There are a lot of factors to consider when you’re dealing with newborn preparation, from the diapers to the crib to the toys and much more. However, the most important aspects that mothers are concerned with aren’t physical – it’s mental.
Read more: Want to avoid a C-section? Exercise!
Every parent wants their kids to be geniuses, and mothers want to give their children a head start. So how do you go about making your baby’s brain bigger? A study conducted by the University of Montreal and presented at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting revealed that you can promote healthy brain activity before your kids are born – with exercise!
Whether you’re a first time mother or have had kids before, you’re aware of the difficulties of exercising while pregnant. Between the belly and the limited mobility, it can be tempting to remain sedentary. However, with the promising new results of the study, you may find more inspiration to get up and start exercising. In this study, healthy pregnant women in their first trimester were chosen to participate. One group was asked to exercise for at least 20 minutes three times a week, while the other was asked to remain sedentary. Those who exercised were asked to exercise moderately – on a scale of exertion from one to 10, the women were asked to work out at a range of about 6. Notably, most of the women decided to walk or jog for their exercise regimen.
Read more: Your safe pregnancy exercise checklist
When the children were born, researchers asked the mothers to return. The researchers placed a number of electrodes on the babies’ heads while they slept, allowing them to measure the infants’ brain activity. A series of sounds were then played, a mixture of low and soft sounds and mildly jarring unfamiliar sounds. According to the lead researcher, Elise Labonte-LeMoyne, Ph.D., the infants’ brains would exhibit spikes. High spikes were associated with immature brains. She noted that the spikes in brain activity would disappear when the babies were about 4 months old.
Here’s the interesting part – the spikes were less pronounced in the brains of the babies whose mothers had been part of the exercise group. As such, you might want to think about donning your most chic maternity clothes appropriate for exercising and head outside for a nice walk or jog.
Though the effects of exercise on an unborn child are only theoretical and have yet to be proven to be a lasting benefit as the children age, there are still many benefits in exercising that will promote both your and the baby’s health. The study pointed out that mothers and their unborn children are connected on a deeply physiological level. Labonte-LeMoyne admitted that though mothers’ brains are not connected with their unborn children’s, their circulation systems are joined. Therefore, a range of chemicals related to brain health may carry into the bloodstream and pass on to the children.
Read more: Want an easier labor? Go to the gym.
For now, these findings are a great reminder of how intricately and deeply connected mothers are with their children. Exercise has never been a bad practice, so consider taking up a few easy routines that will fit into your schedule. Getting into a healthy routine now can make it easier to jump back into once the child is born. Starting an exercise regimen while you’re pregnant may help your kids while they’re in the womb, but being able to continue it after they grow up can ensure that you promote a healthy lifestyle that they’ll want to pick up as they grow up.