Does malnutrition affect only the body or even the brain? When is the crucial stages in child’s brain development? These are the questions that are often asked and questions by us especially the first time mother or expecting to be a mother. It has been discovered that the crucial stage of brain growth development is at the time when the brain is at its peak of development. This occurs near the middle of the pregnancy period and ends between a child’s second and third birthday.
After giving birth most mothers tend to count the toes, fingers, eyes and ears of their newborn, but it took several years before the mother will discover that her son or daughter is mentally fit, genius or dull child. Child’s brain should be the top concern of the mothers, because it is the hardest things to detect during and after pregnancy.
Before the women discovered that she is pregnant the brain cell division and development is already taking place in her womb. Thus, proper nutrition should begin even before the pregnancy. Good nutrients should be available not only during pregnancy but also before pregnancy. That is why most of the doctors advice to women to take vitamins if she has the plan in getting pregnant.
The development of baby’s brain happen only at a certain time in his life. Moreover, if the nutrients are not provide during the full growth of the brain, the opportunity of making your child to be smart are lost forever. Then, these important vitamins and minerals needed by the baby should be provided by her mother during pregnancy to avoid slow learning of child after birth. Good nutrition is important, since brain growth–like the growth of the rest of the fetus’ body–is influenced by the quality of a pregnant woman’s diet.
Iron is the most essential in the body and in brain cells, it prevents imbalances of enzymes and neurotransmitters in the brain. Without enough iron, the body can’t make enough red blood cell. The red blood cells is in charge to deliver oxygen to all its cells and through out the body so that tissues and organs can function well. Babies with low levels of iron may grow up with brain deficiencies. Iron and calcium is needed by a fast growing fetus.
It is essential for the formation of hormones that regulates the brain metabolism. Iodine is vital for good thyroid function, which in turn is essential for health. Iodine deficiency during pregnancy and early infancy can result in mental retardation and severe motor impairments.
It makes the building of cell tissues in the brain possible. Folate and folic acid are forms of a water-soluble B vitamin. Folate occurs naturally in food. Folic acid is the synthetic form of this vitamin that is found in supplements and fortified foods. Green leafy vegetables, dry beans and peas, and many other types of vegetables and fruits are good sources of folate. In addition, fortified foods are a major source of folic acid. It is not unusual to find foods such as cereals fortified with 100 percent of the RDA for folate. Folate helps produce and maintain new cells. This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Folate is needed to make DNA and RNA, the building blocks of cells. It also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer. It is strongly needed at the start of the pregnancy to avoid serious birth defect. It is needed for the closing of the fetus neural tube.
An amino acid called taurine has also role in the development of the brain and the retina of the eyes of an infant. This is found in the human body. It was discovered that the fetal brain of the unborn children constrained a large amount of taurine transferred from the mother to the fetus by way of the placenta, taurine is also found in human milk or breast milk. Research studies have indicated that taurine helps the human brain growth spurt and promotes normal eyes retina function and this may be a diet very essential for some infants.
Seventy percent of person’s cell formation happens in the womb. As a mother, you have the power to ensure that your baby gets what he needs at the stage when he needs it most. The right amount of EFA’s, iron, iodine, and folate as early as possible in your pregnancy will pave the way to a bright future for your child. Its a chance of a lifetime.
A portion of the brain that controls motor coordination seems to be the part affected by a child who is malnourished at this stage. This may cause some motor imbalance in the child and more often diagnosed by doctors as minimal cerebral dysfunction or clumsy child.
Thus, it is important for a pregnant women and mothers to eat healthy diet, in order to lessen your worries whether your child a healthy baby or will have a health defects.