Fetal Brain Development: What To Avoid, What To Eat During Pregnancy - Raise Smart Kid (2023)

by Maria Aurelia “Chacha” Tumbokon
Updated August 27, 2020

The foundation of your baby’s intelligence is being built while he is still a fetus. This stage of your baby’s life is very critical because this is where the raw materials of his intelligence and personality are being formed. Fetal brain development has long lasting effect on your baby’s personality.

Congenital malformations, premature delivery and many other conditions have a serious effect on your infant’s future and quality of life. You should be aware of factors that can have an effect on your baby’s prenatal development, and avoid those that can be avoided.

How the Fetal Brain Develops

First Semester

Within the first short weeks, the baby’s central nervous system is formed. It starts as a flat sheet of cells, which rolls up into a tube over time. The front of the tube, which closes at around 4 weeks after conception, becomes the brain. The neural tube will curve and bulge into primary brain vesicles, which will form three sections, the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain. Behind the hindbrain is the part that will eventually turn into the spinal cord. The other end of the tube becomes the lower end of the spinal cord. The fetal brain becomes the biggest part of the embryo because it is the fastest growing organ at this stage. It is important at this stage that you have the proper nutrition to support this development, specifically, you should be taking enough folic acid (see below). Soon the primary brain vesicles develop into the secondary brain vesicles which will have five different regions – the cerebrum, hypothalamus, brain stem, cerebellum, and the medulla. It is around 6 weeks when electrical brain activity occurs, with neurons firing randomly.

(Video) 10 Things to Do During Pregnancy to Have an Intelligent Baby

Second Semester

Along with your baby’s rapid growth, more nerve connections and brain tissue are formed. At around week 18, your baby’s nerves become wrapped in myelin, which allows electrical impulses to transmit quickly and efficiently along the nerve cells, and allows for faster processing of information. By the end of the second semester, your baby’s brain stem, the part of the brain that is critical for autonomic regulation of breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure, is almost mature. The fetal nervous system is developed enough to enable your baby to move, hear, even move his head to follow your voice, get startled and blink when it hears a loud noise, and swallow. Also, your baby starts to sleep, dream, and wake regularly.

Third Semester

Your baby’s brain continues its rapid growth, and at month 7, it is starting to look like that of an adult’s, with the familiar grooves and indentations that allow the brain tissue to expand as your baby grows and becomes more intelligent. The bigger brain also allows it to take more tasks previously assigned to other parts of the body, such as temperature regulation. The complex connections of neurons and the brain’s wiring grows rapidly, which allows your baby to process signals from his five senses. The rapid growth of your baby’s brain will continue even after birth, up to his first 3 years of life.

(Video) 10 Foods to Eat During Pregnancy for an Intelligent Baby

Harmful to Baby’s Brain Development During Pregnancy

Some of these factors that have harmful effect on your baby’s prenatal brain development, according to latest studies, are as follows:

  1. Age of parents – A University of Queensland, Australia study suggests that becoming a father at age 40 or older is linked to baby at a higher risk of schizopherenia, autism and syndromes that cause facial and skull abnormalities. They also found that those born to older dads scored more poorly on a range of intelligence tests that looked at concentration, memory, reasoning and reading skills.

    The age of the mother is also linked to autism, according to a study published in Autism research. The study found that for every 5 year increase in mother’s age, her risk of having an autistic child rose by 18 percent. For older fathers, the effect was strongly noted only when their partners were under 30.

    However, older fathers increase the risk of children having mental illness. According to a study, children born to men 45 and older have more risk of developing psychosis, autism, and attention deficit disorder, compared to children with fathers aged 20 to 24. The children also tended to struggle more with academics and substance abuse.

  2. Father’s Job – A father’s job can raise a baby’s risk of having a birth defect, according to a study by the University of North Carolina. Those in the high risk group include artists, photographers, hairdressers, mathematicians and office support workers. It is hypothesized that this is caused by chemical or physical exposures and exposure mixtures common to such occupations.
  3. Early Birth (Even Slightly) – According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, babies born at 37 weeks and 38 weeks had significantly lower reading scores compared to children born at 39, 40 or 41 weeks. Math scores were also lower for children born at 37 or 38 weeks. That’s why researchers discourage elective induction or induced labor. “The thing to keep in mind is that a child born 36 weeks, 6 days has brain size two-thirds that of a term infant,” said Dr. Bryan Williams, associate professor of family and preventative medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. “They’re still at a deficit with regard to brain development.”

