It is every parent’s dream that her/his baby grows up to be healthy and intelligent. Sure, mother’s diet, genes and emotions play a part in developing a growing baby’s intelligence, but what about tips for creating a smarter, happier baby? Are there any? “Inherited genes play a major role in determining intelligence and personality, but the right lifestyle choices can help ensure those genes are programmed in the womb,” gynaecologist Ratnabali Ghosh says. By the third trimester, your baby can memorise sounds she/he hears regularly. (iStockphoto) 1. Start a storytime habit When does learning begin? Psychologist and parenting expert Polly Sengupta says the foundations for language begin in the womb and, by the third trimester, your baby can memorise sounds she/he hears regularly. Iron found in leafy vegetables, like spinach, helps the flow of oxygen to the baby’s brain cells. (Shutterstock) 2. Eat healthy Omega 3 fatty acids are absolutely essential for baby’s brain development. Make certain you include foods that have a good content of omega 3, such as, fish, soybeans and spinach, in your diet.
- Also, iron found in leafy vegetables, like spinach, helps the flow of oxygen to the baby’s brain cells.
- Include nuts such as almonds and walnuts in your diet during your pregnancy.
- Walnuts are essential for brain development of adults and babies alike.
- Almonds are a good source of niacin, protein and energy and helps in the overall brain development of the baby,” Ghosh says.
And if you want your baby to have the gourmet palate of an intellect, get adventurous at dinnertime, Ghosh suggests, as your baby’s taste buds develop from around 12 weeks. In one study, babies of mums who drank carrot juice while pregnant showed a preference for carrots once born. Staying fit and active is all the more important during pregnancy. (Shutterstock) 3. Stay fit and active Love the endorphin boost you get from exercise? Well, so does your baby. Staying fit and active is all the more important during pregnancy. Fight the urge to laze around and get off the couch if you want to make your baby smarter, Ghosh says.
Hormones released during exercise cross the placenta, bathing your baby in feel-good chemicals for up to a couple of hours. Plus, as exercise increases the flow of blood around your body, including to the womb. Hence, your baby’s development is given a boost,” she says. If you weren’t exercising before getting pregnant, stick to lightweight exercises and brisk walks, as it has been proven that mothers who are active during pregnancy have smarter children, she adds.
Latest research also suggests exercise during pregnancy can increase neurons in your baby’s hippocampus – the learning and memory part of the brain – by 40%. Unborn babies love music – it helps trigger happy chemicals, like serotonin, which encourage her/him to be calm and even increase concentration power. (YouTube) 4. Play music and get talking As the baby grows in her/his mother’s womb, she/he begins to hear and even respond to sound.
She/he may not understand what you are saying but stimulating your baby by talking or even singing can help with her/his brain development, says Sengupta. “You can even ask you partner to speak to your belly and feel the baby respond in return,” she says, adding, “From time to time listen to soothing music or even nursery rhymes.” Perhaps the most important education of all – you can shape your baby’s music taste.
“Unborn babies love music – it helps trigger happy chemicals, like serotonin, which encourage her/him to be calm and even increase concentration power. After the birth, your baby remembers and relives all those good feelings associated with the music each time she/he hears it,” Sengupta says. Deficiency of thyroid in the mother can affect the intelligence quotient of the baby. (Shutterstock) 5. Keep thyroid levels in check Thyroid is essential for the body. During pregnancy if your thyroid level is unstable it can affect the baby: Deficiency of thyroid in the mother can affect the intelligence quotient of the baby. You must take additional supplements for the well-being of the baby and a smooth delivery. (Shutterstock) 6. Don’t ignore the supplements During pregnancy your body needs extra nourishment. Though a wholesome meal will provide you with ample nutrition,you must take additional supplements for the well-being of the baby and a smooth delivery. All you need to do is soak some sunshine up for 20 minutes a day. (Shutterstock) 7. Get a little sunshine Never before has vitamin D been so important. All you need to do is soak some sunshine up for 20 minutes a day. “We test the pregnant mums who come to our clinic for vitamin D, and more than half of them are deficient. Research suggests an unborn baby can even distinguish between her/his mother and father’s touch. (Shutterstock) 8. Gently massage your tummy According to a Time magazine article, rubbing your belly gently is also a good stimulation for the baby. “A baby, still in the womb, can feel your touch.
