Nurturing Brilliance: The Wonders of Prenatal Brain Development

The journey of human development begins long before a baby takes its first breath. Prenatal brain development is a remarkable and complex process that lays the foundation for a lifetime of cognitive abilities, emotional well-being, and overall health. In this blog, we will explore the wonders of prenatal brain development and the critical factors that influence the formation of a baby’s brain in the womb.

The Early Stages:

Prenatal brain development begins in the earliest stages of pregnancy, even before many women are aware they are expecting. Around the third week of gestation, the neural tube forms, eventually giving rise to the brain and spinal cord. This crucial phase highlights the importance of early prenatal care and proper nutrition for expecting mothers.


One of the most fascinating aspects of prenatal brain development is neurogenesis, the process of generating new neurons. This occurs primarily during the first trimester, with millions of neurons being produced every minute. These neurons migrate to their designated areas and begin forming the intricate neural circuits that underlie various cognitive functions.

Synaptogenesis and Connectivity:

As the pregnancy progresses, synaptogenesis takes center stage. This process involves the formation of synapses, the connections between neurons. The developing brain produces an excess of synapses, and through a pruning process, the most efficient and relevant connections are strengthened while others are eliminated. This synaptic pruning continues into early childhood, shaping the neural architecture that will support learning and memory.

Influence of Environmental Factors:

The environment plays a crucial role in prenatal brain development. Factors such as maternal nutrition, exposure to toxins, stress levels, and overall maternal health can significantly impact the developing brain. Adequate intake of essential nutrients, such as folic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, and iron, contributes to healthy brain development.

Maternal Stress and Emotional Well-being:

Research suggests that a mother’s stress levels during pregnancy can affect the developing fetal brain. Chronic stress may lead to the release of stress hormones, which can influence the developing neural circuits. Promoting maternal emotional well-being through relaxation techniques, emotional support, and stress management strategies is essential for fostering a healthy prenatal environment.


The Role of Genetics:

Genetic factors also play a pivotal role in prenatal brain development. The genetic blueprint inherited from both parents determines the basic structure of the brain, influencing factors such as the size and shape of specific regions. Understanding the interplay between genetics and environmental influences provides valuable insights into individual differences in cognitive abilities.

The Importance of Stimulation:

Even in the womb, babies are capable of sensory experiences. Exposure to external stimuli, such as sound and touch, can influence the development of the fetal brain. Expectant mothers are encouraged to engage in activities that promote positive sensory experiences, such as decibel controlled auditory stimulation, reading aloud, and maintaining a peaceful environment.


The journey of prenatal brain development is a marvel of nature, highlighting the intricate dance between genetic factors and environmental influences. Recognizing the importance of early prenatal care, proper nutrition, an enriched environment, and emotional well-being is crucial for ensuring the optimal development of the fetal brain. By understanding and supporting the delicate process of brain formation in the womb, we pave the way for a brighter and healthier future for the next generation.

The Ultimate Guide to Building Your Baby’s Immune System with Breastfeeding

The Ultimate Guide to Building Your Baby’s Immune System with Breastfeeding

As a new mom, it’s common to feel a combined sense of excitement and nervousness when it comes to your baby. From the first moment you look into your little one’s eyes, there’s a feeling of concern about doing the right thing for your child. The question is, however, what are the “right” things?

With new motherhood comes a barrage of little decisions you’ll have to make. One of the first being whether or not you’d like to breastfeed your baby.

While this is a personal decision which affects every family and individual differently, deciding to nurse your baby can be one of the best choices you opt to make.

Not only does breastfeeding allow for closer bonding between mother and child, but it also builds up a baby’s immune system to keep them healthy fresh out of the womb and beyond.

The folks at MamaNatal, believe in the power of breastfeeding. Their goal, however, is not just to discuss the benefits of breastfeeding for mom and baby. It’s to teach moms how to breastfeed effectively, so that you can give your babies’ the nourishment and healthy foundation they need in the most natural way possible.

If you’re wondering how nursing your child can improve their chances of staying healthy, the experts at MamaNatal have all the information you need.

What is an immune system and how does it develop in babies?

The immune system is an intricate network of proteins and cells, that’s general function is to protect the body from infection. When foreign substances enter the body, they are identified by the white blood cells, which then produce the antibodies needed to help fight off the infection.

