Womb Needed For Proper Brain Development
- McMaster University Health Sciences
- The brains of babies born very prematurely do not develop as well as those who are carried to full-term, according to new research presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington, D.C. Researchers reported that an ultrasound study of the brains of babies born around 26 weeks gestation showed that certain aspects of brain development were very compromised compared to infants in utero.
The brains of babies born very prematurely do not develop as well as those who are carried to full-term, according to new research presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Sandra Witelson, a professor of psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University and chief investigator on the interdisciplinary project at Hamilton Health Sciences, said that an ultrasound study of the brains of babies born around 26 weeks gestation showed that certain aspects of brain development were very compromised compared to infants in utero.
These results have clinical relevance in how premature babies are cared for, as they indicate that the early brain may be compromised by being subjected to complex stimulation too early.
They were compared to the brain ultrasounds taken in utero at about 26 weeks gestation and at birth in other studies to a matched group of 38 full-term infants.
Path To Improved Health
Pregnancy begins when a;mans sperm;fertilizes a womans egg. Since you dont always know when;fertilization;occurred, doctors calculate pregnancy based on the first day of your last menstrual period . Your doctor will count forward 40 weeks from your LMP to estimate the due date. Most births occur between weeks 38 and 42. If you have an;ultrasound;early in your pregnancy, your doctor may measure the baby to determine your due date instead.
After conception, your baby begins a period of dramatic change known as the;embryonic stage. This stage runs from the 5th through the 10th week of pregnancy. During this stage, the baby is called an embryo.
There are numerous changes that occur during the embryonic stage. First, the cells of the embryo multiply and develop. They become the hundreds of different types of cells needed to make a whole human body. Your babys major organs and body parts begin to take shape.
The;placenta;forms during the embryonic stage. The placenta takes nutrients,;oxygen,;and water from your;blood;and passes these along to your baby through the umbilical cord. It also removes the babys wastes. The placenta will filter out most of the harmful substances that may be present in your body.
The amniotic sac forms during this stage as well. It is filled with amniotic fluid, which surrounds and protects your baby in the uterus.
Below are some of the highlights that occur during the embryonic stage.
Brain Development In The Postnatal Period
Though the production and migration of neurons are largely prenatal events, proliferation and migration of glial progenitors continues for an extended period after birth, and the differentiation and maturation of these cells continue throughout childhood. The full scope of neuron-glia interactions is still not fully defined, but it is clear that these interactions play an important role in functional organization of neural circuits during postnatal life. Importantly, estimates of the developmental time course in humans of the postnatal processes outlined below are derived by extrapolation from data acquired in other species, often rodents, and from very limited human postmortem material. Unfortunately, the result is much remaining uncertainty about the temporal extent of proliferation, migration, differentiation, and regression during the postnatal period in humans, and about the timing of these processes relative to each other. In vivo brain imaging of children is providing important clues about the time course of age-related biological alterations in the brain, and provides an opportunity to link these changes to evolving behavior.
You May Like: How To Unsubscribe From Brainly
Fetal Brain Development Week 3
The egg is now a ball of cells called as the blastocyst. The eggs has a unique DNA that carriers the necessary information. Of the two strands, one comes from the father and the other from the mother. There are two types of cells, the inner cells which will later form the embryo and the outer cells which will form the membrane.
Your Childs Brain Development: Age One
Have you ever wondered why your toddler isnt responding to you with what you believe should be a normal reaction? Or you cant understand why your baby keeps opening and shutting the closet door over and over again?
Humans are one of the few species on earth born unfinished. At birth, our brains are nowhere near fully developed, and in fact, the human brain develops quite slowly over time. New technology such as CAT scans, MRIs and PET scans all indicate that your brain is still developing into late adolescence. Therefore, the way your baby and toddler thinks is colored by his stage of development. At first, your baby will view the world in concrete terms. The way he reasons and responds is directly correlated to this particular stage. For this reason, it is important to take your childs development into consideration when speaking with your child and when placing behavioral expectations on him.
Your infants brain is born into the world with approximately 86 billion neurons; while this sounds like a lot, it is actually about half of what it will have by the end of your babys first year. At age two or three, the brain has up to twice as many connections as it will have in adulthood; the reason, is that as we grow older, our brains perform a sort of use it or lose it function: effectively pruning unused connections over the years.
Your Babys Brain: Age 1
Social and Cognitive Learning
Dont Miss: Why Does Brain Freeze Happen
Don’t Miss: How Do You Get Rid Of Brain Freeze
Development Of The Embryo
The next stage in development is the embryo, which develops within the amniotic sac, under the lining of the uterus on one side. This stage is characterized by the formation of most internal organs and external body structures. Most organs begin to form about 3 weeks after fertilization, which equals 5 weeks of pregnancy . At this time, the embryo elongates, first suggesting a human shape. Shortly thereafter, the area that will become the brain and spinal cord begins to develop. The heart and major blood vessels begin to develop earlierby about day 16. The heart begins to pump fluid through blood vessels by day 20, and the first red blood cells appear the next day. Blood vessels continue to develop in the embryo and placenta.