From around 20 weeks, your baby will feel you touching your bump and stroking it can send calming messages to her/his nervous system, Sengupta says. Research suggests an unborn baby can even distinguish between her/his mother and father’s touch. Pass some almond oil: this is the best excuse for a massage ever.
What’s more? Your unborn baby even has sense of smell. Sengupta suggests you try and smell fresh flowers, fruits and other such soothing fragrances whenever you can, as these exercises will also help with the baby’s brain stimulation. Follow @htlifeandstyle for more
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Sanya Panwar is an online journalist with Hindustan Times. She writes on health, wellness, travel, fashion, relationships, films and pop culture.
What should I eat for baby’s brain development during pregnancy?
Introduction What is happening in the brain during pregnancy? In-utero is a critical brain developmental period once gene–environment interactions influence the maternal-placental-foetal triads, resulting in both short- and long-term outcomes on brain health, Many factors influence offspring neuro functional and structural outcomes, but nutrition has particular importance,
- All nutrients are essential to neuroplasticity, however the role of glucose, fats (including long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids), protein, iron, zinc, iodine, copper, folate and choline have been highlighted in several studies.
- Ey Risk Factors Key risk factors during this stage include nutritional and other lifestyle considerations, such as smoking, as well as socio-economic status and levels of stress.
Nutritional Risk Factors Folate and B12 Insufficiency Although there is growing evidence on the role of preconception nutrition for improved birth outcomes and the benefits of periconceptional folic acid for preventing neural tube defects, less is known about the impact on intellectual functioning in early childhood and beyond and more research is required.
- Maternal pre-pregnancy BMI has, however, been negatively associated with children’s cognitive performance, even after adjusting for socio-demographic confounders and children’s BMI, and this relationship appears to become stronger as children get older,
- Iodine Deficiency Furthermore, a positive association has also been identified between iodine status before conception and child IQ, supporting its link to poorer cognitive function reported in other studies,
However, unexpectedly there was a lack of association to measures of executive function. Although deficiencies are always best avoided, further data are required to establish the public health importance of low preconception iodine status. Overall Nutritional Status Additional recent data shows that weekly preconception supplementation of multiple micronutrients improved certain domains of intellectual functioning at age 6 to 7 years compared with folic acid alone,
The impact of supplementation on child intellectual functioning was also magnified among children whose mothers consumed supplements at least 6 months before conception. Moreover, this effect was greatest among children born into families with the lowest household socioeconomic status. These findings suggest the scope for preconception micronutrient interventions to have long-term benefits for cognition, particularly for these members of the community.
Maternal Gut Health Maternal gut microbiota has been associated with abnormalities in the brain function and behaviour of offspring—often in response to factors like infection, high- fat diet or stress during pregnancy. Interactions between gut microbiota and intestinal mucosa cells influence the immunological tolerance and production of pro- and anti-inflammatory substances (e.g., cytokines).
Previous studies in mice have observed that changes in the gut microbiota, may alter levels of brain-inflammatory factors in the cortex and hippocampus, interfering in the brain plasticity, Imbalances in the Ratio of Omega 3: Omega 6 Animal research reveals that a maternal diets rich in omega-6 fats (and low in omega-3) impairs the neuronal layer formation in the offspring’s neocortex, and also provides compelling evidence that these diets can have long- lasting effects on the offspring’s mental state and abnormal levels of anxiety in adulthood.
More recent research has indicated that when pregnant females consume diets high in polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acids, the produced excess of endocannabinoids overloads the corresponding cannabinoid receptors in the foetal brain. The consequence of this is that healthy brain development is impaired by disrupting and limiting neuronal signalling,
- In line with this, evidence shows that a good balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids is known to improve the development of brain functions.