Unlike adults, babies do not have a healthy immune system when they are born. During the last three months of pregnancy (third trimester), the antibodies from the mother are passed to the placenta. In this stage, the level of immunity received by the baby depends on the mother’s own level. This exchange gives the baby a form of protection when they are born.

At birth, the baby’s gut can build a colony of bacteria passed unto them from the mother’s vagina, which contributes to their immunity. These examples of passive immunity, however, do not last long after birth.
After delivery, your child will continue to receive antibodies from exposure to different germs and bacteria. Another way of boosting their immune systems is by offering your child the powerful antibodies that come from colostrum and breast milk.

These antibodies will help prevent your child from getting sick and will reduce the amount of time it takes for them to feel better when they do catch colds and other symptoms.

Given the present COVID-19 pandemic we’re facing, it’s also worth noting that some scientific studies have determined that breastmilk might even help protect children from developing the coronavirus.

At the very least, it’s been determined that even if a mother has tested positive for COVID-19, the risk of passing it onto her child is extremely rare.

Facts about Breastfeeding

From bonding to long-term health benefits, there are so many great advantages that can come with choosing to breastfeed your child.

The following are important details that you should know about breastfeeding.
From bonding to long-term health benefits, there are so many great advantages that can come with choosing to breastfeed your child.

The following are important details that you should know about breastfeeding.

  • Breastfeeding promotes immunity and protects your babyWHO recommends breastfeeding within one hour after giving birth. To promote ideal growth and development, breastfeeding should continue up to two years.Babies typically consume 780ml to 200ml of milk each day from less than six months up to 18 months. It provides an estimated 29% of a baby’s daily intake of calories. Breast milk is considered to be personalized medicine. It helps decrease the risk of flu, colds, diarrhea, gastroenteritis, and lung infections.

    If you are getting ready to breastfeed, make sure to download this free 74 page ‘Ultimate Guide to Breastfeeding’. This guide was developed with the knowledge of lactation consultants and it will answer your questions – promised!

  • Breastfeeding benefits mothersBreastfeeding does not only benefit babies, it helps you too! Here are some interesting facts you might not have known.
    WHO has suggested nursing can be considered a natural method of birth control within six months after birth! It also reduces risks of ovarian cancer, type II diabetes, and breast cancer.Psychologically, breastfeeding benefits the baby and the mother. While it helps in the cognitive and socio-emotional development of children, it also possesses significant effects on the mental health benefits for the mother. Research suggests that it benefits the overall mood, stress levels, and impact of a mother. Further, it helps in promoting happiness and slower recognition of anger which is beneficial for mothers in the postpartum stage.
  • Breastfeeding has long-term benefits.Continuing to breastfeed the child after six months also has health benefits according to medical studies. It lowers the chances that children will acquire childhood and adult illnesses. It protects from diseases such as leukaemia, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, obesity, and type I and II diabetes. Also, it helps prevent conditions, such as obesity, vision problems, and dental issues.It can also have a good impact on the child’s IQ. A study also noted that longer duration of breastfeeding results in less parent-rated behavioral problems in children.

Breastfeeding vs. Infant Formula

If you are still evaluating both options feel free to check out a previous article from MamaNatal titled: ‘Breastfeeding vs. Alternatives’. It will give you all the insights you need to make an informed decision.

Mothers (especially working moms) have difficulty deciding whether they will breastfeed or use formula for their infants. While some appreciate the cost savings of breastfeeding, others see it as an inconvenience, especially during working days and extended travel.

Breastfeeding is always good for babies. While the FDA ensures formulated milk is regulated to contain all the necessary nutrients found in breastmilk, infant formula substitutes don’t provide the individualized combinations found in a mother’s milk.

It’s also vital to understand that a baby’s system isn’t created to thrive off of the dehydrated cow’s milk substitutes, common in formula. It can have adverse effects and lead to various digestive issues, such as constipation, gas, and diarrhea. This is particularly true in babies who are born prematurely.

Here are the main differences between a mother’s milk and formulated milk:

Mother’s Milk

Infant Formula

It’s free! Parents do not have to spend more money on expensive formulas to feed the child.

The mother can leave the child anytime without worrying. The bottle can be provided by dad or other family members.

