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Even though brain development continues long after birth, the foundations of healthy brain development start during pregnancy. Neurogenesis, the process of forming neurons, begins shortly after conception. The processes of migration, synaptogenesis, and myelination also begin prenatally. By the time a baby is born, the brain has 100 billion neurons and more than 50 trillion synapses.
The health of the expectant mother during pregnancy is vital to the well-being of her baby. Women who are pregnant should make sure to have a healthy diet, appropriate physical activity, and adequate rest, and should take steps to manage their stress. Pregnagnt women should avoid alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs, and should take medications only under their doctor's advice.
Prenatal care should begin within the first two months of pregnancy. Women should see a doctor as soon as they suspect that they might be pregnant, and should continue regular prenatal care throughout the pregnancy. High quality, ongoing, regular prenatal care can help ensure that both mother and baby are healthy throughout the pregnancy.