- Omega-3 supplementation during either pregnancy or infancy has actually been found to improve child neurodevelopment, indicating the importance of sufficient polyunsaturated fatty acid intake by pregnant women and young children,
Lifestyle Risk Factors Smoking tobacco Intrauterine tobacco exposure, including passive smoking, are linked with several negative nicotine, carbon monoxide and other toxin-related effects, The mechanisms by which prenatal exposures influence early neurodevelopment and neurobehavioural dysfunction are numerous, highly interrelated and not completely understood,
- However, it is well established that the negative effects of tobacco are dose and duration-responded, particularly disrupting the neurological route of neurotransmitters, acetylcholine and dopamine,
- Continued exposure to smoking toxins throughout pregnancy may influence offspring neurodevelopment, coursing with foetal developmental brain vulnerability, increased risk of neuropsychiatric disease, such as autism, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, attention and hyperactivity disorders,
Moreover, evidence has shown that nicotine intake during the second trimester of pregnancy affects the dopaminergic neurological system, making the foetal brain more susceptible to nicotine and developing ADHD symptoms not just in a foetus but, persisting later into adolescence,
Alcohol consumption Alcohol is teratogenic to the foetus and can be harmful to babies’ brains even in small amounts. Higher foetal sensitivity to the alcohol effects has been recognised at a very early pregnancy stage (between the second and tenth week of pregnancy), a period when many women do not know yet to be pregnant.
Pregnant women’s alcohol consumption may cause the Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, which is a disease entity characterised by neurobehavioral abnormalities, several brain damages and body structure changes, Stress During Pregnancy Higher maternal cortisol concentration (one of the primary biomarkers of physiological stress) in early gestation was associated with higher prevalence of child affective problems, while pregnancy anxiety at 19 weeks gestation was associated with several brain anatomic change,
Evidence also shows that maternal pre-pregnancy BMI, but not weight gain during pregnancy, is associated with a 2.8-fold increase in the prevalence of ADHD among children of obese, compared to those of non-obese mothers, Taken together, the findings support the notion that pre-conceptional and prenatal conditions may impact child brain development, with significant offspring brain alterations being associated with variation in environmental conditions during gestation.
Barriers/challenges to achieving optimal neurological health & strategies Recognising maternal nutrient needs and how genetic and lifestyle factors impact metabolism, is the best way to empower actions to improve nutritional approaches to prenatal care,
- There remain many challenges in understanding the complex interplay of maternal-placental-foetal conditions and injury on early neurodevelopment, as well as potential overlapping mechanisms of brain harm,
- However, antepartum, peripartum, neonatal, and early childhood have been already been indicated to be highly important sensitive windows and integrated stages to promote brain health,
As children grow, deficits in socio-emotional function and intellectual abilities become increasingly apparents, especially regarding social judgement, antisocial behaviour, interpersonal skills, and academic achievements, Early stimuli such as post and prenatal maternal nutrition may increase the risk of adverse health outcomes, either physical or mental, in later life,
- Due to foetal neuroplasticity even a small increase in developmental risk associated with prenatal exposure may be sufficient to move significant numbers of children into the developmentally delayed range of functioning,
- Despite being recognised as extremely relevant to proper foetal neurodevelopment, the low adherence to nutritional recommendations is a global issue,
Multiple sociocultural factors such as income, education, cultural traditions, food availability and affordability, individual beliefs and preferences, social, geographical, and environmental aspects influence maternal choices both, post conception and during gestation,
- Moreover, social-economic stressors along with environmental stressors exacerbates pre-existing disparities and maternal health conditions,
- Optimal nutrition during pregnancy requires a multi-faceted approach including effective strategies to determine nutrient status, address key nutrient gaps, and gain a deeper understanding of maternal nutrient interactions on foetal and childhood brain development,
Nutritional Interventions Table 1 below lists some key nutrients for preconception and pregnancy, with their functions and food sources.
