Controversial Chemical Fine for Pregnant Women
Reported October 09, 2007
NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. (Ivanhoe Broadcast News) — Classical music … books … and now Baby Einstein toys? We want our kids to be smart! But what really works? Studies show up to 20 percent of a child’s IQ is influenced by prenatal experience. So, what you can do before your baby is even born?
Three-year-old Parker is smart for his age, and his mother, Lynette Whiston, hopes her next baby will be, too! She’s s not alone. Today, parents-to-be invest in all sorts of gadgets to make their babies smarter.
Lise Eliot, Ph.D., a neuroscientist from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago, Ill., says, “I think there’s a fad these days to try to stimulate your baby before birth, and I have not seen any evidence that it is beneficial.”
What does work? Getting the right nutrients. Choline helps memory areas of the brain develop. Moms-to-be need 450 milligrams a day. And you should take folic acid supplements before you conceive.
Children whose mothers consume fish oil score about four IQ points higher on tests. And, breast-fed children score up to five points higher!
Women who gain about 20 percent of their ideal body weight have children with higher IQs. And one study shows those who exercise while pregnant have smarter children at five years old.
Lowering stress levels is another good idea. Stress hormones can cross the placenta and, in extreme cases, cause pre-term delivery.
“It’s a good idea to avoid any extreme stress if you can,” says Dr. Eliot.
Moms-to-be should also see their dentist. Periodontal disease can increase the risk of having a preemie by more than seven-fold. Also interesting — in a recent study, infants who viewed Baby Einstein educational videos knew six to eight fewer words than other children who did not watch the videos.
For more information, please contact:
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
3333 Green Bay Road
Chicago, IL 60064