Pregnancy 101: What You Need to Know About Your Child's Brain Development Inside the Womb
Get the facts straight and start brain-building early, moms!
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You can feel and see that your baby is growing as your bump gets bigger, but did you know that during this time, he’s developing his brain in preparation for the outside world as well? Get the facts straight and start brain-building early*, moms!
WHEN DOES THE BRAIN START TO DEVELOP?
Brain development starts almost at the moment of conception and progresses alongside his physical development as the brain forms connections with his various organs and body systems. In fact, in your third trimester, your baby's brain size grows by 260 percent. Throughout the last two trimesters, a process called aggregation guides brain building by directing cells to their proper locations.
WHAT SKILLS ARE DEVELOPED BY THE BRAIN INSIDE THE WOMB?
Doctors have found that in the last trimester, and even earlier, your baby's brain can respond to environmental cues, and his senses are already in play. Here are some of the skills that he has developed while still in the womb:
He can recognize your voice. In fact, he shows a preference for your voice over others. Speak to your baby regularly like you're talking to a full-grown adult. Tell him stories or sing lullabies, too.
He can see light. Your baby can see light from outside the uterus as early as 15 weeks. How amazing is that?
He can distinguish flavors. Be aware of your cravings and the food you take. He may develop later preferences based on what you eat while you're pregnant. Always keep your meals healthy.
He can recognize smell. The sense of smell is the predominant sense very early on. In fact, the fetus may already be able to smell the foods that you eat by the end of the first trimester.
He may be dreaming. Your baby exhibits rapid eye movement patterns in utero, and this is a sign that he is having dreams as well.
WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE SURE MY BABY'S BRAIN IS PROPERLY DEVELOPED?
During pregnancy, it is critical to provide your baby with the vital nutrients that will support his brain development. A healthy diet includes vitamins and minerals such as folate, iron, calcium, and zinc, as well as an important brain-building nutrient: DHA or docosahexaenoic acid. A number of studies show that DHA is essential for your baby's brain and eye development as early as in the prenatal stage.
While natural sources like fatty fish are high in DHA, most mothers do not consume enough to have the right levels of this nutrient in their normal daily food intake. Drinking prenatal milk like Enfamama A+, which has the highest levels of DHA**, is an ideal way to supplement your diet and to ensure that you have the optimal levels of DHA to pass on to your baby.
To keep tabs on your and your baby's health, download the free Enfamama A+ App on your mobile or gadget device. With helpful articles, a detailed checklist, features such as a weight tracker and baby's kick counter, and even government forms you need to fill up for your maternity benefits, this mommy-friendly app will help guide you throughout your pregnancy.
Learn more how you can help your baby’s brain development inside your womb here. The Enfamama A+ App is available for both iOS and Android.