|EPA & DHA||Essential nutrients for normal brain development as they are integral structural components of neurological systems. DHA is also important to retinal development and eye health, Helps to develop the baby’s brain, including memory, learning, behaviour, neural repair, vision and emotions||Oily fish (like mackerel, sardines, salmon and tuna) or vegan algae supplement (plant-based)|
|Vitamin A||Helps to strengthen the immune systems against infectious diseases such as measles and diarrhoea. Also, essential for retina development (vision and preventing blindness), however, too much can result in malformation.||Carrots, squash, Sweet Potato; Dark Green Leafy Vegetables, lettuce.|
|Vitamin C||Mild deficiencies of Vitamin C in pregnant mothers could stunt the foetal hippocampus by 10-15%||Orange, lemon, strawberry, kiwi, guava, acerola cherries, lychees, papaya, bell peppers, broccoli, parsley, brussel sprouts, kale|
|Vitamin B6||Vitamin B6 is the main cofactor of biological reactions. Vitamin B6 deficits imposed during pregnancy and/or early postnatal periods in rats have been shown to interfere with the normal development of at least four regions of brain: neocortex, caudate/putamen, cerebellum, and the medulla oblongata.||Beef, poultry, fish, spinach, avocado, banana, sunflower seed, sweet potato.|
|Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)||May help to prevent spinal cord defects and brain damage. Acts as a cofactor in numerous enzyme pathways in the brain. Important throughout the foetal period, first enhancing neuronal proliferation and migration from 6–24 weeks’ PCA and then regional brain differentiation in the third trimester.||Green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, bananas, and beans|
|Vitamin B12||There is evidence of positive association between maternal vitamin B12 status during pregnancy and offspring neurocognitive performance at 2 and 9 years of age||Meats, poultry, pork, ham, fish (salmon), eggs and dairy- milk|
|Vitamin D||Pivotal in early immune development and early skeletal development. Although not completely established, prenatal hypovitaminosis D is linked with increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders, poor cognitive and motor development and schizophrenia.||Most vitamin D is dermo-produced through sun exposure, but it can be found in fatty fish (tuna and salmon), fortified food (milk, orange juice, soy milk, cheese), egg yolks, cod liver oil and wild mushrooms.|
|Vitamin K||Important in the nervous system, and research increasingly demonstrates its anti-inflammatory activity and protective effect against oxidative stress. Though not yet definitive, evidence of a direct correlation between vitamin K levels and cognitive performance has been found.||Citrus fruits, potatoes, and dark green leafy vegetables.|
|Zinc||It is second in trace metal abundance in the central nervous system. Important for neural tube formation Governs stem cell proliferation and neurogenesis in the central nervous system during foetal brain development. Zinc is also needed to support the senses of taste and smell. The highest concentrations are found in the choroid layer of the retina.and in the hippocampus. Clinical studies and preclinical models suggest that zinc sufficiency between 24 and 40 weeks’ PCA is important for the proper development and function of the hippocampus, cerebellum and autonomic nervous systems.||Red meat, poultry items, oysters, cashew nuts and almonds.|
|Iron||Iron deficiency anaemia is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide, and is related to pre-eclampsia, preterm labour and premature rupture of membranes. Maternal deficiency is linked with the behavioural and neural development of changes in white matter myelination, striatal monoamine metabolism and hippocampal function.||Meat, beans, nuts, dried fruit, wholegrains, fortified breakfast cereals, soybean, most dark-green leafy vegetables.|
|Iodine||Essential for the production of thyroid hormones in the mother’s body, and also normal development of foetal brain. Iodine deficiency leads to a state of hypothyroidism, which results in lower brain weight and DNA content, reduced neuronal dendritic arborization and synaptogenesis and hypomyelination, Mild maternal iodine deficiency may have adverse effects on foetal cognitive development. Research shows children whose mothers had low dietary iodine intakes (from food) during pregnancy were more likely to experience symptoms of impaired brain development at aged three e.g. language delay, behaviour problems, and reduced fine motor skills.||Seaweed (nori, kelp, kombu, wakame); fish, shellfish, dairy (milk, yoghurt, cheese), eggs, liver, chicken|
|Choline||Choline is crucial for optimal brain development, with early life deficits causing long-term impacts on brain function. It is also utilised in retinal development and lack of adequate amounts could adversely impact eye health. Choline also alters timing of neuronal differentiation in the septum and the hippocampus, two brain regions known to be involved in learning and memory. Supplementing the diet of pregnant mothers with choline has even been found to reduce the damaging effects of alcohol consumption on their unborn children’s brain development ( Bottom et al., 2020 ). Results from a tightly controlled randomised feeding study have also suggested that when pregnant mothers consume sufficient amounts of the nutrient choline, their offspring gain enduring cognitive benefits,||Eggs, poultry, and dairy|