  4. (Video) 15 Foods to Improve Baby's Brain During Pregnancy - Pregnancy Foods for Intelligent Baby
  5. Inadequate nutrition – The lack of calcium, iron, iodine and other vitamins lead to baby’s learning disabilities, delay in language development, behavioral problems, delayed motor skill development, and a lower I.Q. The baby needs iodine to make thyroid hormone, which is essential for brain development. Iron is needed to make red blood cells that transport oxygen to the baby, affecting the baby’s brain and body growth.
  6. Folic acid deficiency – This leads to the baby’s neural tube being unable to close properly. The neural tube is the tissue from which the brain and spinal cord develop. Improper closing of this tube leads to severe malformations of the brain and spinal cord. Folic acid is found in green leafy vegetables, broccoli, beans, citrus fruits and liver.
  7. Vitamin D insufficiency– This is associated with poor growth of the baby and asthma. According to the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research published in Pediatrics, children born to mothers with low levels of Vitamin D during pregnancy are twice as likely to have severe language problems when they are in school.
  8. Vitamin E deficiency – Based on animal research, with Vitamin E deficiency, embryos show defects at the level of the brain and neural tube. “The brain is absolutely physically distorted by not having Vitamin E”, according to Maret Traber, a professor in the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences.
  9. Medication – As a rule, pregnant women are advised not to take any medication especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. A common medicine like aspirin, for example, can cause bleeding in a child’s brain because of its ability to stop blood clot.

    Taking a popular class of antidepressants, called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), during pregnancy may significantly increase autism risk. Taking antidepressants may also increase the risk of the child displaying anxiety symptoms.

    Also, Serotonin and drugs that target serotonin, such as antidepressants may have a major effect on the gut’s microbiota. A study suggests that interactions between the microbiota and nervous system begin prenatally through the influence of the maternal gut microbiota on the fetal brain, at least in mice. Depleting the maternal gut microbiota altered which genes were turned on in the brains of developing offspring, including many genes involved in forming new axons within neurons.

