Friday, November 10, 2006
Medical Reports: HEALTHCAST: Brainier Baby
Every parent wants to have a brainier baby, but you don't have to wait until after they arrive. You can give them a smart start before they're even born. Tonight, 7 News' Christine Cruz has seven ways to boost your baby's brain power.
WSVN -- Jessica Meeker is a parent's dream. She's a brain child who graduated high school at only 12 years of age!
Jessica Meeker: "I'm 18, and I have a master's degree."
From videos to books, most parents will do anything to create a baby Einstein. But having a smart child starts before they're even 'born'!
Dr. Lise Eliot: "About 20 percent of a child's IQ can be influenced by prenatal experience."
There are seven ways that are scientifically proven to bring a brainier baby into the world.
Number one: Take cholinesupplements.
In animal studies, skimping on choline permanently damages fetal brain chemistry. Popping 450 milligrams a day should give them a brain boost.
Number two: Get your thyroid checked.
Children born to mothers with untreated thyroid disease during pregnancy scored seven points lower on IQ tests.
Number three: You may dread it, but you should see your dentist.
Having periodontal disease during pregnancy increases the risk of having a preemie.
Number four: It's smart to get moving!
Researchers found women who exercised regularly had smarter children by the time those children hit five years of age. Also, gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy. Putting on about 20 percent of your ideal body weight will ensure that you'll have a child with a higher IQ.
Number six: When it comes to brain food, choose breast-feeding over bottled.
In one study, breast-fed children scored three points higher on an IQ test than those who were formula-fed.
And finally, number seven: Make sure you're getting enough iron. Without it, critical areas of the baby's brain don't grow.
FYI: Dr. Eliot says playing classical music and reading to your unborn child have not been proven to improve IQ, but it sure can't hurt.