Last Updated on October 3, 2018 by Keisha Mclean-Green
You don’t have to rely on learning aids alone to teach your child. In reality, your child will enjoy learning from you. In fact, listening and growing familiar with you before birth is one of the most important things you can do for your baby’s brain development.
From day one, your baby relies on you for comfort and nurturing, along with love and learning. You will always be your baby’s first friend, teacher, and boss. Your “mini you” will always trust you before anyone else, so when it comes to healthy brain development, you don’t want to let your little bean down.
Early Brain Development
From the time of conception, your baby will begin the stages of brain development. With each day, week, month, and trimester a new development occurs. Many people argue that inherited genetics determine the brain cell development in the fetus. While this is partially true, researchers have determined that only 50 percent of brain development comes from genes, and the rest is up to you. The environment you provide for your baby plays an even bigger role in brain development.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you, as a pregnant mom can do to promote healthy brain growth and development before the birth of your baby.
Relaxation for the Brain
Did you know that your emotions will attach to your fetus like a sponge? According to GoodTherapy.org, with stress and anxiety comes the release of cortisol. When too much cortisol is released into the placenta, it can hinder your baby’s brain development and cause delays in the learning process and possibly a lower birth weight.
In high stress situations, it’s not always easy to stay calm, and pregnancy can increase feelings of worry. For the sake of your baby, find ways to relax and be sure to get enough sleep.
Food for the Brain
Hopefully, you already have healthy eating habits in place, but just in case you don’t, you need to understand how important it is to your baby’s brain development. When you hit 12 weeks, your baby will be developing taste buds, and by 25 weeks, your baby will enjoy flavors carried through the amniotic fluid. By eating healthy foods and drinking vegetable juices, your baby will have a great taste for good food.
Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids will expand your baby’s brain growth, and fruits and veggies will help to avoid brain damage. Take your prenatal vitamins like clockwork, overkill the protein, and increase your iron. Keep a healthy weight and never drink alcohol, do drugs, or smoke while you’re pregnant.
Following these guidelines will help safeguard the development of your baby’s brain growth.
Exercise for the Brain
Did you know that exercise is as important and healthy for your baby as it is for you? The hormones released while exercising feeds the placenta with a positive chemical that will be comforting to your baby for up to 8 hours, and it will give a jump start to the learning and memory part of the brain. If you need help with energy and brain perfomance you can start taking brain supplements from www.neurohacks.co/best-nootropic-brain-supplements/. Something as simple as a brisk walk or swimming is all it takes to boost your baby’s brain development. If you played tennis or participated in more strenuous sporting activities pre-baby, you might consider consulting your doctor before taking your baby onto the court with you.
Storytime for the Brain
You may not realize that you’re doing a good thing when you read out loud during pregnancy. Your baby is developing a mind for language, and believe it or not, by your third trimester, your baby will be memorizing repetitive sounds. If you have older children at home, allow them to read to the baby as well. The baby’s brain will take it all in, so don’t be surprised when your newborn recognizes the sounds of familiar voices and other sounds heard from the womb. Go ahead and grab a Dr. Seuss book, prop up your feet, and read to your baby bump — it’s really okay.
Music for the Brain
Have you ever noticed how your baby dances when you listen to music in the car while driving to work? A baby in the womb is comforted by the sounds of music; it’s probably one of the most loved sounds they hear. While the baby’s brain is developing, serotonin is released, teaching the fetus how to be happy and content.
If you can play an instrument, try it while you’re pregnant and feel the gentle movement in your womb giving you the signs of approval. Who knows, when the baby is old enough those little hands might be eager to try that instrument, too.
If you have a hard time sleeping, try listening to soft music to calm the little one down so that you can both get a good night’s sleep. It’s okay to walk through the house singing out loud. Your baby will be peaceful in the womb waiting to hear the familiar sounds again while in your arms at home.
Talk Time for the Brain
Yes, it’s okay to talk to your baby bump. By the time you hit 16 weeks your baby will be able to hear you. It won’t be until 27 weeks though that your tiny human will be able to connect the sounds from the ears to the brain. Just like the other things we talked about, your baby will respond faster to the sounds of familiar voices. It’s possible that your little person will even search for the familiar voice with those tiny eyes.
Massage for the Brain
When you hit 20 weeks, your tiny being will be able to feel your touch, which sends a calming effect to your baby’s nervous system. Try it when your little bean decides to practice tae kwon do at 3 AM.
Next time you’re talking and interacting with your baby bump and people look at you as though you’ve completely lost your mind, just tell them that you’re little Einstein is getting a kick start in learning. The actions you take now can promote healthy brain development, and healthy brain development reduces the risk of substance abuse and addiction.