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Brain Rules for Baby: Pregnancy (And the Pregnant Party)

*This is part of a series I’m doing as I read the book Brain Rules for Baby:  How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five by John Medina.*
The first part of the book focuses on pregnancy.  Of course, I was interested, as I am currently pregnant.
The chapter begins with an overview some general information.  Then, Medina transitions to a timeline explaining when the fetus begins processing sensory information: touch, taste, smell, hearing, balance and sight.
Finally, we get to the important stuff:
4 things proven to affect baby’s brain.
1.  Weight: Gain the right amount.
2.  Nutrition: Eat balanced meals.  Folic acid is important at the beginning of pregnancy and omega 3 fatty acids can help boost brain power. 
3.  Stress:  Stress that is too frequent, too severe, or just too much for you is no good.  Look forward to another post on this specific topic.
4.  Exercise:  A moderate amount leads to an easier delivery and helps ward off stress.

A few interesting notes:
*Morning sickness, according to some evolutionary biologists, once served a purpose: to keep pregnant women from eating exotic, dangerous foods.  The fatigue in the first trimester was possibly to keep women from doing too much physical labor.
*There is one study that links more morning sickness with higher intelligence in the child.  Comforting for those of us who spent three months throwing up!
*”No commercial product has ever been shown to do anything to improve the brain performance of a developing fetus.”  So any toys or gadgets aimed at increasing intelligence in utero are a scam.
*Only 1/4 of birth defects have been linked to a specific DNA problem and environmental toxins have been linked to only 10% birth defects.
*The brain continues developing until we are in our early 20s, and even later for boys.  (Which is why the legal drinking age is so important – I learned that a few years ago when I worked for Youth and Shelter Services.)

And now, since I haven’t had a Pregnant Party in quite awhile, here it is!  Feel free to link up ALL your pregnancy posts since our last party.


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