Having a smart baby isn’t as unnatural as it sounds, especially, if you learn these top pregnancy tips. While expecting a baby always goes with mix feelings both for new mothers and experienced mothers (usually a combination of excitement or anxiety). Many families do not know that there are simple things to observe during the period of pregnancy that can influence the intellectual ability of their unborn baby.
Pregnancy and child-rearing generally go with numerous responsibilities for families. The need for adequate preparation usually kicks in soon after the confirmatory test is done.
The exciting journey usually begins with registering for antenatal classes or consulting the service of an obstetrician, some would start saving for the baby’s future while some would stock maternity clothes, junk food and baby’s things (gears).
Slay moms would join ‘’ moms only’’ gangs on social media. Experience mothers would change things around the house to make it baby-friendly. Some would even move to a new house altogether etc.
Preparing for a baby can be a daunting task, a lot of mothers do not know there is how to make a smart baby. Meanwhile, this isn’t a baby that text or uses the internet, but a baby with a great intellectual capability even before birth. Today’s post promises pregnancy tips that’ll help you raise a smart baby.
While John Locke a sixteenth-century philosopher postulated that babies are born as tabula rasa (which means that ‘’at birth the (human) mind is a “blank slate” without rules for processing data, and that data is added and rules for processing are formed solely by one’s sensory experiences’’1).
This theory out-rightly supports that the environment in which your baby is nurtured determines the intelligence of your baby.
On the other hand, modern biological science of intelligence propose, but don’t prove, that heredity is an important determinant of IQ, as explained by Linda Gottfredson, PhD, a professor of education at the University of Delaware in Newark. However, this is not independent of environmental determinants that definitely influence your baby while still in your womb.
These arguments raised a very valid question.
HOW DOES NATURE AND NURTURE INFLUENCE YOUR BABY’S INTELLECT?
Casting our minds back to the famous philosophical debate in psychology, we will definitely not toll the path of Francis Galton who believed that intelligent individuals should be encouraged to marry and have many children, while less intelligent individuals should be discouraged from reproducing.
Instead, we’ll meet in the middle, as the new belief in the twenty-first century is that intelligence is a resultant effect of both nature and nurture.
HERE ARE PREGNANCY TIPS FOR YOU
How to boost have a smart baby isn’t as difficult as it may sound; here are a few tips to observe while you’re pregnant with your bundle of joy.
- Pregnancy tips 1: Do no harm your baby, avoid smoking or smokers– while it is common knowledge that smoking is not good for adults, it is worth emphasizing that smoking while pregnant or exposure to second-hand smoke poses a serious health risk to your developing babies, such as preterm birth, birth defects of the mouth, lip and low birth weight. Inhaling of smoke or smoking while pregnant and after pregnancy increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)2. Nicotine is a health hazard for developing babies and can impair your baby’s brain and lung development.
- Pregnancy tips 2: Do not drink alcohol: There isn’t a safe amount of alcohol use while you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant. It is worthy of note that no type of alcohol is excluded. Whether its palm-wine or kaikai (local gin distilled from palm-wine) as it is a common practice in the south-south/south-east part of Nigeria for pregnant women or new mothers to take palm-wine with an erroneous belief that it boosts breast milk production.
This claim is not true; all types of alcohol are harmful, including all wines and beer. If you drink alcohol during pregnancy, the alcohol in your blood passes to the baby through the umbilical cord and is equally present in breast milk during lactation. If you drink alcohol during pregnancy chances of miscarriage, stillbirth, and a range of lifelong physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities are high. These disabilities all together are known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).
- Pregnancy tips 3: Do not eat raw meat: while eating red meat is recommended during pregnancy and red meat contains a nutrient known as iron, this iron improves the ability of your blood cells to carry oxygen to your baby. Raw and undercooked meat and eggs carry the risk of food borne illness, such as listeriosis (a serious infection caused by the germ Listeria monocytogenes. People usually become ill with listeriosis after eating contaminated food and toxoplasmosis). Food poisoning is also a possibility.
It is also important to note that you might be having food cravings generally known as pica during pregnancy. These conditions can cause serious, life-threatening illnesses that could lead to severe birth defects and even miscarriage. Make sure all eggs and meat that you eat while pregnant are well-cooked.
- Pregnancy tips 4: Do not take unpasteurized milk: Calcium comes from dairy products and it is very important for growing babies, but as an expecting mom, you have to be careful what kind of milk product you eat. Local dairy products like nunu and yoghurt are not recommended for you during pregnancy. Since it’s unpasteurized, this means it hasn’t been heated to kill bacteria that could make you ill.
