers who feel and show love for the baby in the womb have babies who are healthier, happier and relaxed. Bonding with the unborn baby and talking to her in a gentle and loving manner will have positive effects on her memory and emotions. Talking to the baby in the womb is also beneficial since the baby is building the foundations of language.
Gaining enough weight –
Gaining too much weight leads to a large baby and a difficult delivery, and this can be risky to the baby’s brain. On the contrary, gaining too little weight causes the baby to have smaller heads and brain, which is linked to lower IQ. The ideal weight gain, according to obstetricians, is between 25 to 35 pounds.
So these are the some of the major ways to raise a healthy baby with a well-developed brain.