It has different tastes
The child can taste the various foods that are taken by the mother. It slowly introduces the flavors of hard food to babies. Through this, babies will easily accept solid foods when a parent presents it to them.

It provides less hassle on the part of the mother. This is good for on-the-go mothers.

There is no need to wash bottles nor rush to a grocery store to buy milk. Feeding can be done in any setting.

Lesser frequency of feeding
Babies that are fed with formulas do not ask for milk too often. This is because the procedure is less digestible. Hence, feeding is less frequent compared to breastfeeding.

Promotes good IQ level
Studies show that breastfeeding promotes a higher IQ for babies.

Mothers do not have to worry about their diet.
Since the mother is not feeding the child directly from her breast, the mother can eat anything. She will not worry about food intake because it will not affect her baby in any way.

Bonding time for parent and child
When a mother is breastfeeding, a bond is created. The skin-to-skin contact enhances the emotional connection of the baby and the mother.

Has benefits for mothers
As it benefits the child, it also helps the mother physically, emotionally, and mentally

Eases digestion
The components of breastmilk are easily digested in the stomach of an infant.

Challenges that new moms may encounters during breastfeeding

Though breastfeeding has many benefits for the child and the mother, it can also create challenges. Below you will find a list of some of the most common issues and concerns.

Personal discomfort

When a new mom is already recovering from labor and delivery, it can be challenging to power through the discomfort that originates from breastfeeding in the first few days and weeks. It’s not uncommon to experience pain and tenderness on your nipples during the beginning phase of nursing.

Adjusting your posture and maintaining a good latch are imperative in tackling these physical pains. It’s also helpful to have a sound support system to help boost you up during the learning process.

Milk Supply

Several new moms are struggling with milk supply. While this can have many causes, including stress or dehydration, a woman’s diet or lack of nutritional supplements can typically cause problems

If you’re looking for natural ways to boost your milk supply, here are some nutrients / foods that have proven to be most effective:

  • Fenugreek
  • Blessed Thistle
  • Fennel Seed
  • Stinging Nettle
  • Red Raspberry Extract
  • Chamomile
  • Marshmallow Root

MamaNatal offers the only supplement that offers a combination of all of these ingredients AND key vitamins for you (mom) while breastfeeding.You can learn more here:

Clogged Ducts & Mastitis

Clogged ducts are an unfortunate reality for several moms throughout their breastfeeding journey – especially during the first few months when your milk first comes in and your body is trying to figure out your child’s schedule and needs.

If you wake up feeling a tender spot on your breast or a small lump under the skin, these can be clear indicators of a clogged duct.

While your first instinct might be to leave the plugged duct alone and discontinue nursing on that side until the problem fixes itself, this is the worst mistake you can make.To help clear out the clog, it’s important to continue nursing and draining the infected breast as much as possible. You can also use massage to try and work the plug out manually.

It’s imperative to deal with clogged ducts as quickly as possible, before they become infected and turn into mastitis.

Mastitis is an infection of the breast that results in inflamed breast tissue. It can lead to difficult symptoms, such as aches, pains, and fever. In fact, it’s often mistaken for the flu.

In severe cases, you might require a prescription of antibiotics from the doctor to remedy the infection.

Large, Flat, or Inverted Nipples Causing Latch Problems

Nipples come in all sorts of various shapes and sizes. When a woman is struggling to achieve a good latch with her baby, she often looks to her nipples as the culprit.

Put your worries aside, though. Any nipple, no matter how large, flat, or inverted it may be, can be used to breastfeed a baby. Practice different holds and positions to see if those benefit the situation. If not, consider reaching out to a certified lactation consultant and ask for some tips on how to handle your latch issue.


Many women will recognize the sensation of waking up for the first time after their baby is born and realize their little one missed a feeding session. When this occurs, it can leave your breasts feeling tight, heavy, and painful – otherwise known as engorgement.

To keep from getting engorged, be sure to nurse frequently and allow your baby to empty your breasts at each session. If your baby starts naturally spacing out their session, using your pump can help prevent engorgement from occurring.

Just be cautious, when your breasts are left engorged for too long or too often, it can lead to the clogged ducts and mastitis previously mentioned.

If you are currently experiencing any of these challenges, or others, and would like to learn how other moms are overcoming them, make sure to join MamaNatal’s Facebook community ‘MamaNatal’s Community for New & Expecting Moms’.