|Selenium||Selenium deficiency is linked with recurrent pregnancy loss, pre-eclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction. Cord serum selenium concentration is directly correlated with the infant head circumference,||Seafood, eggs, poultry, kidney, liver, cereals, nuts, garlic, and radish|
|Copper||Important to the connective tissues, iron metabolism, production of melatonin, heart function, immune system function and development of the central nervous system. Copper is a vital cofactor of antioxidant enzymes and is involved in removing pregnancy oxidative stress. Oxidative stress may lead to poor pregnancy outcomes such as pre-eclampsia, foetal growth restriction, and miscarriage. Evidence has approved the effective role of copper in neurobehavioral and neuro-cognitive development during the last two third of pregnancy.||Shellfish, kidney, liver, wholegrains, nut, beans, dark leafy greens, cocoa, dried fruits,|
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and Shibata, H., 2016. Maternal dietary imbalance between omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids impairs neocortical development via epoxy metabolites. Stem Cells, 34 (2), pp.470-482 Scher, M.S., 2022, April. Gene-Environment Interactions During the First Thousand Days Influence Childhood Neurological Diagnosis.
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How can I have a beautiful baby?
Eat fresh fruits – If you want to give birth to a beautiful baby, plan your meals to include nourishing food. Fruits like mangoes, papaya, oranges, bananas, and African cherries should be in your diet. There are many other seasonal fruits, and you’ll do well to eat them if you want beautiful babies.
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In which trimester is the baby’s brain fully developed?
Updated on April 14, 2020 Your baby’s brain development is a complex process that continues throughout your pregnancy. At just six weeks, the embryo’s brain and nervous system begin to develop, although the complex parts of the brain continue to grow and develop through the end of pregnancy, with development ending around the age of 25.
- It’s important to take care throughout your pregnancy to ensure proper brain development for your baby.
- Just a couple of weeks after you conceive, the embryo forms a neural plate.
- This is the base for the nervous system.
- As it grows, it becomes longer, folding in on itself to become the neural tube.
- The bulge of the tube becomes the brain, while the rest of the tube stretches into a spinal cord and eventually develops into the rest of the nervous system.
The brain begins with the neural tube, formed in the first month of the embryo’s growth. The neural tube closes around week 6 or 7, at which point the brain separates into three parts: front brain, midbrain, and hindbrain. These three parts will eventually develop into the specialized parts of the brain, and the cerebrum will fold into the left and right halves of the brain.
- From the time the neural tube closes, around week 7, the brain will grow at a rate of 250,000 neurons per minute for the next 21 weeks.
- Ultrasounds can reveal the embryo moving as early as 6 weeks after conception (or 8 pregnancy weeks), detecting the electrical impulses that govern movement and indicating that the brain is beginning to function.
During the first trimester, the brain develops rapidly and makes up nearly half of the fetus’s weight. For comparison, by the time your baby is born, the brain is only 10 percent of their body weight. In the first trimester, the brain will grow millions of neurons, which connect across synapses to direct movement and growth.
- The communication between neurons is what helps the fetus learn to move, although during the first trimester you probably won’t feel any movement.
- In the second trimester, the fetal brain begins to direct the compression of the chest muscles and movement of the diaphragm.
- These are kind of like practice breaths and are controlled by the brain stem.
Sucking and swallowing begin around week 16, and by week 21, the fetus can swallow amniotic fluid. During the second trimester, the fetus is still testing out movements, kicking and stretching. At some point between week 16 and week 20, the fetus should be large enough that you can feel the baby kick.
These movements are directed by the cerebellum. At this point, the fetus develops the full range of specific fetal movements. In the second trimester, the fetal brain begins to direct the compression of the chest muscles and movement of the diaphragm. These are kind of like practice breaths and are controlled by the brain stem.
The fetal brain stem is almost entirely developed by the end of the second trimester. This part of the brain is located just above the spinal cord. The nervous system has developed enough to detect loud noises from outside — you may feel the baby startle when there’s a loud clap of thunder or a car honking.
