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How to Improve Baby Brain Development During Pregnancy

brain development

What you feed your body will feed your child. You only want the best, so choose the best.

What NOT to Eat During Pregnancy

In the recent years, we’ve found many ‘health’ foods are not so healthy.

Soy foods and products were preferred for some time, but recently, we have discovered they are simply bad. Oh, not all soy foods. Fermented soy is truly a health food. But, can you actually find real fermented soy in your stores? Outside of Asia, probably not. That tofu in the stores is not truly fermented.

We now know unfermented soy, especially in baby foods, causes problems, such as delayed development, allergies (environmental and food), asthma, lower IQ, and childhood cancers (leukemia). Later in life, consuming soy is directly linked and a known cause of thyroid problem. It’s also linked to depression, excessive weight, and heart disease.

pregnancy food

Anything low fat is slowly losing favor as healthy. We now know low fat lifestyles and diets are causes of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. Low-fat diets during pregnancy have resulted in lower birth weight, development problems, sickly children, and miscarriage.

Eating a diet rich in healthy fats provides us with stronger, healthier bodies. Proper fat consumption during pregnancy can be easily measured in the development of the fetal brain. We’ll go into this more below.

low fat dangers

Coloring and preservatives used in processed foods, especially the snack foods pregnant women enjoy are directly linked as a cause of ADHD in children. Several studies have shown that children with ADHD problems significantly improve and are even cured of ADHD when these chemicals are completely removed from their diet. Starting early, you can avoid potential problem by simply avoiding any foods that contain chemicals and pesticides.

Below we’re going to talk about the 5 best ways to improve your baby’s brains.

But first, we’re going to go over some brain development timelines for your child’s life. You’ll see the impact of what you choose to put in your body on how it will affect your child for the rest of their life.

Fetal Brain Development

The fetal brain goes through several stages of development. During the first trimester, the nerve cells form, but are not actually developed as a brain. Impulses begin to fire without pattern or direction. Sensory organs and nerves are not developed at this point, so the fetus does not feel pain.

During this time, it’s especially important to avoid chemicals and dangerous substances. The first trimester is a time of exponential growth. Healthy fats from natural foods are especially important since nearly 70% of the new tissues are fat based.

During the second trimester, nerve functions start to synchronize and differentiate. The sensory organ begin development, as do the nerves. About the 5th month, the baby can now start to feel, although the sensations they feel are very limited and erratic. Those healthy fats provide faster development, and healthier nerve connections.

During the last trimester, the brain is forming learning abilities and beginning memories. This is a time where exposure to classical music and soothing sounds will affect the child’s disposition later in life.

Infant Brain Development

Through the age of 5, the brain of children develops nerve connections at a rate unparalleled in any other time of development. Children can possibly develop and use over 100,000 new neuro connections per day.

This is why it is recommended children learn by doing things, listening to speech and language, and begin to read. It is much easier for a child to start learning these functions now than in the next couple of years.

Childhood Brain Development

From age 5 to 10, the learning capacity of children begins to slow down, however, they are still learning at a rate of about 10 times what an adult can learn. The odd phrase ‘picks up knowledge like a sponge’ is accurate. Children at this time will form 10,000 to 50,000 neuro connections per day.

The basic skills of reading, math, comprehension, and association are created now for a lifetime. Children who are stimulated during these years will go on to be smart and productive adults.

Avoiding sugary foods, colorings, chemicals, and pesticides during this time allows children to start developing self-control and ability to pay attention without artificial medications.

Teenage Brain Development

The final cementing of a personality and learning type occurs during the teenage years through about the age of 25. During this time, the brain is settling into patterns that determine a personality. Habits made during this time will last a lifetime. (Adults can change their personality, thinking patterns, and habits with conscious thought and hard work.)

During this time, hormones are being produced randomly and excessively. Many attention deficit drugs and supplements alter these hormone patterns. Artificially altering the patterns can delay the natural settling of these hormones, causing ADHD and depression later in life.

It’s important during this time to avoid brain damaging chemicals and recreational drugs. The disruption in brain activities can make learning more difficult in later life and severely impact the state of brain and hormones.

stages of brain development infographic

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5 Ways to Improve Your Baby’s Brain Development

Building your baby’s brain health starts far before pregnancy. Providing the healthiest and safest growing space is important to the overall health of your child.

But, if your baby is a surprise, then starting when you can is also important.

Prepare a Good Environment

Your baby will be at home totally within your body. Anything that goes in your body will go into your baby’s body. We need to make sure that only good things are going in.

There is a myth that the placenta filters out many toxins between you and your baby. While it does filter out some, most of what goes into us, goes into your baby. Drugs, medications, alcohol, chemicals, toxins, and hazardous materials all accumulate in your baby’s body.

toxins during pregnancy

Avoid doing remodeling and painting during pregnancy. While it is one of the most common ways to prepare, the toxins from paint and cleaning supplies are one of the #1 ways to disrupt your baby’s ability to build healthy brain tissues. In fact, a series of studies out of Europe found that 100% of babies born in 2013 had at least 12 chemicals in their systems at birth, with a staggering 238 at the max. The most common chemicals were the ones found in cleaning supplies.

Eat Healthy

Food is your #1 way to provide building blocks to your child. Choose wisely what you will give.

The only source of natural vitamins and minerals are fruits, vegetables, and whole cuts of meat. Processed foods contain many of those toxic chemicals we want to avoid.

