The minute you knew you were pregnant you also knew that your baby will be unique on all counts. You have been taking care of yourself and following doctor’s instructions carefully to ensure a safe delivery and a healthy baby in the process. If you have been wondering if there is something you can do to make your baby smarter along with healthy, then well the answer is yes.
There are certain dietary changes that you can incorporate along with some simple practices that will ensure that you boost your baby’s brain development.
- Fish: If you are a non vegetarian, then fish is the way to go. Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that boost the production of brain cells. However, do check with your doctor as to the exact amount of intake and the type of fish you can have.
- Fruits and Vegetables: Dark leafy greens, tomatoes and fruits act as antioxidants. They protect your baby’s brain tissue from damage. Ensure they are washed thoroughly before cooking or eating.
- No Alcohol: Even moderate amount of alcohol can damage your baby’s brain. Drinking during pregnancy has been associated with problems with learning, attention, memory in your baby later on.
- Proteins and iron: Your body needs at least 10 extra grams of protein every day to ensure healthy growth and development of your baby’s tissues. Most women are iron deficient. Iron is vital to the production of oxygen for your baby’s brain. This can lead to low IQ in your baby. Make sure you take iron supplements.
- Weight gain: Research has shown that there is a link between brain growth, IQ and the weight gain during pregnancy. Unnatural weight gain increases your chance of a premature delivery. Premature delivery is one of the causes for mental impairment. So follow a healthy diet and exercise.
- Relax: Maternal stress is a known cause of slow mental development. Learn to cope with stress with yoga and other relaxation methods. Also, try to reduce your reaction to stress. Keep away from persons and places that stress you out.
- Exercise: Exercising throughout pregnancy is a good idea but do it in moderation. Continuous overheating your body due to heavy exercise is associated with brain defects in the baby.
- Playing Music: Music has been recognized worldwide as an educative tool in the development of your baby’s brain. Babies who were exposed to music while in the womb have shown a distinct cognitive advantage later on. They seem to have a head start after birth for language development. Try lullabies, classical music and children’s songs. They soothe and relax your baby as well.
- Story Time: Like music storytelling also assists in the cognitive development of your baby. Listening to your voice stimulates pattern recognition and language skills in them. This can also be a bonding experience for you and your baby.
Many experts agree that actively stimulating your baby’s brain through diet and other actions have resulted in babies with higher levels of awareness and alertness. Do not forget that genetics also play a role in brain development. It is important for you to get good rest during pregnancy for the baby to have physical and cognitive development.