You already understand that a healthy lifestyle when you’re expecting helps your baby to grow healthily, but did you know it might make them more intelligent too?
The smallest choices that you make every day, from eating a leafy-green lunch salad to hitting the treadmill for a workout, can actually help develop their brain.
What you do while pregnant will affect your child’s brain development and future intellect as much as what you do after you give birth. Here are some tips you need to know on how to feed your baby’s brain before birth!
Eat Food Rich in Omega-3
Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA. Fish can help boost the brainpower of your child. The more fish you eat during the second trimester, the higher your baby scores on a mental-development test at age 6, in a report from Harvard Medical School.
Omega-3s are embedded in brain-cell membranes, and there are several ways they can affect brain activity, says Lisa Eliot, Ph.D., assistant professor at the University of Medicine and Science at Rosalind Franklin, Chicago. If you don’t like fish, discuss taking a fish-oil supplement with your doctor.
Eat More Protein
Right now, your body requires more protein to create cells and generate hormones for your growing infant. Your protein consumption simply needs to leap by 10 extra grams a day.
Some good protein boosters: a morning yogurt smoothie, a lunchtime cup of bean soup, peanut butter on whole-grain crackers for a snack, or a 3-ounce piece of lean beef (good options are tenderloin and sirloin).
Bond with Your Baby During Pregnancy
It may help you develop an intimate bond early on, says Child Mind Institute President Harold Koplewicz, M.D., New York City’s parent’s counselor. Research suggests your baby can hear and respond to sounds around halfway through your pregnancy.
Some researches have shown that babies tend to calm down to a song, a poem, or a voice and can remember rhythms they learned in utero.
Get More Sleep
Insomnia affects almost 80 percent of pregnant women; you can’t sleep in the same positions as you did in the pre-baby bump, your back hurts, you have to wake up and pee throughout the night, but it’s incredibly important to stay well.
Sleep will not only help improve your mood and strengthen your immune system, but it will also increase your chances of having a safe birth. With the right amount of sleep, your baby’s brain will have the time to grow properly in the womb, and there’s less risk of developing post-birth issues.
Include Folate in Your Meals
Folic acid, or folate in its natural form, belongs to the family of vitamin B-complexes and is important for the proper development of the fetal brain and spinal cord.
Some researches show that women who began taking folic acid supplements at least 2 weeks before conception and continued to take them until the 8th week of pregnancy had a much smaller risk of giving birth to a child with autism and neural tube defects.
Get More Sunlight
Vitamin D is essential for the baby’s strong muscles and bones and heart to develop. Some ongoing studies have linked pregnant women with a vitamin D deficiency to baby autism.
Make sure you get enough sunshine because when your skin is exposed to sunlight, your body synthesizes vitamin D. If you have a deficiency in vitamin D, consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
Studies show that babies can feel the sensation of touch in the womb. Gently massaging your belly will help to stimulate the baby’s brain and, with increased movement, make the baby respond to the stimulation.
Stress can affect the development of the baby’s brain, and even cause premature delivery, according to some researchers.
The longer the baby is in the womb, the more time it gets to grow well for its brain. For the mother-to-be, therefore, it is necessary to avoid stress and remain calm during the pregnancy.
The choices a mother-to-be makes will decide her baby’s health and brain growth. Therefore, healthy eating, taking prenatal vitamins, avoiding toxic substances, and remaining stress-free is important for pregnant women.
Following the advice in this article will certainly improve the odds of having an intelligent and happy baby during pregnancy.