  10. Acetaminophen use in pregnancy may be linked to ADHD and hyperactivity (although women should still take it if required by physicians and if the risk of not treating fever or pain can be much higher than the risk of behavioral issues on the child). Opiod painkillers, such as Vicodin and Oxycontin may also cause birth defects and other serious pregnancy problems.
  11. Stress (and starvation) – A Lancet study suggested that a mother’s stress during pregnancy may increase the risk of congenital brain malfunction in the baby. A British and Danish study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry suggests that severe emotional stress during the first months of a woman’s pregnancy may permanently impair the neurodevelopment of her unborn child, leading to an increased risk of schizophrenia later in life. The stress referred here is not caused by the usual anxiety of daily life but those that are severe like emotional shock or death in the family. The damage to the baby is possibly caused by increased stress hormone cortisol interfering with fetal development.
  12. Mother’s mental state – A fetus is sensitive to and can be affected by the mother’s mental state. It is already preparing for life after birth based on the messages that the mom is providing. The study from the University of California, Irvine, suggests that development is best in babies with moms who were either depression-free or had depression before and after giving birth.
  13. Lack of sunshine – An Australian National University study found that children whose mothers had low exposure to sunlight during the first 3 months of pregnancy may have a higher risk of developing multiple sclerosis later in life. Vitamin D in sunlight is important for the fetus’ development of central nervous system.
  14. Tobacco and smoking – Nicotine from smoke causes constriction of blood vessels, reducing blood flow and nutrition in the placenta. Researchers at Turku University Hospital in Finland found out that children exposed to prenatal smoking have more risk of developing psychiatric problems in childhood and young adulthood because prenatal nicotine exposure interferes with the development of fetal brain cells that are important for normal cognitive development. A research is Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, Denmark also suggests that smoking leads to risk of the baby having a debilitating eye disorder called strabismus (more popularly known as “cross-eyes”).
  15. Alcohol – Alcohol crosses the placenta and intoxicates the baby. Drinking while pregnant leads to a baby with lower IQ, poor attention span, poor cognitive skills, poor memory, attention deficits, impulsive behavior and poor cause-effect reasoning, and motor function disabilities. Heavy drinking during pregnancy leads to fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), which is linked to fetal abnormalities, such as smaller head with underdeveloped brain, and permanent central nervous system damage. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as The American Academy of Pediatrics advice women not to drink alcohol in any amount.
  16. Pollution – Kids exposed to traffic-related pollutants during pregnancy for the first year of life are at increased risk of autism. Children with autism are two to three times more likely than other children to have been exposed to car exhaust, smog, and other air pollutants during their earliest days, according to a new study.
  17. Epilepsy drug – Taking Valproate during pregnancy produces babies with diminished IQ, according to a New England Journal of Medicine research.
  18. Marijuana – Babies whose mothers smoked marijuana while pregnant show behavioral and emotional problem, speech and language defects, and memory disorders, among other negative effects. Marijuana has also been found to increase psychotic-like behaviors in children.
  19. Cocaine – This drug causes the baby to have increased risk of abnormality of the skull called microcephaly. The skull is very small, and there is no room for brain to grow. This results in mental retardation. This also increases the risk of haemorrhage in the baby’s brain, which can result to irreversible brain damage.
  20. Heroin – The baby will also exhibit withdrawal symptoms as if they have been addicted to drug themselves. As the baby grows up, he suffers from various behavioral and social disorders.
  21. Pesticides – According to researchers at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health, prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides, commonly used on food crops, is associated with a child having a lower intelligence score at 7 years old. It is recommended that mothers-to-be thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables, or consider buying organic produce to avoid pesticide exposure from food.
  22. Rubella or German Measles – This disease shows mild symptom to the mother , but can cause severe mental retardation, hearing loss and cataracts in the infant. It can cause severe malformations if the mother contracts the infection in the first month of pregnancy.
  23. Toxoplasmosis – This produces mild symptom for the mother but can give rise to mental retardation, epilepsy, blindness or hearing disorders in the baby. Toxoplasmosis can infect a pregnant woman through feces of cats and eating raw meat or eggs.
  24. Cytomegalovirus – This also produces little or no symptoms on the mother, but causes mental retardation and deafness in the fetus, especially in the first 2 trimester. This virus can be transmitted through saliva, blood, urine, semen and other bodily fluids.
  25. Syphilis – This sexually transmitted disease leads to severe complications in the brain, eyes, bones, skin and liver of newborns.
  26. Genital herpes – The infection is usually transmitted to the baby during delivery. This causes severe illness and severe brain damage if not treated promptly. When transmitted to the fetus, gives rise to brain, eye and skin disorder.
  27. Other toxic chemicals – The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists cautions women to avoid industrial chemicals from paint fumes, new fabrics, furniture, and cars. They also suggest to minimize use of moisturizers and shower gels. Also pregnant women should also avoid food packaging and cosmetics . A review published in The Lancet Neurology journal identifies chemicals that may be toxic to children’s developing brain and may cause a number of neurodevelopmental disabilities. They are lead, methylmercury, arsenic, polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, and toluene. Scientists also note that the number of chemicals that are found to possibly harmful to the developing brain is growing. Also while pregnant, avoid painting the nursery, buying new furniture or going near non-stick frying pans as they may expose your unborn baby to dangerous chemicals.

Benefits Baby’s Brain Development

Factors that are found to be beneficial to the baby’s brain development in the womb are as follows:

(Video) 15 Foods To Boost Baby's Brain Power During Pregnancy | Pregnancy Foods for Intelligent Baby

  1. Woman’s age – Women who give birth in their 30’s are found to be more likely to have intelligent children, according to Researchers at the London School of Economics. This may not be due to the age itself but, according to LSE researcher Alice Goisis, “First-time mothers in their 30s are, for example, likely to be more educated, have higher incomes, are more likely to be in stable relationships, have healthier lifestyles, seek prenatal care earlier and have planned their pregnancies.”
  2. Love and care for the baby – Mothers who feel and show love for the baby in the womb have babies who are healthier, happier and relaxed. Bonding with the unborn baby and talking to her in a gentle and loving manner will have positive effects on her memory and emotions. Talking to the baby in the womb is also beneficial since the baby is building the foundations of language.
  3. See also how love and caring makes your baby smart.

