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Thursday 22 March 2018

Smart Moms Start Early #FeedIQ

"What? Only one spoonful of ghee?" exclaims my gran indignantly as she snatches the bottle from my hand and goes on to ladle four more spoonsful. "Now, that's more like it! Tell me what do you feel like eating? Shall I make your favourite mysorepak or maybe some badam halwa? I'll make both of them," she decides.

I was on the fifth month of my pregnancy, already having gained some 10+ kgs since the onset of the term with four more months of such decadency ahead! I dreaded passing by a mirror and worse stepping on the weighing scales, as my gynaec looked disapprovingly at my excessive weight gain. Fast forward four months ahead, I was 18 kgs bulkier from my pre-pregnancy weight. Thankfully the delivery was smooth but I never managed to completely shed all the extra kgs I'd gained by eating for two, succumbing to my gastronomic cravings and the pampering foodie love showered by family and friends. 

A first time mother goes from being a naive, inexperienced person to assuming the mantle of motherhood, learning all about taking care of her new-born partly through instinct and partly with help and advice from elders in her family and her support system. Nutrition during pregnancy has always been considered important. That an expecting mother should be fed with the choicest of nutritious foods and be kept in a happy frame of mind is not something new. 

Image source: Pixabay

With evolving technology, mothers now have the added advantage of modern research and studies within their reach to help them on the journey of motherhood at every stage. I wish I had known during my pregnancy some very informative and interesting facts that I am about to share with you.

Did you know that, 
A child's brain development begins from conception, with 90% of the child's brain development happening by the age of 2 years

Requisite right nutrition, and stimulation or infant brain exercises are necessary to build neural connections and encourage brain growth, both crucial factors for a child's brain development? 

Genetics also affect the brain development of a child but since they cannot be altered, would-be moms and new moms need to focus on getting the nutrition and stimulation aspects right.

Have you to-be moms heard of Feed IQ?

Feed IQ literally means that a mother feeds 'IQ' to her baby through breastfeeding and stimulation i.e. infant brain exercises.

Mommies to-be and new mommies you gotta START EARLY!

Nutrition for brain development of infants

Nutrition during pregnancy and lactation impacts the growth and development of the foetus and adds to the maturity of a healthy baby. The right nutrition during pregnancy leads to improved health of the baby. Mother's diet is the primary source of energy, protein and other nutrients in breast milk. Insufficient calories or lack of macro and micronutrients during pregnancy can result in shortage of building materials essential for foetal development. Pre-term infants need high energy and micronutrients to prevent further deficiencies and support normal growth

Today, with improved awareness and proven research, many myths surrounding nutrition during pregnancy have been bust. Most pregnant women have to hear, "Don't eat this, don't eat that, are you eating enough....!" and when they are new mothers, they get unsolicited advice from everyone possible on how to raise the baby right!

Gran darling, I do wish you could have read this: Common Myths and Facts about Pregnancy Nutrition.

Brain exercise for child brain development

The age-old traditions of a pregnant woman listening to soothing music and chanting progressing to singing lullabies, making babyish conversations, playing peek-a-boo, stacking toys, sorting shapes, reading out aloud, finger painting, dancing,  etc. with the infant are important activities that are now called 'brain exercises' that help a baby's brain develop. 
An interesting fact is that the amount of cumulative vocabulary by 2 years of age in a child is enormously predictive of later brain development of the child's IQ.

Brain exercises with increasing levels of complexity starting from the time the child is born up to two years of age will help develop the baby's vision, hearing, tactile/sensory, linguistic and cognitive skills. Do look up here to enrich your baby's cognitive development.

Here are some helpful pointers for new moms to monitor and gauge the child's development:

To all dear expecting moms, new moms of pre-term, full-term babies, 
You need to be aware of the impact your diet has on the growth and development of your child. Right nutrition combined with stimulating infant brain exercises will ensure the right development of your baby's brain. You could look up this extremely resourceful website for more information:

Be aware, be informed, eat right, be happy and have and raise a healthy baby! 
Remember you gotta START EARLY!

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the blog are my own. The blog post is not meant to be a replacement for a doctor consultation, nor is it a medical recommendation or prescription of treatment for expecting or new mothers

­­Copyright © 2018 KALA RAVI