How Pregnant Moms Can Ensure Healthy Brain Development of Their Children
According to CerebralPalsyGuidance, among all the babies born full-term in the US, 3 in 1,000 suffer from some degree of brain damage. There are many reasons why such damage is incurred by these babies. Many of them develop brain damage while they’re still in their mothers’ wombs.
To make sure that their children grow up with healthy brains, expecting mothers must be extremely cautious regarding certain things. In this article, we’ll shed light on some of the best ways pregnant moms can ensure the healthy brain development of their children.
Consume a Balanced and Nutritious Diet
For a healthy brain, a well-balanced and nutrient-rich diet acts as the foundation. A pregnant woman must focus on consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like fatty fish, chia seeds, and walnuts. Healthy fats like these help in developing the baby’s brain as well as its nervous system.
Apart from healthy fats, your body will also need foods containing high amounts of folate, iron, and vitamin D. These foods include leafy greens, legumes, and fortified dairy products. Such foods also aid in your baby’s healthy brain development. At the same time, they also help the baby with its cognitive growth.
Take Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins contain a lot of essential nutrients like folic acid, iron, calcium, and iodine. These supplements complement a healthy diet and also make sure that you and your child receive the right nourishment.
Since prenatal vitamins are basically supplements, consult a healthcare professional before you start consumption. They’ll prescribe the appropriate amount of vitamins you’ll need.
Do Regular Exercise
Physical activity is not only beneficial for the mother’s health but also plays a significant role in promoting healthy brain development in the fetus. Engaging in moderate exercises, such as walking or swimming, increases blood circulation, which helps deliver essential nutrients and oxygen to the developing brain.
Exercise also stimulates the release of endorphins, promoting a positive mood and reducing stress, which indirectly supports the baby’s brain development.
Ensure Adequate Sleep and Stress Management
According to the American Heart Association, prenatal stress can program your child’s brain for health issues in the future. That’s why proper sleep and effective stress management are crucial factors for a healthy pregnancy and optimal brain development.
During sleep, the brain consolidates information and forms important connections. Pregnant women should prioritize getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night to support their own brain health as well as that of their developing child.
Stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation can help reduce stress levels, ensuring a more conducive environment for the baby’s brain development.
Avoid Harmful Substances
Substances that are harmful to the developing brain should be avoided during pregnancy. These include alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and certain medications not prescribed or approved by a healthcare professional.
Alcohol and drugs can disrupt the normal development of the baby’s brain, leading to long-term consequences. Cigarette smoke contains harmful chemicals that can impair brain growth. It is vital for pregnant women to prioritize their baby’s well-being by abstaining from these substances.
You should also be careful regarding the medicine you consume. Many medications have been found to hamper the fetus’ brain development. Some go on to cause other major issues, including ADHD and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This was exactly what led to Tylenol autism lawsuit cases.
Tylenol, for those of you who don’t know, is a painkiller. It’s been observed that Tylenol can lead to ADHD, ASD, and other developmental and neurological disorders in infants when consumed by a pregnant mother.
According to TorHoerman Law, the Tylenol lawsuit settlement amounts could be anything between $50,000 to $500,000. This goes to show just how dangerous this drug is and how medications, too, can be harmful to your child’s brain development.
Provide Intellectual Stimulation
Even before birth, babies are receptive to stimuli. Providing intellectual stimulation during pregnancy can help nurture the development of neural pathways. Reading aloud, listening to music, and engaging in conversations with the baby can be beneficial.
Exposing the developing fetus to a variety of sounds, languages, and experiences encourages brain plasticity and enhances cognitive development. Additionally, pregnant moms can engage in activities such as solving puzzles, playing memory games, and practicing mindfulness exercises to enhance their own cognitive abilities and promote a healthy brain environment for their children.
As reported by Healthline, the human fetus begins the process of developing a brain around week five. However, as a pregnant mother, you have to be cautious about your health and daily lifestyle right from the moment you conceive the child.
Without healthy brain development, your child will struggle a lot with their daily life while growing up. Thus, as an expecting mother, stick to the points discussed above to ensure the healthy brain development of your child.