5 Ways to Support Fetal Brain Development

This review was made possible by iConnect and UpSpring. I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% mine.

Pregnant or trying to conceive? Here are 5 ways to support brain development and take care of both YOU & your baby as best you can! #spon #UpSpringBaby #TTC

Sometimes, you just know it’s time to make decisions about starting or expanding your family.

Pregnant or trying to conceive? Here are 5 ways to support brain development and take care of both YOU & your baby as best you can! #spon #UpSpringBaby #TTC

It’s funny how much I’ve learned in the last four years, and in the last seven years, since I first found myself pregnant and pleasantly surprised. I was 27 and I didn’t know ANYTHING. Scarlet was a happy, early surprise, and I was so young and only a few months married. Des was planned, but it was a stressful time of moving and change and adjustments. I always have said that if I should be so lucky to have a third or even fourth pregnancy, I would do everything differently than I did before. The bottom line is – taking care of the baby and taking care of ME.

Or YOU, of course.

Pregnant or trying to conceive? Here are 5 ways to support brain development and take care of both YOU & your baby as best you can! #spon #UpSpringBaby #TTC

Here are five ways to support fetal brain development:

1 – UpSpring Prenatal+. UpSpring is a mom-founded and mom-run company – with a mission to empower parents with confidence and to give them the freedom to enjoy motherhood even more. UpSpring does this by finding innovative solutions to the everyday health and wellness challenges and frustrations facing mothers of a baby or young child. Since 2005, UpSpring has made all-natural products based on true science that solves real problems.

“More fun, less worry.”

Pregnant or trying to conceive? Here are 5 ways to support brain development and take care of both YOU & your baby as best you can! #spon #UpSpringBaby #TTC

UpSpring Prenatal+ is a complete multivitamin that also includes omega-3 DHA and choline (in the form of Alpha GPC) – clinically shown to support fetal brain development. Also, Alpha GPC is a highly bioavailable form of choline, and it’s the only form that crosses the blood-brain barrier to nourish your baby’s growing brain. These three delicious mango-peach gummies, taken once a day, provide 100% of the daily value of 11 essential nutrients, and brain-building omega-3 and Alpha GPC. The gummies are easy on the stomach! There’s also one-a-day, easy-to-swallow softgels too! UpSpring Prenatal+ Gummy is all natural, low in sugar, and non-GMO.

Get your delicious daily dose of three great tasting gummies and one liquid softgel.

Pregnant or trying to conceive? Here are 5 ways to support brain development and take care of both YOU & your baby as best you can! #spon #UpSpringBaby #TTC

2 – Get your Omega-3s! Omega-3/DHA is for motor skills development. Omega-3 fats, especially DHA, are concentrated in the brain, and the brain has the greatest need for omega-3 during the fetal growth period and up until age two! Pregnant women who take fish oil have higher levels of omega-3 in their breastmilk, and higher DHA levels in infants are associated with better hand-eye coordination.

Pregnant or trying to conceive? Here are 5 ways to support brain development and take care of both YOU & your baby as best you can! #spon #UpSpringBaby #TTC

3 – Eat fruits and vegetables, and boost your protein intake. Fresh produce contains antioxidants, some of which can protect your baby’s brain tissue from damage. Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly! And you need protein now more than ever. Check with your doctor for the recommended protein intake – mine jumped by 10 extra grams a day. I loved yogurt smoothies, bean soups, peanut butter on toast, and even lean beef.

Pregnant or trying to conceive? Here are 5 ways to support brain development and take care of both YOU & your baby as best you can! #spon #UpSpringBaby #TTC

4 – You need iron too! Your iron needs to double during pregnancy since iron deficiency can affect your baby’s growth and brain. You will most likely be tested for iron levels. Eat iron-rich foods too.

Pregnant or trying to conceive? Here are 5 ways to support brain development and take care of both YOU & your baby as best you can! #spon #UpSpringBaby #TTC

5 – Find your Folate. Luckily, it’s in UpSpring Prenatal+. It’s a natural form of vitamin B9, which is found in dark leafy greens and lentils, among other foods. Prenatal+ uses the natural form of B9 – folate – and pregnant women should get at least 800 mcg of folate per day, which is the amount delivered in their prenatal gummies.