- The baby will start to identify the sound of your voice and may turn its head up toward the sound.
- Finally, the brainwaves that occur during sleep, controlled by the hypothalamus, begin occurring around week 28.
- Your baby will begin experiencing sleep cycles, including REM sleep, the stage where dreaming occurs.
Brain development in the third trimester is marked by the rapid development of neurons in the brain and explosive growth. Your baby’s brain will triple in size during this time, growing from a little over 3 ounces to almost 11 ounces at birth. The cerebrum will begin to develop grooves and ridges and separate into the left brain and right brain.
- The cerebellum is the fastest-growing part of the brain in the third trimester.
- This is the part responsible for motor control, so your baby will begin to move more, wiggling fingers and toes, stretching, and kicking.
- Brain development in the third trimester is marked by the rapid development of neurons in the brain and explosive growth.
Your baby’s brain will triple in size during this time, growing from a little over 3 ounces to almost 11 ounces at birth. The baby is large enough that you’ll notice quite a bit of movement, some of which may be a little uncomfortable. In addition, the fetal sensory system shows integration and functionality during this period.
The cerebrum is responsible for thinking, feeling, and memory. It’s the largest part of the brain and contains the cerebral cortex and the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. The cerebellum is responsible for directing the body’s motor control, from moving arms and legs to the fine motor skills of pinching and grasping. The brain stem controls the vital functions that keep the body alive. These are mainly involuntary systems like heartbeat, blood pressure, and breathing. It also controls the digestive process, although hunger cues come from elsewhere. The pituitary gland is in charge of releasing most of the hormones in the body that direct the metabolism, ovulation, growth, and more. The hypothalamus regulates body temperature, hunger and thirst cues, sleep, and emotions.
Ultrasounds during your pregnancy will allow your doctor to monitor brain development and make sure each part is growing according to schedule. It’s important to consume at least 600 mg of folate, or folic acid, during the first trimester and 400 mg later in pregnancy.
- This vitamin supports brain and spinal development, ensuring that the spinal tube fuses correctly and stimulating the growth of the brain throughout your pregnancy.
- Prenatal vitamins, created specifically to deliver the nutrients necessary during pregnancy, contain extra folate.
- If you aren’t getting enough from your diet, consult with your doctor about the best kind of prenatal vitamins for you.
You can also get folate naturally from your food, specifically flax seed, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables. It’s important to consume at least 600 mg of folate, or folic acid, during the first trimester and 400 mg later in pregnancy. This vitamin supports brain and spinal development, ensuring that the spinal tube fuses correctly and stimulating the growth of the brain throughout your pregnancy.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are another vital nutrient for brain growth.
- The brain is composed of mostly fat tissue, which makes these fatty acids especially important.
- Omega-3s are a structural fat in the brain, eyes, and nervous system, and they help develop the neural pathways and communication between the different parts of the brain.
You can get these naturally though fatty fish like salmon or from walnuts, certain nut butters, and avocados. You can also take fish oil or another type of Omega-3 supplement. Be sure to speak with your obstetrician before taking supplements. Eating a balanced diet of whole foods and drinking plenty of water will help your baby’s brain develop properly.
- One of the largest contributors to fetal harm is alcohol.
- Drinking while pregnant can severely impact the growth and development of the baby’s brain.
- Alcohol consumption can cause fetal alcohol syndrome, which causes brain damage and problems with a baby’s growth.
- Babies with fetal alcohol syndrome may have a certain cast to their facial features, including drooping eyes.
They may also experience speech delays and mild to severe retardation. There is no known “safe” amount of alcohol to consume while pregnant, and the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome are irreversible. If you are having trouble abstaining from drinking, it’s important to discuss this with your doctor right away.
One of the largest contributors to fetal harm is alcohol. Drinking while pregnant can severely impact the growth and development of the baby’s brain. Smoking is also harmful to a baby’s development overall, including low birth weight and a reduction of the formation of neurons in the brain. Cigarette smoke, and the chemicals it contains, also impact the communication between neurons.