  4. Gaining enough weight – Gaining too much weight leads to a large baby and a difficult delivery, and this can be risky to the baby’s brain. Gaining too little weight causes the baby to have smaller heads and brain, which has been linked to lower IQ. The ideal weight gain, according to obstetricians, is between 25 to 35 pounds.
  5. Folic acid – This B vitamin helps prevent birth defects on your baby’s brain and spinal cord. It helps in the production of red blood cells and helps in the transformation of your baby’s neural tube into her brain and spinal cord in the first semester (see above). It is said that folic acid may protect your baby against cleft lip and palate, as well as poor growth in the womb. The recommended amount is 400 micrograms. Folic acid is found in fortified breakfast cereals, beef liver, lentils and spinach.
  6. Seafoods, fish and Omega-3 – Researchers found that infants born to mothers with higher blood levels of the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) at delivery had advanced levels of attention spans up to age 2. During the first six months of life, these infants were two months ahead of those babies whose mothers had lower DHA levels. Also according to Dr. Stephen Ostroff, the US FDA’s acting chief scientist, women who consumed more fish during pregnancy improved the IQ of their children. Another study from the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona reveals that there is a consistent reduction in autism-spectrum traits when mothers have an increased fish consumption. Mother’s consumption of fish during the first semester seem to have more effect in the improvement of children’s intelligence test scores, compared to consumption later in pregnancy.

    The FDA recommends eating up to 12 ounces (two average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are low in mercury, such as shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish. Other good fish choices include swordfish and albacore tuna, mackerel, sardines and anchovies.

    Although there is a risk that you might consume fish that is contaminated with mercury, known to cause developmental problems, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that this risk may be offset by Omega-3 and other beneficial nutrients in fish.

    See also Eating Fish While Pregnant May Make Your Baby Smart

    (Video) 3 tips to make baby smarter during pregnancy

  7. Iron – This mineral helps in the development of the placenta and fetus. It is an important component of blood, which delivers oxygen, important not only for the brain but also the body of your baby. Food rich in iron includes green leafy vegetables, red meat, as well as liver and other organs, and beans and lentils.
  8. Other prenatal vitamins – A healthy, well-rounded diet consisting of protein, fruits and vegetables is the best way to get the vitamins and minerals needed for the optimal growth of your baby, and for a problem-free pregnancy. In addition to the important folic acid and iron mentioned above, you should also have enough Vitamin B12, C, D and Zinc. You may supplement the food you eat with vitamin supplements, but consult your doctor as to what is best because high doses of vitamins may harm the baby.
  9. Water – It’s important for you to stay hydrated because water helps your body absorb and transport the essential vitamins, minerals, and hormones to blood cells. It is critical for these to reach your baby. It is also important in the formation of amniotic fluid, the production of extra blood and for the excretion of wastes and toxins. Pregnant women is advised to drink 10 8-ounce glasses of water every day.
  10. Bacon and eggsboost the intelligence of the unborn baby , according to Dr. Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology journal. This is caused by the micronutrient choline, which is vital in having babies in the womb develop parts of their brains linked to memory and recall.
  11. Moderate Exercise – Exercise during pregnancy could be beneficial for improving fetal breathing movements and also for autonomous nervous system development, according to a study presented at The American Physiological Society. A study conducted by James F. Clapp, M.D., of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland also found evidence suggesting that mothers who continue to work out during pregnancy have smarter babies. Also, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Montreal, as little as 20 minutes of exercise three times per week can advance a newborn’s brain activity, Aerobic exercise increase mitochondrial activity in a mother’s brain, and this effect crosses the placenta and benefit the fetal brain as well.
  12. Late-term birth – According to a report in JAMA Pediatrics, late-term infants (born in the 41st week of pregnancy) when school-aged have higher standardized test scores, a greater percentage classified as gifted, and a smaller percentage having poor cognitive outcomes. But there is a trade-off. Infants staying a week longer in the womb have a slightly increased risk of physical disability.

See also the list of best educational toys and gift ideas for children


What to eat during pregnancy to make baby smart and intelligent? ›

Eat healthy

Omega 3 fatty acids are absolutely essential for baby's brain development. Make certain you include foods that have a good content of omega 3, such as, fish, soybeans and spinach, in your diet. Also, iron found in leafy vegetables, like spinach, helps the flow of oxygen to the baby's brain cells.