Almost all organs are completely formed by about 10 weeks after fertilization . The exceptions are the brain and spinal cord, which continue to form and develop throughout pregnancy. Most malformations occur during the period when organs are forming. During this period, the embryo is most vulnerable to the effects of drugs, radiation, and viruses. Therefore, a pregnant woman should not be given any live-virus vaccinations or take any drugs during this period unless they are considered essential to protect her health drugs or use social drugs or illicit drugs at some time during pregnancy… Common.TooltipReadMore).
What You Can Do To Support This Growth
If you just discovered that you’re pregnant, you will likely spend the next months ahead wondering how your baby is growing and developing. Questions like: “What color will my baby’s eyes be?” or “When can my baby hear me?” may run through your mind. You may even wonder about your baby’s brain development.
Fortunately, fetal brain development typically follows a pretty predictable schedule. In fact, the fetal nervous system, or your baby’s brain and spinal cord, is one of the first systems to develop. So, as you continue along with your prenatal care and get your ultrasounds, your baby also will be moving along and developing at a predictable rate.
You May Like: Does Mike Tyson Have Brain Damage
Development Of The Fetal Cns
The central nervous system of a growing fetus starts with a simple structure called the neural groove that folds in to form the neural tube. This then develops into the spinal cord and brain. By day 28 after conception, the neural tube should be closed and fused. If it doesnt close, the result is a neural tube defect.
In many cases, these defects can be diagnosed during pregnancy with ultrasound scans and, rarely, with other tests such as amniocentesis .
Whats The Timeline For My Babys Development
Your baby will change a lot throughout a typical pregnancy. This time is divided into three stages, called trimesters. Each trimester is a set of about three months. Your healthcare provider will probably talk to you about your babys development in terms of weeks. So, if you are three months pregnancy, you are about 12 weeks.
You will see distinct changes in your baby, and yourself, during each trimester.
Traditionally, we think of a pregnancy as a nine-month process. However, this isnt always the case. A full-term pregnancy is 40 weeks, or 280 days. Depending on what months you are pregnant during and what week you deliver, you could be pregnant for either nine months or 10 months. This is completely normal and healthy.
Once you get close to the end of your pregnancy, there are several category names you might hear regarding when you go into labor. These labels divide up the last few weeks of pregnancy. Theyre also used to look out for certain complications in newborns. Babies that are born in the early term period or before may have a higher risk of breathing, hearing or learning issues than babies born a few weeks later in the full term time frame. When youre looking at these labels, its important to know how theyre written. You may see the week first and then youll see two numbers separated by a slash mark . This stands for how many days you currently are in the gestational week. So, if you see 38 6/7, it means that you are on day 6 of your 38th week.
Read Also: How To Unsubscribe From Brainly
How To Support Your Babys Brain Development
Its important to consume at least 600 mg of folate, or folic acid, during the first trimester and 400 mg later in pregnancy. This vitamin supports brain and spinal development, ensuring that the spinal tube fuses correctly and stimulating the growth of the brain throughout your pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins, created specifically to deliver the nutrients necessary during pregnancy, contain extra folate. If you arent getting enough from your diet, consult with your doctor about the best kind of prenatal vitamins for you. You can also get folate naturally from your food, specifically flax seed, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables.
Its important to consume at least 600 mg of folate, or folic acid, during the first trimester and 400 mg later in pregnancy. This vitamin supports brain and spinal development, ensuring that the spinal tube fuses correctly and stimulating the growth of the brain throughout your pregnancy.
Eating a balanced diet of whole foods and drinking plenty of water will help your baby’s brain develop properly.;
Baby Brain Development In Pregnancy: Month By Month Progress
Pregnancy isnt just about the miraculous growth of your baby — its also about the incredible baby brain development that is going on at the same time. Thats why pregnancy nutrition is of utmost importance during this critical phase. Lets take a closer look at the cognitive development journey your baby goes through during these months.
Baby brain development happens at an incredible rate during your pregnancy. At four weeks in utero, your babys brain is not much bigger than a grain of salt, and at seven weeks, it barely measures a quarter inch. But fast-forward to the final trimester and your developing babys brain has increased in size by 260 percent!
Most of this baby brain development can be attributed to the rapid formation, growth, and proliferation of brain cells. A child is born with 100 billion neurons forming connections with one another and creating an elaborate messaging network that scientists consider the most complex biological system in the world. Heres a deeper look at the brain development that you cant see but can appreciate.