And make sure to check out their recent video featuring community member Roxanne – a mom of 4.

Tips for Acceptable Breastfeeding Practices

Many medical experts believe that choosing to breastfeed your baby is an ideal way to keep them healthy and nourished after birth. Breast milk includes many different benefits for mom and baby, that formula does not possess.

Not only does breastfeeding promote cognitive, social, and emotional development in children, but it also helps boost their immune systems in the first weeks, months, and years of their lives.

It can be difficult, however, for new moms to get comfortable with the lactation process. If you’re hoping for a smooth transition into nursing your baby, the following tips can help you make the best of your experience:

  • Allow for plenty of skin-to-skin contact, immediately after birth. This experience can help regulate baby’s temperature and encourage them to begin nursing.
  • If your little one isn’t into nursing, try expressing some colostrum manually to help peak their interest. This will allow them to better smell the milk and put their focus on feeding.
  • Try to avoid baby items, such as pacifiers, sugar water, and formula in the first few weeks (unless medically necessary.) Baby needs the opportunity to suckle at your breast as much as possible. This not only allows them to perfect their latch, but it will also help boost your milk supply.
  • Find the most comfortable breastfeeding position prior to feeding your little one. It also helps to change up the holds and positions you use, especially in the first few weeks.
  • Watch and listen to your baby to make sure they are sucking and swallowing while nursing. If they fall asleep while drinking, it can help to give them a light tap on the cheek.
  • Let the baby empty all of the breast milk from one breast before offering the other.
  • Rest often, eat well-balanced meals, and remember that the infant needs to be fed around six times during a 24-hour period.
  • If you’re struggling to breastfeed, do not hesitate to consult with a certified lactation consultant about your issues.

How to determine if you have enough milk for your infant

  • Pay attention to whether your child settles and seems full after they nurse.
  • Pay attention to the number of wet diapers and bowel movements your baby has each day. By the end of the first week, after your milk comes in, you should notice approximately 6 – 8 wet diapers daily.
  • The infant’s stool may change from black to yellow mustard within a few days.
  • While your baby might lose some weight in the first day or so, they should start returning to their birth weight within the first two weeks.

Motherhood is not an easy job and choosing to breastfeed can make the experience seem like even more of a challenge. From sore nipples to leaking milk, there can be a plethora of obstacles that stem from having a breastfed child.
Despite this, however, breastfeeding is a luxury, which all mothers should take advantage of. It is the most remarkable form of nutrition for babies and is a priority for many new moms. Mothers are strong creatures willing to sacrifice their own comfort for the betterment of their children.

MamaNatal is here to help you make the most of your breastfeeding experience. Whether you’re searching for the perfect vitamin to address your milk supply issues or you need virtual sessions with lactation consultants.

Their lactation experts have even put together several downloadable free guides to breastfeeding to help ease your transition into nursing and guide you through the process.

Here’s the take-away

Breastfeeding is an essential tool for any new mom who wants to provide the top nutritional resources to their baby. When it comes to understanding the importance of breast milk and nursing, there are three important things it’s essential for you to remember.

1. Breastfeeding Offers an Abundant Number of Benefits

From mother/baby bonding to a reduced chance of developing conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer, it’s astounding to think about the number of different benefits that come from breastfeeding a child. And it’s not just benefits for the baby, we’re talking about.

New moms can find comfort in several ways in which nursing a child can positively impact their lives, including decreased chances of developing Postpartum Depression, faster weight loss after birth, and lower stress levels.

2. Breastfeeding is a Challenge

You might think that one of the advantages of breastfeeding is that it’s easy to do. On the contrary, however, it can be loaded with challenging moments and uncertainty.

Some of the most common problems nursing mothers face include nipple pain, low milk supply, discomfort while breastfeeding, engorgement, and stress. It’s important to remember, though – the positive advantages that come from breast milk outweigh the disadvantages you might be confronted with. Which leads us to take-away number 3…

3. The Lactation Experts at MamaNatal Can Help

Don’t feel like you’re on this breastfeeding journey alone. During your moments of frustration, uncertainty, and stress, a certified lactation consultant can be there to help ease the challenges you’re facing.

MamaNatal offers a wide array of beneficial resources, including downloadable guides, vitamins and supplements, and virtual consultations.