What can I eat to increase my baby's IQ during pregnancy? ›

The following are some of the most popular foods to eat during pregnancy to make the baby smart.
  • Eggs. Having eggs during pregnancy or breastfeeding helps enhance brain development, making the baby smarter. ...
  • Meat. ...
  • Bananas. ...
  • Dairy products. ...
  • Spinach. ...
  • Salmon. ...
  • Legumes. ...
  • Blueberries.
Mar 22, 2021

How can I help my baby brain develop in the womb? ›

Getting enough folate is an important part of having a healthy pregnancy. Folate helps protect your baby's brain by preventing neural tube defects which can damage their brain and spine (CDC). The best way to get folate is from foods such as (CDC): Beans, peas, and lentils.

What can harm fetal brain development? ›

Factors such as poor nutrition, stress and infection during pregnancy have all been associated with adverse effects on fetal neurodevelopment.

What are smart foods for pregnant woman? ›

Smart Snacks When You're Pregnant
  • Apples, Peanut Butter, and Crackers. 1/12. ...
  • Tortilla Chips With Guacamole. 2/12. ...
  • Yogurt With Nuts and Fruit. 3/12. ...
  • Chocolate and Fruit. 4/12. ...
  • Trail Mix. 5/12. ...
  • Half a Tuna Sandwich. 6/12. ...
  • Smoothies. 7/12. ...
  • Hummus With Veggies and Pita Chips. 8/12.
Aug 16, 2021

What kind of supplement should be given during pregnancy to increase child's IQ? ›

Vitamin D deficiency is common during pregnancy, and Black women are at greater risk because melanin pigment in the skin reduces production of vitamin D. Higher vitamin D levels among mothers during pregnancy may promote brain development and lead to higher childhood IQ scores.

Is avocado good for pregnant woman? ›

Yes! Unless your Doctor has advised differently, avocados are safe to add into your diet during pregnancy as they contain high amounts of the key nutrients needed to support a healthy pregnancy, including folate and potassium.

Can a pregnant woman take pineapple? ›

Pineapple is safe to eat while pregnant. But you may want to limit how much of it you eat. The most common species of pineapple in the US, the Smooth Cayenne, has a high acid content. Heartburn and acid reflux are common when pregnant, and acidic foods can make these problems worse.

Which trimester is most important for brain development? ›

The most active period of baby brain development takes place during the middle of the second trimester, when 250,000 neurons are created every minute.

How can I prevent brain defects during pregnancy? ›

Folic acid is the only form of folate that has been shown to help prevent neural tube defects. Folic acid is a specific form of folate that does not generally occur naturally. You can find folic acid in vitamins, fortified foods like rice, pasta, and bread, and some breakfast cereals that are labeled “enriched.”

What fruit is good for baby brain development? ›

Brain Food: Berries

Strawberries, cherries, blueberries, blackberries. "In general, the more intense the color, the more nutrition in the berries," Krieger says. Berries boast high levels of antioxidants, especially vitamin C, which may help prevent cancer.

What are 3 factors that influence brain development? ›

How well a brain develops depends on many factors in addition to genes, such as:
  • Proper nutrition starting in pregnancy.
  • Exposure to toxins or infections.
  • The child's experiences with other people and the world.

What week is baby's brain fully developed? ›

Your baby's brain development is a complex process that continues throughout your pregnancy. At just six weeks, the embryo's brain and nervous system begin to develop, although the complex parts of the brain continue to grow and develop through the end of pregnancy, with development ending around the age of 25.

Can stress cause autism in pregnancy? ›

Depression isn't the only mental health factor that can influence pregnancy outcomes. High levels of stress during pregnancy may also be connected to autism in children. This connection appears to have the most impact when the parent experiences stress between weeks 25 and 28 of pregnancy.

Is watermelon good for pregnancy? ›

Watermelon. Watermelon has it all: high levels of vitamins A, C and B6, as well as potassium for cramps and magnesium. Magnesium helps muscles relax, which can prevent premature contractions during pregnancy. In addition, watermelon can fight morning sickness, reduce heartburn, and prevent dehydration.

Is peanut butter good during pregnancy? ›

In addition, peanut butter contains large amounts of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which have also been linked to a reduction in the risk of developing heart disease. For these reasons, peanut butter remains a safe and healthy choice for pregnant women, as long as they do not have a peanut allergy.

