When you are pregnant and begin your wait for the unknown, unseen bundle of joy, there are so many apprehensions that occupy your mind. You keep of tab of the milestones that you ought to achieve as you progress on the course of pregnancy.
You weigh each and every act of yours during this period. What worries you most is the development of the brain as it one of the most vital part of an individual. Fetal brain development is one of the most decisive factors in shaping the life of your child. It is important to know what affects the development of the brain and avoid doing those in order to avoid any kind of congenital problem.
Brain development in fetus begins with the formation and closure of the neural tube. It is first nervous tissue that looks like a earthworm on the back of the embryo. The formation of this neural tube starts just 16 days from the day of conception which closes by 27 days of conception. Once the tube is fully closed, the transformation to brain and spinal cord begins.
When understanding about Brain development, it is very important to understand about Neural Tube Defect or NTD.It is one of the most sensitive periods in brain development when the neural tube is closing. If, the tube fails to seal in the head end of the embryo,by the fourth week of conception a defect known as anencephaly results.
Anencephaly is”lack of a cerebral cortex,” If the tube fails to seal at its lower end, spina bifida, a defect of the spinal cord happens. In this condition a part of the spinal cord develops outside the spine, where it is highly prone to damage. NTDs can be detected prenatally with Triple Marker test.
A recent discovery indicates that NTD can be prevented by taking Vitamin B and folic acid. It asserts that an adequate intake of these Vitamin B and Folic acid and can prevent 60% of NTDs in developing in the first place. Hence, all pregnant women should take a 400 microgram folic acid supplement every day.It is important to take this one month before the conception to at least the end of the third trimester, if not more.
According to the latest study the factors listed below have an impact on the of pre-natal development of the brain.
Love and Care for Your Unborn Child
If you were ever conscious about being caught speaking to your baby in the womb, you better not be because researchers say this is is very important for the development of the brain. It not only strengthens the bond between the mother and child but also goes a long way in developing positive memory and emotions in the child. It is also the basic thing that lays a strong foundation for developing speaking and language acceptance skills.
Watch the Weight Gained During Pregnancy
Gaining excessive weight during pregnancy is a possible indication of a large baby and a difficult delivery. During the process of delivery the brain of the baby may be at risk. If you gain too less weight, it essentially means smaller baby with smaller head and brain which is in turn linked to lower IQ. Pregnant women should limit their weight gain to about 20 percent of their ideal pre-pregnancy weight so as to insure adequate growth of the fetus. This requires consuming not more than an extra 300 calories per day. Also , 10.12 gms of protein should be included in the daily diet.
Include Fish Oil and Omega-3 in the diet
Researchers have found that babies born to mothers with higher blood levels of the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) at delivery had had more advanced brain compared to those with lower levers of DHA. The attention spans is much better and in the first six months of life, these kids were found to be ahead of the other kids (whose mothers had lower DHA level)in terms of developmental milestones and attention span .
Therefore, if you could include 12 ounces (two average meals) a week of a variety of fish such as shrimp, salmon, and catfish that are low in mercury levels, it would greatly boost the development of the brain.If you are a non fish eater ask your healthcare professional to help with DHA supplement
Continue to do Moderate Exercise
It has been suggested by researchers that Exercise during pregnancy could lead to improving fetal breathing movements. It also helps to regulate autonomous nervous system development of the kid. Mothers who continue to work out during pregnancy have babies with better IQ, there have been studies to suggest the same.
Factors that Adversely Affect the Fetal Brain Development
The age at parenting is very vital to determining the babies development in the womb. A study by University of Queensland, Australia suggests that those who enter into fatherhood at forty or above have the potential risk of having babies with symptoms of schizophrenia, autism and facial deformities. These kids were also found to be lacking in concentration, memory and other writing and reading skills as compared to those born to younger dads
Good nutrition is an important factor for the development of the brain. So watch your food basket, avoid junk and processed food. Alcohol, Marijuana, Heroine and Cocaine are a big No No as they cause behavioral and emotional problems. Cocaine results in an increased of abnormality of the brain, a condition called microcephaly where the skull is very small leaving no scope for the development of brain.
Excessive consumption of alcohol during pregnancy leads to fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), which causes fetal abnormalities that include underdeveloped brain, it could also impair the central nervous system of the fetus. Smoking or exposure to nicotine at the early stage of brain development poses severe threat to the brain cells that are important for cognitive development.
Infections such Rubella or German Measles are harmful infections that affect the fetal brain development. Toxoplasmosis,Cytomegalovirus, and other sexually transmitted diseases such syphilis, gonorrhea and Genital herpes are potentially threatening infections. It is important to practice good hygiene and all pregnant women should properly. Wash the vegetables and fruits that they eat raw. Even eggs and meat should be cooked properly before consuming. Avoid sick friends and wash your hands at regular interval to avoid any kind of infection