Learning from the First time Mom – baby brain food and much more. Recently during a tele conversation with sister-in-law, I learned about her pregnancy. Such a happy and ecstatic news this was. I immediately switched to ‘do’s and don’ts mode’, without even realizing how irritating it gets for mom-to-be. She gets a heavy dose of ‘advice’ from every nook and corner. I went through that phase six years ago and remember the irritation of listening to all that friendly advice. So, thought instead of telling her what is good and bad, why not do something I am really good at – write. This post is all about ‘friendly advises’ to first-time expecting mommies.
Understand your body and it’s need
The first thing a mom-to-be must do is listen to her own body calls. I recall the days of my early pregnancy when a monthly scan reported deficiency of amniotic fluid. Being the first time, it was a very scary thing for us. However, immediate expert assistance and healthy nutrition overcame this discrepancy in no time. Most important of all is to have a positive mindset, understanding of your body and nutrition.
Our body goes through different phases of baby development, and it’s very important for us to understand its needs. A planned pregnancy starts with experts advising for folic acid, iron, and calcium in daily diet or as supplements. These nutrients are known for healthy and safe pregnancy.
Babies in the womb get their nutrition from mothers, it’s a known fact. But few nutrients are crucial for baby brain development like Vitamin E and DHA. Food which is rich in natural vitamin E and DHA are highly recommended. Macronutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, etc are also required during pregnancy under expert supervision and care. I was prescribed with a high protein diet in the second trimester of pregnancy, along with other nutrients. That’s when I realized why these nutrients are so crucial.
DHA – the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is critical for optimal brain health and functions. Researchers proved that DHA provides brain-boosting benefits in infants and aging adults.
Natural vitamin E is known to be vital for neural development and function. Without enough of this key nutrient, baby’s nervous system, brain, and muscles will not reach their full potential.
DHA and Natural Vitamin E – Baby brain food
In the previous post on stimulating baby brain development, I have elaborated the need for baby brain food during pregnancy. In mid-trimester Doctor advised to include nuts in the daily diet. I remember having a jar full of nuts-mix – walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and cashews. Keep having these ‘nuts-of-life’ in smaller quantity, over the day as nuts are a direct source of DHA.
Natural vitamin E and DHA (omega 3 fatty acid) helps in brain development, enhance early learning and cognitive development in babies.
As I am not a huge fan of seafood, hence health supplements fulfilled my DHA needs. There is no harm in taking good health supplements under an expert’s supervision. Food might not fulfill the right need for nutrition and minerals our body needs, and some of these essential nutrients also get hijacked by the oxidation process. Hence it gets really important to know the source of nutrients and have a well-balanced diet during pregnancy.
Our body cannot make vitamin E on its own, hence babies will not get this crucial brain food unless you take it in diet or as supplements. Lack of natural vitamin E in body results in direct oxidation of DHA; which literally means losing all its goodness.
Sources of Natural Vitamin E
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Sunflower Oil
- Seafood like salmon, oysters, shrimp, trout.
Sources of DHA
- DHA is found in seafood – salmon, herring, trout.
- Nuts – Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios, Walnuts.
My recommendations for expecting mothers –
Motherhood is a blessing, a bittersweet experience for every new mom. A roller coaster ride which will bring all shades of emotions. As they say – ‘The moment child is born, the mother is born too’, it is so true. As a mother my learnings are –
- Baby brain development starts during pregnancy, healthy food intake with right nutrients is essential.
- The connection between baby and mother enhances with breastfeeding, it also passes on antibodies and valuable nutrients to the baby.
- Vitamin E and DHA is a long-term The combo of these two bits help in brain development, immunity build-up, growth booster and much more.
- Baby and Mother need a combination of natural vitamin E and DHA to support brain development and boost early learning skills.
- Provide age-based diet to child during the development phase. Experts advise on the requirement and quantity of nutrients intake during pregnancy.
- Healthy food may not always be able to suffice the nutrition requirements. Health supplements bridge the gap of deficiency.
- Bring a positive change in daily diet chart, include all micro and macro nutrients in food intake.
- Stay positive and enjoy this phase of motherhood.
The best thing you can do as a mother is – eat a healthy well-balanced diet during pregnancy. Include a healthy dose of brain food, natural vitamin E, and DHA along with other essential minerals and vitamins. Carry forward this healthy habit of eating nutritious diet even when the child is born. Include DHA, and other brain food in baby’s diet too.
A Healthy Mother is the Happiest Mother and Happy Mothers make Happy Babies.