Baby’s Brain Development During Pregnancy

Baby’s brain develops as early as pregnancy…undergoing many once-in-a-lifetime milestones. Knowing what happens during this period will allow Moms to maximize it for their unborn child.

In the first 12 weeks, the baby goes from a single cell organism to a tiny human being, with recognizable features and internal organs. The brain and spinal cord tissues form first. The brain grows at the rate of a million cells per minute and forms connections needed for sending and receiving sensory information. The rooting reflex (head-turning and sucking) is also formed. By the end of the 1st trimester, brain is fully-formed.

Near halfway through, the baby’s brain continues to grow, letting him/her move and kick. Baby can taste, smell, hear, touch and even see. The brain can also process emotions. By the 24th week, reflex are fully developed responding to the mother’s sudden movements.

On the 3rd trimester, baby’s brain is almost 70% the size of an adult’s and has over 100 billion neurons with 50 trillion connections. Baby’s reflexes become coordinated. The baby can blink, turn his/her head and grasp firmly. Baby also experiences rapid eye movement (R.E.M.) deep sleep.

How to maximize the baby’s brain development?

  • Stimulate the baby’s mind by interacting with him/her. Talk,read or sing to him/her. Gently tap your stomach in response to the baby’s movement. The baby may kick back in the same pattern.
  • Take foods that are rich in brain-building nutrients such as DHA (can be found in yolks, fishes like salmon and tuna) and Choline (can be found in eggs, beef, chicken liver and soybeans).
  • Continue taking in nutritious food so both you and baby get optimum health.


*Source: Ask Your Doctor; Complete Pregnancy and Baby Book