How can I increase my child's IQ brain? ›

Here are 5 things you can do to improve your child's intelligence.
  1. Read to improve verbal and linguistic intelligence. ...
  2. Play with blocks to improve spatial intelligence. ...
  3. Do math and physical exercise to improve fluid intelligence. ...
  4. Believe in them. ...
  5. Praise their efforts to develop a growth-mindset.

What vitamins should I take for smarter brain for baby? ›

Multivitamins for children for intelligence

Nutroplex® is a nutritional supplement that helps provide essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Iron and Vitamin B Complex for mental sharpness and quick thinking.

What vitamin helps mom brain? ›

Most moms should continue to take a DHA supplement after pregnancy because many do not get enough in their diet. Choline. Choline is a nutrient similar to folic acid that is crucial for brain development. The needs for this nutrient increase during pregnancy and are the highest in breastfeeding moms.

What does avocado do for the womb? ›


Turns out, avocados are a great fertility food. “They are a fantastic source of vitamin E, which studies have shown can be beneficial in improving the lining of the uterus,” says Becker.

Is avocado good for baby brain? ›

Avocados are also filled with oleic acid which can help protect myelin in the brain-which helps information travel from the brain throughout the body. They are also filled with B vitamins and are a delicious addition to your baby's diet.

Is grapes good for pregnancy? ›

The nutrients in grapes can help to aid the biological changes that occur during pregnancy. They contain immune-boosting antioxidants, such as flavonol, tannin, linalool, anthocyanins, and geraniol, which also help prevent infections.

What fruits keep womb healthy? ›

Fruits such as avocado, berries, apples, pears, pomegranates, and lemons are rich in essential nutrients such as vitamin C and flavonoids. Flavonoids help keep your reproductive system healthy and prevent ovarian cancer. These act as a natural fibroid treatment and even prevent the growth of fibroids in your uterus.

Can I eat strawberries while pregnant? ›

5 foods to eat during pregnancy

Produce containing Vitamin C, like oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, and broccoli, support the baby's growth and improves iron absorption.

Is it safe to eat blueberries while pregnant? ›

During Pregnancy: Blueberries (as well as strawberries, blackberries and raspberries) are high in vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, potassium and folate. Grab a handful for a snack, top off your oatmeal or granola, add to a salad or blend into a smoothie. If berries are out of season, try frozen blueberries.

Can I drink a Coke while pregnant? ›

Yes. The Food Standards Agency recommends that pregnant women shouldn't take more than 200mg of caffeine a day. A can of Coca‑Cola Classic contains 32mg of caffeine and a can of Diet Coke contains 42mg.

Is cucumber good for a pregnant woman? ›

Cucumber: Cucumber is rich in water that helps to prevent dehydration when you are pregnant. The peel of the cucumber is rich in fibre. This reduces chances of constipation and haemorrhoids that are common issues in pregnancy.

What can accidentally cause a miscarriage? ›

Certain uterine conditions or weak cervical tissues (incompetent cervix) might increase the risk of miscarriage. Smoking, alcohol and illicit drugs. Women who smoke during pregnancy have a greater risk of miscarriage than do nonsmokers. Heavy alcohol use and illicit drug use also increase the risk of miscarriage.

What week is most critical in pregnancy? ›

First Trimester (0 to 13 Weeks)

The first trimester is the most crucial to your baby's development. During this period, your baby's body structure and organ systems develop. Most miscarriages and birth defects occur during this period.

When does a fetus start to feel emotion? ›

The stereotypical hormonal stress response of adults or older infants, of about 18 months onwards, reporting pain is observable in fetuses at 18 weeks' gestation. Behavioural reactions and brain haemodynamic responses to noxious stimuli, comparable to adults or older infants, occur by 26 weeks' gestation.

When do most birth defects occur? ›

Most birth defects occur in the first 3 months of pregnancy, when the organs of the baby are forming. This is a very important stage of development. However, some birth defects occur later in pregnancy.

What foods prevent Down syndrome? ›

Preventing Birth Defects
  • Take a vitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. ...
  • Foods with folic acid include : okra, pinto beans, navy beans, mustard green s, kale, spinach, chicken liver, beef liver, orange juice, asparagus, broccoli, avocado, green peas, cauliflower, tomato juice, peanuts, and cantaloupe.

What causes brain development issues in fetus? ›

While the cause is not always known, congenital brain malformations may result from inherited genetic defects, spontaneous mutations within the embryo's genes, or damage to the fetus caused by the mother's exposure to toxins, infection, trauma or drug use.

