Brain Development in Pregnancy

During pregnancy and the first few months, your baby will be producing millions of new brain cells every single day. All these cells must then be connected together into the complex networks that will carry thoughts, emotions, and memories throughout your child’s life.

In the first trimester, the brain develops enough connections to control movements of the limbs and fingers, along with coordinate movements such as thumb-sucking.

During the second trimester, your baby’s brain can direct regular movements of its heart and diaphragm, akin to practice breathing. At the end of the second trimester, the basic structures of the brain are fully developed, allowing your baby to control his heart rate and breathing. At this point your baby may also start respond to noises, either turning towards or away from sounds.

From that point on, the brain continues to grow dramatically in both size and complexity. Over the third trimester, the brain triples in size and develops the areas needed for more advanced brain functions, known as the cerebral cortex.

Supporting Brain Development During Pregnancy

During this critical time, many different factors can have a significant influence on brain development, including nutrients such as choline and DHA, exposure to chemicals such as BPA and phthalates, and preterm birth.

By nurturing and protecting the delicate brain-building process, we can help support IQ, language development, memory, attention span, and emotional regulation.

Exactly what you can do to support brain development during pregnancy and early infancy is covered in my new book, Brain Health from Birth.

The book explains which key nutrients may be missing from your prenatal supplement, how to reduce the odds of preterm birth, the link between anemia and brain development, and the important impacts of vitamin D and thyroid levels during pregnancy. 

Start reading the first chapters now with Amazon’s Free Kindle Sample:

About the Author

My scientific training is in molecular biotechnology and biochemistry, with degrees in Science and Law from the University of Sydney and New York University Law School. I spent ten years as a patent litigation attorney for a large law firm in New York, where I specialized in billion-dollar pharmaceutical patent law suits. Much of my job involved weighing scientific evidence and translating complex science into plain English that judges and juries could understand. I now use that training to help share scientific discoveries I am truly excited about, with the people who can benefit most.

My first book, It Starts with the Egg: How the Science of Egg Quality Can Help You Get Pregnant Naturally, Prevent Miscarriage, and Improve the Odds in IVF has become one of the bestselling fertility books and has helped thousands of women finally conceive after a long history of infertility or recurrent miscarriage.

In Brain Health from Birth, I’m hoping to share all the latest science on infant infant brain development, to give pregnant women and new mothers clear evidence-based guidance on how to raise a smart and happy baby.

Questions ? Join my pregnancy & newborn care Facebook group

Get a free PDF of the first chapter here