A healthy baby starts with a healthy mother

i-MED vision that support and educate community members on health, physical, emotional, and mental development.

i-MED vision that support and educate community members on health, physical, emotional, and mental development, we focus this month on the importance of the first 1000 days of a child’s life. Every child deserves the opportunity to thrive. Good nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life provides the building blocks for healthy brain development.

A child’s brain begins to grow very early on in pregnancy and develops at an astonishing speed. At the 4th week of pregnancy, the brain has an estimated 10,000 cells—by the 24th week, it contains 10 billion. The nutrition that a baby gets from his mother through her diet is the fuel that drives much of this incredible transformation.

Nutrients such as folic acid, iron, zinc and iodine, as well as protein and fatty acids play a vital role in building a baby’s brain during pregnancy. When one or more of these is absent during pregnancy, a baby could be at risk for developmental delays, birth defects and cognitive deficits.

During pregnancy, a woman’s diet, the rate at which she gains weight, her physical and mental well-being, her environment and her lifestyle habits have a powerful effect on her child’s future health. These factors influence how a child’s metabolism, immune system, and organ functioning begin to develop. They can also affect whether a child is born prematurely or at a low birthweight—outcomes that have a lasting impact on a child’s health well into adulthood.

A growing body of research suggests that diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and stroke have their origins in pregnancy—and that prenatal nutrition plays a key role in whether a child becomes susceptible to these and other illnesses later in life. There is also research showing that babies start to develop food preferences in the womb with implications for lifelong eating habits.

The well-being of a mother and her child are intertwined right from the start.