Your Child will be born with around 100 billion (that’s 100,000,000,000) neurons, the foundation of a functioning brain. How these neurons are formed also depends on what you do during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Your Child’s brain development technically begins during the third week of your pregnancy, when rapidly multiplying cells form what’s called the neural plate. This structure eventually folds in on itself to become the neural tube and turning into the forebrain, midbrain, hindbrain, and spinal cord.
The growth of 100,000 cells per minute
At four weeks, the part of Your Child which will develop into the brain and nervous system represents almost half of the entire body. At week 7, the nerve cells in Your Child’s brain is growing at a rate of around 100,000 cells per minute.
The critical period
The fact that the brain represents such a big portion of Your Child’s body and develops at such a fast rate makes this period critical for healthy brain development.
Things to avoid
To give Your Child the best prospects for healthy brain development during this critical period, avoid any alcohol, unsafe drugs, and smoking. Even small doses of toxic substances can impair Your Child’s growing brain today and lead to a reduction of the IQ when Your Child enters school in 6-7 years.
Try to avoid stress too
If you experience a high level of stress, depression, or anxiety during pregnancy, try to speak to your partner or seek professional help. Studies have shown that cortisol, a hormone in your body that is released when you experience stress, can impair Your Child’s tiny brain and even lead to schizophrenia 30 years later.
Relax and eat choline!
To give Your Child the best prospect for a powerful brain, avoid extreme stress, and eat healthily. Folic acid helps prevent neural tube birth defects, which affect the brain. In addition, choline supports your baby’s brain development during pregnancy. Egg yolk, meat, fish, and some whole grains are good sources. But you can also take choline supplements.