What vitamin prevents birth defects? ›

Folic acid is very important because it can help prevent some major birth defects of the baby's brain (anencephaly) and spine (spina bifida).

What are the 5 fruits that increases brain? ›

Fruits. Certain fruits such as oranges, bell peppers, guava, kiwi, tomatoes, and strawberries, contain high amounts of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps prevent brain cells from becoming damaged and supports overall brain health.

Is banana good for baby brain? ›

Bananas Have All The Important Nutrients

The folate content can help in your baby's brain development. The potassium content in bananas looks after the overall growth of your baby's body.

What is the most powerful influence on brain development? ›

The parent/child relationship is the most powerful influence on children's early brain development, particularly in the first two years. that is absorbed into core brain development. Parents need support from others to do the best job they can.

What are 3 habits that hinder brain function? ›

Many habits contribute to poor brain health, but four areas can have the most influence. They are too much sitting, lack of socializing, inadequate sleep, and chronic stress.

At what age is the brain 100% developed? ›

The rational part of a teen's brain isn't fully developed and won't be until age 25 or so. In fact, recent research has found that adult and teen brains work differently. Adults think with the prefrontal cortex, the brain's rational part.

How can I improve my baby's brain during pregnancy? ›

Eat healthy

Omega 3 fatty acids are absolutely essential for baby's brain development. Make certain you include foods that have a good content of omega 3, such as, fish, soybeans and spinach, in your diet. Also, iron found in leafy vegetables, like spinach, helps the flow of oxygen to the baby's brain cells.

Which parent carries autism gene? ›

Due to its lower prevalence in females, autism was always thought to have a maternal inheritance component. However, research also suggests that the rarer variants associated with autism are mostly inherited from the father.

What increases your risk of autism? ›

Advanced parental age at time of conception. Prenatal exposure to air pollution or certain pesticides. Maternal obesity, diabetes, or immune system disorders. Extreme prematurity or very low birth weight.

What triggers autism during pregnancy? ›

Large-scale studies have found that exposure to harmful environmental factors, including maternal disease and drug abuse, air pollution exposure, family life behaviors, and metal exposure during the intrauterine period and early life stages of development may play a key role in ASD development, in addition to other ...

Which fruit is best for baby brain development during pregnancy? ›

Oranges. Oranges help you stay hydrated. They're also a great source of folate, or folic acid. Folate is a B vitamin that's very important in helping prevent brain and spinal cord defects, also known as neural tube defects.

What can I do to give birth to a light skinned baby? ›

Take plenty of fresh fruits, especially strawberry. Drink cocunut water daily. Take 2cups of milk per day. And moreover fairness s determined by the gene and nothing much from the diet can help in bringing a fair complexion.

Do eggs help brain development during pregnancy? ›

Just one serve of eggs provides 90% of the additional protein requirements women need during pregnancy. They also contain high amounts of choline, a nutrient that, together with other key nutrients, plays an important role in brain and spinal cord development during pregnancy.

What not to eat during pregnancy? ›

The main foods to avoid include:
  • soft cheeses.
  • undercooked or raw meat, fish and seafood.
  • pre-prepared or unwashed fruits and vegetables.
  • soft-serve ice cream.
  • undercooked or raw eggs.
  • unpasteurised milk.
  • alcohol.

Why is avocado good for pregnancy? ›

Avocados are full of healthy fats that are helpful during your pregnancy. Studies have shown that the fats in avocados reduce cholesterol. Avocados contain more folate per ounce than any other fruit or vegetable out there, making it the perfect healthy addition to everyday eating during pregnancy.

When should I start drinking milk during pregnancy? ›

Maternal milk can be consumed as soon as you realise you are pregnant. It will provide you with the necessary nutrients needed for your pregnancy. Milk is a common drink that you might have in the morning and it's possible to fit it into your diet during pregnancy.


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Name: Fr. Dewey Fisher

Birthday: 1993-03-26

Address: 917 Hyun Views, Rogahnmouth, KY 91013-8827

Phone: +5938540192553

Job: Administration Developer

Hobby: Embroidery, Horseback riding, Juggling, Urban exploration, Skiing, Cycling, Handball

Introduction: My name is Fr. Dewey Fisher, I am a powerful, open, faithful, combative, spotless, faithful, fair person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.