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Depression During Pregnancy Is Associated With Abnormal Brain Structure in Children

Depressive symptoms in women during and after pregnancy are associated with abnormal brain structure in children, Science Newsline Medicine reports. The study in Biological Psychiatry suggest that a mother's mood may affect her child's brain development at critical stages in life, the news agency said.

Interestingly, previous studies have shown that in-utero exposure to environmental chemicals can also negatively affect a child’s brain development with autism, ADHD and other mental disorders, as well as high blood pressure, heart disease and more. That’s why, if you’re pregnant, avoiding exposure to environmental toxins is so important.

Sadly, this is something you probably have to take on by yourself, as a survey of more than 2,500 physicians indicated that half rarely take an environmental health history while they’re seeing you.

Your diet is also important in forming your child’s brain development. For example, a fetus must obtain all of its omega-3 fats from his mother's diet. Hence, a mother's dietary intake and plasma concentrations of DHA directly influence the DHA status of the developing fetus and his brain development.

Fish have always been an ideal source of omega-3 fat, but the presence of pollutants such as PCBs and mercury does make caution advisable. Choose fish that is as low in mercury as possible, such as wild-caught salmon, pollock, tilapia, catfish and cod, along with smaller fish like sardines and anchovies. One study shows that pregnant women who ate 21 ounces of fish a week had children whose IQ scores were 2.8 points higher than those who ate less fish.
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