If you want to make the most of your breastfeeding experience and come out successful on the other side enlist the help of an expert like the ones at MamaNatal

4 Ways To Stay Fit During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is rough on our bodies. New pains, stretch marks, swelling – often getting a workout in is the last thing on a pregnant mom’s mind. But there are many benefits to staying fit and healthy throughout pregnancy, including a healthier baby.

Evidence shows that physical activity can prevent gestational diabetes, diabetes that develops during pregnancy, relieve stress, and grow the stamina needed for labor and delivery. Now, this certainly doesn’t mean going out and immediately starting to train for your first marathon when you learn you’re pregnant. If you were physically active before you became pregnant, you should be able to continue exercising – albeit on a lower impact level. If you weren’t active, ask your doctor to help develop a low impact exercise routine for each phase of your pregnancy.

If your goal to stay in shape during your pregnancy, the following tips should help you do so in a healthy way for both you and baby.

1. It’s not just cardio!

One of the best ways to keep off extra pregnancy weight, and make postpartum weight loss easier, is to maintain muscle tone. Low-impact strength based programs using light weights works great for muscle tone but you can also do plenty of exercises using just your own body weight. Strength training also reduces muscle aches and pains that pregnancy can bring. Great low impact workouts that can help build and maintain muscle for pregnant women include barre classes, yoga or pilates.

2. Enjoy your exercise

Whatever you’re doing, make sure it is something you enjoy! Finding exercise and physical activities you have fun doing helps you stay motivated throughout pregnancy. Don’t start cycling classes if you don’t like it just because you read it was good for pregnant women – you likely won’t stick with it, particularly in the later months. Remember to find a workout program you can modify – and if you can find other pregnant women to workout with, even better!


3. Hydrate

There are few things more important to pregnant women than staying hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps to keep you energized and can reduce pregnancy-related nausea. Being hydrated can also keep your body feeling satisfied and prevent overeating. Oftentimes, we think we are hungry when we’re actually just thirsty. Pregnant women should drink around 12-13 8oz glasses of water a day – more if you are exercising.

4. Listen to your body

This is the most important tip on this list. We are all different and every pregnancy is different. Listening to what your body tells you is critical. Somedays, you’ll feel exhausted, some days, you’ll have the energy to take on the world! Take the rest when you need to and don’t push yourself too hard. Your body and your growing baby will tell you what you need!

If you’re interested in learning how BabyPlus can help your baby’s brain be fit, learn more here!

Why It Is Important To Talk To Your Baby When Pregnant

By Dorinne Davis – Audiologist

Parents can often read and react to their child’s emotional states. Parents often understand a baby’s cry or laugh as illness, fear, hunger, or more. A study reported on ABC news in 2005[1], shared that Allan Schore, a leading neuroscientist at the University of California, Los Angeles’ Center for Culture, Brain, and Development pointed out that the connection between parent and child during the first year of life affects a child’s psychological state and plays a role in physically shaping the brain. His own research concluded that the parent-child interaction plays a key role in baby brain development on the right side.

The right side of the brain is stimulated when interacting with others, especially care-givers. When a care-giver interacts with an infant, the child’s brain and prenatal health is being affected, shaping emotional responses. This interaction appears to help the child’s ability to handle stress and feel emotionally secure.



Shore also shares that the child’s brain is not only shaped by ‘genetics but also the experience of the last trimester of pregnancy through the child’s first year and a half of life’. At 7 months in utero, the ear’s neurological system is developed, supporting the stimulation both to the left hemisphere of the brain, important for speech and language development, and the right hemisphere of the brain, important for this emotional connection. The child’s brain will be shaped by prenatal brain stimulation and personal attachments.

As the parent, you do not need to wait until your child is born to talk, sing or interact with them. Start interacting while you are pregnant with prenatal sound. Singing lays the underlying tonal and rhythm patterns of the world, but talking provides the smaller, subtler sound changes that can also support your child’s emotional well-being. Prenatal sound systems like BabyPlus can also provide Have fun with your baby. Chat, talk, sing and interact with them. Enjoy the experience!

©Davis 2014

A prenatal sound system like BabyPlus can also provide desirable prenatal cognitive development. If you want to be kept in the know on BabyPlus developments, let us know!