Couples who are expecting a baby want the best for their child. Often, parents-to-be “speak” to their child while still in the womb, and they may also play music to help foster brain development.
Mothers give up alcohol and many medicines during pregnancy, and they generally take better care of themselves than they usually do. They embrace any change that will give the baby an advantage.
All humans’ brains have approximately 100 billion neurons – and a newborn child will already have 100 billion brain cells by the time it is born. That is one of the many reasons why proper prenatal care is vital to the brain development of a child.
Factors of Fetal Brain Development
Many factors come into play during pregnancy, including:
- Age of the parents, especially the mother
- Amount of weight gained by the mother
- How much exercise the mother gets
- Types of food she eats during pregnancy
- Toxins the mother may be exposed to
- Any supplements she takes
- Whether the baby comes early
What a mother does while she is pregnant matters just as much as everything that comes after the child is born to facilitate the baby’s brain development. For example, certain vitamins and minerals during pregnancy can help protect against brain disorders like autism.
Eat Right for Proper Prenatal Nutrition
Studies on pregnancy and prenatal care all agree that fish and omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), help with fetal brain development. There is plenty of DHA in mother’s milk once the baby is born.
While fish is generally recommended as very good brain food, tilefish, king mackerel, tuna, and swordfish can contain high levels of mercury – which should be avoided during pregnancy, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelines.
Fresh fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, which are extremely healthy for the unborn child. Deep-colored produce like papaya, blueberries, and dark leafy greens have the highest levels of antioxidants – just be sure to wash all fruits and veggies thoroughly to remove any traces of pesticide.
OB/GYN in Los Angeles
Whether you or someone you know is pregnant or is currently trying to get pregnant, be sure to learn about the dos and don’ts of pregnancy. Your obstetrician will explain everything you need to know in order to keep your baby – and yourself – as healthy as possible before and after giving birth.
Dr. Paddy Jim Baggot is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology, and he is also a certified natural family planning medical consultant and a certified clinical metal toxicologist. If you have any questions or fears about having a baby or what to expect, look no further than the Guadalupe Medical Center.
Dr. Paddy Jim Baggot’s goal is to ensure that you – as parents – have the happiest, healthiest child possible. Call us today to schedule an appointment at (213) 386-2606, or request an appointment online. Dr. Baggot firmly believes that children are gifts from God – so be sure to give your child every possible advantage even before they come into the world.