Illness and infections in the mother can have a profound impact on the development of the fetus’s brain. This can result in lowered neurological and psychomotor skills, like motor function, language, social adaptation, and cognitive function. Even relatively minor illnesses, such as chickenpox, can seriously damage the formation of brain cells and their wiring.
Sexually transmitted infections are especially important to treat or monitor. If you don’t have a cat, it’s best to wait until after you have the baby to get one. Feline feces can contain parasites that cause toxoplasmosis, which can be harmful to your baby and especially their brain. If you do have a cat, get someone else to clean the litter box and be sure to wear gloves if you do it yourself.
Ensuring that your baby has healthy brain development looks a lot like ensuring the overall health of your pregnancy. Eat whole foods and drink plenty of water. Be sure to take proper prenatal care, including supplements as directed by your doctor. Refrain from smoking and drinking, and be sure to get mild exercise as recommended by your OB-GYN.
Borsani et al., Correlation between human nervous system development and acquisition of fetal skills:an overview. Brain and Development, vol41, issue 3, March 2019, 225-233. Coletta et al., Omega-3 fatty acids and pregnancy. Review Obstetrics and Gynecology.2010 Fall; 3(4):163-171 K.L Jones, The effect of alcohol on fetal development.
Embryo today:Reviews.21 March 2011 Wehby et al., The impact of maternal smoking during pregnancy on early child neurodevelopment. Journal of human capital, 20115(2): 207-254 https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/7247-fetal-development-stages-of-growth https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/prenatal-care/art-20045302 https://lozierinstitute.org/qa-with-the-scholars-fetal-brain-development-and-pain-capability/ https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/1376-what-are-the-most-important-influences-on-brain-development-before- birth mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week biointeractive.org/classroom-resourses/prenatal-development-human-brain
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Does milk help brain development?
How Human Milk Helps Build Baby Brains Audrey Humphries(1), Nneoma Edokobi(1), Catherine Lavallee(1), and Brittany Howell Ph.D.(2,3) (1) Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTCSOM), Roanoke, Virginia (2) Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech Carilion, Roanoke, Virginia (3) Department of Human Development and Family Science, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia Milk is a major contributor to optimal brain development and improved cognitive performance later in life (Shafai et al.2018), but it is still unclear which components are responsible.
Human milk not only contains the ideal nutrient composition (water, fat, carbohydrates, and protein) to support an infant’s basic nutritional needs, but it also contains extra-nutritive components that may play additional indirect, yet still active, roles in an infant’s growth (Hamosh 2001), including brain development (Petryk, Harris, and Jongbloed 2007).
There is currently little research that directly assesses the relationships between breastmilk’s extra-nutritive bioactive components and infant neurodevelopment. However, several studies present evidence that these factors influence infant gut maturation, especially with respect to the gut’s immunologic properties and microbiome (bacteria and other microorganisms in the infant gut) colonization (Thai and Gregory 2020; McElroy and Weitkamp 2011; Palmeira et al.2016).
At first, it may seem odd to think that an infant’s intestinal health may give us insight to an infant’s brain development. Yet in the last twenty years, there has been increasing support for the microbiota-gut-brain axis hypothesis. This theory, backed by an impressive amount of research, supports the idea that the human gut’s commensal (beneficial) bacteria, epithelial cells, nerve cells, immune cells, and other important local mediators in the intestinal tract can communicate with and influence the brain (Montiel-Castro et al.2013).
With this amount of supporting literature on the gut-brain axis hypothesis (Niemarkt et al.2019; Anderson et al.2017; Gao et al.2019; Jena et al.2020), we find it reasonable to consider that some types of extra-nutritive components in human milk have the potential to indirectly and/or directly impact infant brain development by influencing the infant gut.
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What affects the baby brain during pregnancy?
Factors such as poor nutrition, stress and infection during pregnancy have all been associated with adverse effects on fetal neurodevelopment.
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Which fruits improve brain?
Certain fruits such as oranges, bell peppers, guava, kiwi, tomatoes, and strawberries, contain high amounts of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps prevent brain cells from becoming damaged and supports overall brain health. In fact, a study found that vitamin C can potentially prevent Alzheimer’s.
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