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You won’t believe what’s going on in baby’s brain this week! Plus, one of the most important ways to prepare for a natural childbirth.
Baby isn't just creating fat to fill out those adorable, chubby thighs, she's also adding plenty of fat to her brain. In fact, the brain is made up of 60% fat!
This week, what's happening upstairs for baby is that she is developing neurons in charge of her five senses that will allow her to learn and interaction with her environment:
She's also started to lay down myelin, a white, fatty coating of insulation for nerve fibers in the brain. The "myelination" process is just beginning now and will continue well into her twenties! Myelination enables nerve fibers to transmit signals quickly—without it, brain cells just don't communicate that well.
And, it's a slow process, which is why it takes about a year for a human being to learn to walk, whereas horses, who are born with much more myelin, are up and about within hours after birth (no fair).
Interesting to note, one of the last places myelination occurs is in the brain's frontal lobe, which is responsible for decision making and sound logic. No wonder teenagers can be so impulsive! ?
To support your baby's growing brain, be sure to get in healthy fats each and every day. By eating healthy fats, you are supporting your baby's budding brain, not to mention your own satiety or feeling of fullness.
Some easy ways to enjoy healthy fats include:
You also can support baby's smarts with exercise! Yes, just 20 minutes a day a few times a week can boost your baby's IQ (who knew?). I loved taking a daily walk to boost my mood and metabolism. The important thing is to find some gentle exercise that you love... and stick with it.
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Babies don’t come with instructional manuals, but thankfully there are resources out there that help us become the parent we were meant to be.
Birth doesn’t come with a predictable and duplicable instruction manual either (I wish!). That’s why it’s important to educate and empower yourself regarding the biological, emotional, mental, and even spiritual aspects of birth.
Taking an out-of-hospital childbirth education class is essential if you want to go natural. This will give you the tools you'll need to walk through one of the most intense experiences of your life.
The out-of-hospital part of that phrase is key, as the hospital courses mostly teach you how to be a good patient.
Because this is such a passion of mine, I joined forces with my friend Maura, who is a registered nurse, doula, lactation consultant, and midwife in training, to create the Mama Natural Birth Course.
I compare our class, as well as the other popular natural birth courses out there, in this post: Which Birthing Classes Are Best for You?