Pregnant or trying to conceive? Here are 5 ways to support brain development and take care of both YOU & your baby as best you can! #spon #UpSpringBaby #TTC

And what else can I say? Read to your baby and get him/her used to your voice. Sing to your baby. Relax yourself. Be mindful of mercury; avoid alcohol and cigarettes. Above all, make excellent choices. Like UpSpring Prenatal+.

UpSpring Prenatal+ Gummy retails for $24.99 at Target – in the Women’s Health & Family Planning aisle. Prenatal+ is also available in an easy to swallow tablet with 18 mg of iron. Visit UpSpringBaby.com to find out more!

And ultimately, enjoy!

Practical Magic.

Like most kids, I used to believe in all sorts of magic and fairytales and ghost stories.

These days..not so much. I guess I should say not as much. I don’t really believe in psychics or fortune tellers, especially the ones at fairs and carnivals and with neon-lit signs on their windows. I don’t believe in witches, and I’m not sure about ghosts. I have also lost most of the thoughts I had about myself as a kid that would be considered delusions if I now thought them as an adult – like that I was invincible or that I would one day learn to fly or have x-ray vision or read thoughts and move objects with my mind. And I think..that maybe my younger self would be heartbroken to hear (see?) me write these words. Maybe a little. But there’s also the “magic” that we create for ourselves as adults. Sure, life can move really fast and you can walk in your own footprints and sit at the same desk for decades. Or forever. A lot of people do that and a lot of people don’t. And I do believe, and I always will believe, in a certain something. A hum in the air. A God or many gods and goddesses. Destiny and intuition. And mainly, I believe in the strength of humanity to create many of the things we only dream about as kids. ‘Cause that is very much real. And I believe that children are godliness and that so are parents.

And I believe in parental intuition. So very much.

I was scared of Scarlet turning one, almost to the point of panic. And on her first birthday eve, she was sent to the hospital in an ambulance to treat a dog bite. We didn’t get home until the night of her birthday. No cake that day. No presents.

I was scared of Desmond’s birth, almost to the point of panic. And he spent six days in the NICU starting two days after his birth. It all wound up ok, just as in the case of the dog bite, but nothing else has ever made me that freaked out.

This week he turned eight months. And it’s too early to tell how I will react to my beautiful boy turning one. It makes me feel inspired to begin to know the kid that the baby will become. It also makes me feel like sobbing and sobbing until I can’t breathe. I have lost most of the early anxiety I have ever associated with him. And in its place is the normal parental worry and concern, but beautiful intuition, that I will carry for my life with him. The beautiful intuition I discovered at his birth.

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Someone recently asked me if I am vehemently against giving formula to babies. And my surprised response was, “Of course not! I think its invention was vital to humanity and survival and sleep. Why would you think that about me?”

And she pointed out, not the obvious that neither of my kids have ever had even a drop of formula pass their lips, but that Des lived in the NICU for six days only on milk. And I live 35 minutes from the hospital. That was a lot of driving and sleeplessness and wear and tear, and time away from Scarlet, all so that the newborn would be given only milk. And I thought about that for awhile and realized there were a few reasons I was so adamant he only get milk. For one, whether or not he really was sick, I thought milk was his greatest chance of a full recovery if so. Secondly, my body needed to get adjusted to his feeding schedule. And mainly, it was the only way for me to mark him as mine. Most people have a baby in a hospital, have that baby near their side during their whole stay, and then take that baby home after two days or so.

Without knowing when I’d get to take him home, because it did honestly feel like forever for those of you who know that NICU time is measured in eons and not days, it was my chance to be alone with my own baby. Lost with him behind privacy curtains; bonding with him in such a way that skilled surgeons and nurses and other parents and other babies seemed to exist near me and pass by me in hushed and respectful whispers and tones. That was our chance to be mother and son.

I was the only one who could do that for him, and I wanted to remain the only one. Anyone could hold the bottle but only I could supply the food. It may have started me out with him as a bit of a control freak, but heck, I’m allowed.

Although I was robbed of a nice, normal newbornhood, well hell (heck is too mild for this one) I was not robbed of a nice, normal, healthy son. And it’s funny that as he inches closer to one, that I find myself nostalgic for a pink, squishy new baby when I never really enjoyed the one I was given. I guess it’s because it’s how I discovered such earth-bound magic, in him and in myself. With Scarlet, it grew steadily and firmly. With Des, I was smacked with his practical magic right after birth.

I think most of us see our children as heaven-sent, brilliant, dreamy, wonderful, miraculous, beautiful, beautiful creatures.

I am no exception.