A baby's brain development starts very early and with that, an expectant mother needs to think about how to help that development.
Stimulation is one of the ways to engage your baby and promote healthy brain development. Here are several ways to stimulate fetal brain development.
As an expectant mother, one thing you should think of is your health. Physical, mental and emotional health. The healthier you are throughout your pregnancy, the better your baby’s will be. Brain development happens from the nutrients you get from food.
If being healthy is a new thing to you, research healthy habits like eating well, taking supplemental vitamins and gaining and maintaining a healthy weight.
The internet is filled with different health dishes, smoothies and fruits, all you have to do is research and you can help yourself and your baby.
The human body is comprised of 70% water. Water plays different roles in the body. For pregnant women, water is essential for fetal development.
Not everyone remembers to take 8 glasses of water every day but as a pregnant lady, it is important to do whatever it takes to have your water. There are different ways of doing so
- Get a big bottle of water and fill it during breakfast and have it with you everywhere all day.
- Put a reminder on your phone every hour to have your water.
- Have someone who takes the water with you. They will keep you in check.
Interact with your baby
That the baby is still inside your womb does not mean that you cannot interact with them. If babies can interact with the mother through physical contact such as kicking, stretching and rolling around inside, the mother can do the same through sound.
There are different ways to stimulate a babies' brain and help it develop better through sound such as:
- reading books aloud
- playing soothing music
- speaking to them as though in person
- letting other family members talk to the baby - father, other siblings
This will trigger responses from the baby and keep their brains active as they continue to develop.
Take your vitamins
Food alone may not be an adequate source of vitamins during pregnancy. Therefore, ensure that you take your prenatal vitamin supplements.
These vitamins are usually prescribed by doctors in the early days of your antenatal clinic visits.
Prenatal vitamins have the following
- Folic Acid
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B12
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Taking medication is a normal thing for most people whenever sick, but when pregnant, such things need to be looked into a bit more. Certain medications have been associated with conditions such as ADHD, birth defects, autism, anxiety, and other developmental issues. As a result, before taking any kind of medication, seek medical advice from a professional.
Avoid smoking and drinking
One of the most important things that doctors tell pregnant women is to avoid alcohol consumption or smoking while pregnant.
Nicotine in cigarettes constricts the blood vessels and thus reduces blood pressure. As a result, your baby does not get the necessary nutrition. This interferes with the baby's cognitive brain cell development.
Alcohol, on the other hand, leads to poor fetal brain development and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Babies born to mothers who were drinking during pregnancy may exhibit symptoms such as:
- impulsive behaviour
- attention deficits
- poor cognitive and memory skills
- lower IQ
- motor function disabilities
Numerous studies show that stress during pregnancy may increase the risk of congenital brain malfunctions in babies.
Therefore, do your best to relax and avoid any major life changes during your pregnancy. Promote a sense of calmness and try stress-reducing activities such as:
- Getting enough rest - sleep
- Drinking peppermint tea
- Light Yoga stretches
- Breathing exercises
- Talking to a professional or a friend
Having a healthy baby is the goal for any parent, so keep these points in mind as you continue to care for your bundle of joy.
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