Food cravings are often a sign of mineral deficiencies. Seeking out certain foods is a way to get them. Choose carefully. Ice cream has no nutritional value, therefore is just a sugar craving. This can turn into diabetes if not well controlled.

pregnancy menu infographic

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Drink Lots of Water

A staggering 78% of all people in the US are dehydrated right now. In the summer, this number can climb to 90%. In most people, this results in aching in joints, increased chances of high blood pressure, fatigue, head pain (a hangover is a dehydrated brain), and a depressed immune system.

In pregnant women, this can cause the amniotic fluid to become thicker. While this is often not a fatal condition, it can be uncomfortable and delay development.

water and pregnancy

Choose your source carefully. The only really good way to tell if your water is healthy is to have a private laboratory run a test on the water your drink. Then, you can make an informed decision.

There are pros and cons to the various sources of our water.

Personal well waters and springs are sometimes the cleanest and freshest sources. They tap into water deep underground. However, it’s also much easier to have bacterial contamination and unknown contaminants.

City water or tap water is tested and certified safe (within reason). However, it often doesn’t taste that good and can have contamination introduced in many ways. The chlorine and fluorine introduced are not good for your body.

Bottled water is considered to be safest, but that’s simply not true. Most bottled water is actually city water that is treated to remove the chlorine, thus making it more susceptible to bacterial contamination. The bottles introduce new contaminants. While the bottles are secure for 6 months, most bottled water sits in a warehouse for 4-10 months before going to a store. These plastic residues are more harmful than chlorine. Plus, in the past 10 years, bottle water has received more recalls and warnings than all public water services combined.

Regardless of the source, we require water and lots of it. Most people need between 64oz (2L) and 96oz (3L) per day. Being pregnant should mean you are drinking closer to the 96oz (3L) mark.

Yes, it will mean that your already crushed bladder with be filling more often. None of us can really help it when the baby dances on our bladder. However, this is something you really need to be aware of. Water is life and your baby needs all she or he can get.

Exercise Properly

I know, you’re balance is off, your feet ache, and you’re tired. Did you know that will go away the more you exercise?

Gentle, but stimulating exercising during pregnancy increases the blood flow to all parts of your body, including the baby. It will also increase your baby’s heart rate, muscle movements, and stimulate growth. In the past, women didn’t exercise, but kept active through normal activities.

 Exercise during Pregnancy

For most people, it’s perfectly safe to continue to exercise throughout pregnancy, all the way through giving birth. Now, this is the exercise that makes you feel good after you are done, not the kind that makes you want to fall over. If you already have a routine prior to becoming pregnant, most doctors will advise you to keep it up, just to start backing off when the baby becomes a hindrance to the exercise.

Yoga and swimming are two of the best exercises for pregnant women. Swimming takes much of the pressure off your body while providing quality resistance to keep muscles firm. Swimming also keeps you from sweating excessively or raising your core body temperature, which can be hazardous to your baby’s health.

Yoga provides muscle stimulating workouts, enhanced balance and coordination and peace. Yoga can help reduce many of the pain and waddling effects of pregnancy.

While exercising doesn’t provide real, tangible result right away, children of women who exercise are more likely to seek out sports and activity during their lives and be able to achieve the balance needed to keep good grade and activities at a high level.

Provide Brain Stimulating Activities

”Listening to Mozart makes babies smarter” was said in the movie The Incredible. It’s 100% true. Although, any classical, jazz, or instrumental music works, too. Studies show that music enhances brain function, and stimulates many parts that are not stimulated in any other way. A study of musician’s brains shows in excess of 5 times as many interconnections in the brain than non-musicians.

Your baby won’t come out of the womb playing the piano, but will come into the world with an appreciation of finer details in music, life, and love. Also, listening to classical music in the womb leads children to seek out music in schools. Student musicians have an average of 11 points higher IQ than non-musicians.

Reading provides similar stimulating material. But, don’t discount view art and nature. While science has yet to make a connection, it’s been long understood that viewing classical art encourages children to become more creative. It’s believed that the happiness derived from the mother viewing the art becomes ingrained in to the child, who will then seek out art in the future.

Conclusion

Many of these suggestions are not new ideas. Going back to a slightly simpler time takes many of the risks away from women and babies. The easiest way to make sure your baby is healthy is to make sure you are healthy.

​If you liked our article, please share it and use the comment section below to tell us about your experiences or ask any questions. Thanks!

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • leonard wanjala October 24, 2016, 9:43 am

    Is true /false that when awoman concive ababy during the day 13-14ovulation the reseacher say that is abest baby?

    • Mark November 19, 2016, 3:02 pm

      Hey Leonard!

      When a woman is ovulating, she can conceive. It is a short window of 24 to 36 hours when the egg is in the perfect position within the fallopian tubes.

      Please read this article, which gives exceptional amount of detail on the ovulation process and getting pregnant.

  • Tara Singh December 24, 2016, 11:04 am

    good job

    • Mark December 30, 2016, 10:55 pm

      Thank you, Tara! You’re welcome.

  • mpume mnikathi January 27, 2017, 10:31 am

    I am 5 months pregnant I like to know more about how to improve development of brain for my baby. I really appreciate what you have share with us.

    thank you

    • Mark February 5, 2017, 2:53 pm

      Hey Mpume!

      Thank you for your question and Congratulations on your pregnancy.

      One of the best things you can do for your baby is to make sure you get all the nutrition you need and to make sure your life is as consistent and stress-free as possible. For an upcoming mother, we know stress is a way of life.

      Look over some of the suggestions we have in this article again and supplement with a complete nutritional plan that make sure you get all of the vitamin minerals that both you and your baby need.

      Much of that can be accomplished by eating a diet that’s filled with vegetables and fruits. Avoiding processed foods will also help.

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