Also Check: Stop Brain Freeze
Development Of The Neural Circuits Of Consciousness
At birth, the newborn brain is in a transitional stage of development with an almost adult number of neurons but an immature set of connections . During the few months after birth, there is an overproduction of synapses accompanied by a process of synaptic elimination and stabilization, which lasts until adolescence . Myelination begins prenatally, but is not completed until the third decade in the frontal cortex where the highest executive functions and conscious thoughts take place .
Comparison between the maturation of thalamocortical-cortical connections and somatosensory evoked potentials . In the early preterm infant , thalamic axons establish a dense synaptic network in the subplate. After approximately 25 gestational weeks thalamic fibers make synapses in the deep cortical layers. In the full-term infants, the thalamic fibers have reached their final destination in layer IV of the cortex. This is reflected by the SEP responses. In the early preterms, the evoked responses consist only of long depolarizations of the deep layers. A delayed cortical activation can be seen. When the thalamic-cortical fibers extend to the cortex, faster cortical responses are seen, paralleling the accumulation of synapses in layer IV. Reprinted from Vanhatalo et al., Semin Fetal Neonatal Med 11:464-470, Copyright © 2006 Elsevier Ltd., with permission.
What Can Harm Fetal Brain Development
One of the largest contributors to fetal harm is alcohol. Drinking while pregnant can severely impact the growth and development of the babys brain. Alcohol consumption can cause fetal alcohol syndrome, which causes brain damage and problems with a babys growth. Babies with fetal alcohol syndrome may have a certain cast to their facial features, including drooping eyes. They may also experience speech delays and mild to severe retardation. There is no known safe amount of alcohol to consume while pregnant, and the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome are irreversible. If you are having trouble abstaining from drinking, its important to discuss this with your doctor right away.
One of the largest contributors to fetal harm is alcohol. Drinking while pregnant can severely impact the growth and development of the babys brain.
Smoking is also harmful to a babys development overall, including low birth weight and a reduction of the formation of neurons in the brain. Cigarette smoke, and the chemicals it contains, also impact the communication between neurons.
If you dont have a cat, its best to wait until after you have the baby to get one. Feline feces can contain parasites that cause toxoplasmosis, which can be harmful to your baby and especially their brain. If you do have a cat, get someone else to clean the litter box and be sure to wear gloves if you do it yourself.;
Recommended Reading: How To Cancel A Brainly Subscription
How Many Brain Cells Does A Child Have
An infants brain at birth has roughly 86 billion neurons1, almost all the neurons the human brain will ever have2.
Although a newborn has about the same number of neurons as an adult, it has only 25% of the adult size.
Thats because infants neurons are connected by only roughly 50 trillion neural connections, called synapses, whereas an adult brain has about 500 trillion of them3.
This network of synaptic connections will ultimately determine the development of behavior and cognitive functions.
Fetal Brain Development Week 11
The spinal cord is clearly defined and the spinal nerves start to stretch out from the spinal cord.This week sees the completion of the first trimester. The sex of the baby can be determined in this period. The heart, liver, spleen and many other organs are already functioning. By this stage, the baby is taking plenty of nourishment through the placenta. The fetus also begins its practice of breathing, inhaling, and exhaling. The eyelids will close and not open until the 28th week.
Read Also: Jahi Mcmath Decomposing
Continue Learning About Fetal Development Basics & Pregnancy
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
Are You Pregnant 8 Simple Things You Can Do To Have An Intelligent Baby
It is every parents dream that her/his baby grows up to be healthy and intelligent. Sure, mothers diet, genes and emotions play a part in developing a growing babys intelligence, but what about tips for creating a smarter, happier baby? Are there any?
Inherited genes play a major role in determining intelligence and personality, but the right lifestyle choices can help ensure those genes are programmed in the womb, gynaecologist Ratnabali Ghosh says.
Researchers now estimate that only half of IQ is down to genes – the rest is influenced by a babys environment.
So, what are you waiting for?
To ensure your baby inherits your braininess, start now, as we bring you eight tips that ensure your baby is smart and intelligent.
1. Start a storytime habit
When does learning begin? Psychologist and parenting expert Polly Sengupta says the foundations for language begin in the womb and, by the third trimester, your baby can memorise sounds she/he hears regularly.
According to an article in parenting website Babble, researchers asked mothers to read a passage from The Cat In The Hat repeatedly to their unborn babies. After birth, the babies recognised that passage when they heard it.
2. Eat healthy
Include nuts such as almonds and walnuts in your diet during your pregnancy. Walnuts are essential for brain development of adults and babies alike. Almonds are a good source of niacin, protein and energy and helps in the overall brain development of the baby, Ghosh says.
Don’t Miss: Why Do People Get Brain Freeze