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Understanding Brain Development: The brain development of the baby starts as a neural tube in the first few weeks after conception and this later becomes the future brain and spinal cord. This is followed by development of first neurons and synapses, cerebral cortex and myelination during second and third trimester.
It is a time of exponential growth when neurons develop during the first trimester. Sensory organs start to develop in the second trimester. It is a good idea to consume healthy fats as they promote faster development and healthier nerve connections and avoid chemicals and dangerous substances. Third trimester is the time to develop learning abilities. For instance, listening to good music can affect the child’s disposition later in life. Genes play 60% role in brain development during pregnancy.
Can you improve your baby’s brain development?
Yes, you can and it all starts in the preconception period. But if pregnancy comes as a surprise, you can still start working on it.
Measures you can adopt are-
Eating healthy: Having natural vitamins and minerals (fruits and veggies) results in a healthy baby weight and development. You need 300 calories extra during pregnancy than your routine diet. Ensure that consume a diet rich in proteins, iron, calcium, folic acid and vitamins.
Role of DHA: Studies have shown a direct correlation between intake of omega 3 (DHA, docosahexaenoic acid) and overall brain development, cognitive brain function and visual acuity. The most rapid brain development happens in the last trimester. Your baby’s brain development entirely depends on the mother for its source of DHA as it cannot convert alpha-linolenic oil into DHA. It has also been researched that infants with neurological abnormalities at birth were found to have low DHA levels. So as expectant mothers, please ensure adequate intake of DHA to ensure healthy brain development of your baby.
Drinking plenty of water: It helps to nourish the baby well and avoids fatigue, headache and a depressed immune system. As an expecting mother, you should drink at least 12 glasses of water every day. Adequate water intake prevents urinary tract infections, carries nutrients to the baby and prevents preterm labor. So start your count soon.
Regular exercise: We know it is difficult for you to exercise as pregnancy advances, but the more you do, the more energy you have as it improves blood supply to all parts of your body. It also helps movement of the baby which stimulates its growth. Other advantages you gain are strengthened cardiovascular system, better sleep, improved mood and easier labor. Regular walk and yoga relieves aches and pains, and improves balance and coordination. So, now is time to rock and roll.
Be happy: Your mental state and thoughts affect our baby. A baby will be affected more severely if you have altered mental health during pregnancy. So whenever you feel you have depressive symptoms, it is time to take action.
Music therapy: Listening to music improves brain function and makes babies smarter in music, life, and love. It has also been found that student musicians have a higher IQ than non-musicians. So listen to music which keeps you relaxed and helps to connect to your baby.
Conclusion: Now you know the easiest way to have a healthy intelligent baby is a healthier and happier Mom that ensures the best brain development of a growing baby.