- Pregnancy tips 5: Do not expose yourself to mosquito bite or infection: Protect yourself at all times, while outside your bed area regardless of the time of the day, wear long and protective cloths. Malaria infection during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, premature delivery, low birth weight, congenital infection, neonatal jaundice and/or perinatal death. If you must sleep without clothes for any reason, sleep under mosquito treated net.
- Pregnancy tips 6: Do not sit or soak yourself in a hot tub or sauna: Certain mode of relaxation is not appropriate during pregnancy, even though relaxing is recommended as it helps to relieve aches and stress due to pregnancy. The high-heat environment of hot tubs, Jacuzzis, and saunas may be too dangerous for expecting mothers as research suggests that using one of these during your first trimester may double your risk of miscarriage. Soaking in hot water increases body temperature and this causes problems with the baby including increasing the risk of birth defects.
- Pregnancy tips 7: Do eat a nutritionally balanced diet: Pregnancy could be a nutritionally demanding period for expecting mothers. You should gain weight smartly by eating a nutritionally balanced meal according to body requirements and also the developmental stage of your pregnancy. A balanced diet is a type of diet that provides all the nutrients you require, without going over the recommended daily calorie intake for your pregnancy.
If you eat a well-balanced diet, you can get the nutrients and calories you need for the growth and development of your baby without any need for expensive dietary supplements, junk food, or food without nutritional value. Make sure you include fruits and veggies in your diet. Especially leafy green veggies like spinach, cereals, lentil, and whole grains.
Bonus pregnancy tips 1
Foods to build your baby’s brain development?
- Greek Yogurt.
- Whole grain porridge.
- Nuts: Traditional nuts are a good source of healthy fat, protein, and fat-soluble vitamins.
- Apples. These nutritious fruits contain quercetin, which helps stimulate brain activity.
- Do take your Routine drugs correctly: while eating balanced diets that are rich in vitamins and minerals is the best way to provide your body with the essential healthy nutrients, your routine is needed to support a growing baby.
During your baby’s development, nutrients are drawn from your body storage and it’s used in the formation of all the basic structures of a healthy baby. It is worthy of note that, your body may not replenish fast enough to meet the needs of both your and the need of your body systems.
Therefore, a healthy diet alone, however, may not be enough for pregnancy. Failure to take adequate routine drugs could result in serious deficiency such as anemia in pregnancy.
Routine drugs contain higher levels of certain nutrients that expectant mothers require at higher doses, such as:
- folic acid
These vitamins assist with the proper development of the fetus and help prevent birth defects. Your doctor can help you find a multivitamin or a series of vitamins that are best for you.
A multivitamin will usually include DHA, EPA, or both. These are omega 3 fats that are important for your baby’s proper brain development.
Don’t take more than one dose of multivitamins, though. Some vitamins in higher amounts can be harmful to the baby.
Bonus pregnancy tip 2
- Talk & read to your baby: While the idea of talking to your baby or putting a headphone across your tummy might sound silly. The scientist has concluded that Language learning begins in-utero, and studies have shown that parents who talk and/or read to their baby throughout pregnancy promote early word recognition after they’re born. Listening to classical music during pregnancy might not make much of a difference but talk to your baby can.
- Exercise: staying fit and active during pregnancy helps you prepare for labor; delivery and the baby develop a smarter brain. Endorphins are released during exercise, which are feel-good chemicals that make their way to the baby, aiding in brain development. Exercising also causes the body to secrete the hormone, cortisol.
Moderate amounts of cortisol promote the growth of the baby’s brain. Exercise increases blood flow to the womb, and this is good for the baby’s healthy development.
- Get Some Sunshine: Vitamin D is essential for the growth, development of strong bones and heart of the baby. Vitamin D deficiency in your pregnancy can lead to your child developing autism later. So make sure you get enough sunshine, as your body synthesizes vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight. If you have a vitamin D deficiency, consult your doctor before taking supplements.
Boosting your baby’s brainpower or How to have a smart baby and sound childhood baby is that daunting, simple precautions followed while you are still pregnant goes a long way. Boosting your baby’s intelligence can never get old. Every family deserves to have a sound and healthy infant. Just by avoiding smoking, eating a good diet, taking dietary supplements, exercising, avoiding infection, etc can help ensure a safe environment for your growing infant.
Both nature and nurture influence your baby, so while both you and your hobby might be professors or athletes, do not forget to take your pregnancy care supplement.