Paying attention to nutritional intake during pregnancy is one of the important tasks for a mother. These nutrients will be used to maintain the health of both the baby and the mother, which is very important for fetal development. The nutrients obtained will also form and perfect the brain organs.

The important period of fetal brain formation is from the 8th day to the end of the 7th week of pregnancy. By the 10th week of pregnancy, the brain's nerve cells have grown rapidly, reaching 250,000 new nerve cells per minute.

  • Calcium Helps to build strong bones and teeth. Main sources include milk, cheese, yogurt, and sardines. During pregnancy requires 1,000 miligrams (mg) daily.
  • Iron Helps red blood cells deliver oxygen to your baby. Sources include lean red meat, dried beans, peas, and iron-fortified cereals. During pregnancy requires 27 mg daily.
  • Vitamin A. For healthy skin, eyesight, and bone growth. Carrots, dark-leafy greens and sweet potatoes are good sources. During pregnancy requires 770 micrograms daily.
  • Vitamin C. promotes healthy gums, teeth, and bones, and helps your body absorb iron. Good sources include citrus fruit, broccoli, tomatoes, and strawberry. During pregnancy requires 85 mg daily.
  • Vitamin D. Helps the body absorb calcium to help build bones and teeth for baby Sources include exposure to sunlight, fortified milk, and fatty fish, such as salmon. During pregnancy requires 600 international units (IUs) daily.
  • Vitamin B12. Helps form red blood cells and maintains your nervous system. You can find this vitamin only in animal products. Good sources include liver, meat, fish, poultry, and milk. During pregnancy requires 2.6 micrograms daily.
  • Folic acid. Important in blood and protein, it also reduces the risk of neural tube defects (birth defects of the brain). Can find it in green leafy vegetables, orange juice, legumes (chickpeas, peas) and beans.
  • Iodine Play a role in mental development and intelligence. Iodine is found in vegetables, meat, fish, and salt.
  • Choline Play a role in helping the formation of the brain neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Choline is found in breast milk.

All nutrients are essential for brain growth and function, but certain nutrients have a significant effect during early development.

Omega 3 fatty acids are very important during pregnancy for the fetal retina. Omega 3 consists of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which functions to form sphingomyelin bodies for nerve cell structures. EPA functions to increase the baby's body weight, head circumference and can improve the baby's eye, hand, and cognitive coordination.

The fetal hearing and visual organs have been formed since the fetus is 20 weeks old. Fetal brain can receive messages, process them until they respond. Giving stimulation can stimulate the formation of synapses or nerve cell connections and inhibit apoptosis or cell death. The more synapses that are formed, the more optimal brain function will be. Therefore, stimulation must be given optimally and regularly during pregnancy.

Nutrients are essential during pregnancy. Make sure to always consume balanced nutrition or according to the recommendations.



Nancy LM.Benefits of docosahexaenoic acid, folic acid, vitamin D and iodine on feotal and infant brain development and function following maternal supplementation during pregnancy and lactation.Nutrients 2023, 4 (&), 799-840; doi : 10.3390/nu4070799.


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