Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size
A
A
A

How to Have a Smarter Child

Heredity, of course, has a lot to do with how smart your child will turn out. But the environment in which he or she develops is an important factor.

Sound Effects

Can you jump-start Junior's brain by playing Mozart through earphones wired to your belly?

No, says Kenneth M. Steele, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.

"There is no solid scientific evidence that human fetuses either need or benefit from additional stimulation of the 'Mozart-effect' variety," Steele tells WebMD. Sounds entering the fluid-filled womb are muffled and distorted. It's much like hearing the noise of a pool party when your head is under water.

Cranking up the stereo volume could eventually damage the mother's hearing, and transmitting sound directly to the unborn child through earphones could permanently damage the baby's sensitive ears. Steele recommends that pregnant women also avoid prolonged exposure to high intensity sounds, especially those of lower pitch than the human voice: "If it's too loud for the mother then it's probably too loud for the baby."

Eat Smarter

When you're eating for two, remember that both of you need a whole host of nutrients to support the dramatic changes taking place. As your child travels that amazing journey from single cell to fully developed baby, her brain cells are especially finicky about what they need to achieve their greatest potential.

"Prenatal nutrition for the mother is essential," Schoenthaler tells WebMD. "A supplement is an insurance policy rather than a replacement for good eating."

In addition to a prenatal vitamin/mineral supplement, he recommends five or six daily servings of fruits and vegetables and five of whole grains. As fat and protein are crucial for fetal brain development, total calories should include at least 12% in lean proteins and not more than 30% in fat or 10% in sugar.

"Mom needs a healthy diet, and she does need to start eating for two," Darvill says. "There will be plenty of time to drop the extra pounds involved in pregnancy later."

Eat More Eggs?

Exciting news from animal research on choline, a substance plentiful in eggs, may have profound implications for developing babies, explains H. Scott Swartzwelder, PhD, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Duke University in Durham, N.C. Nerve cells transform choline into acetylcholine, a chemical messenger involved in memory and lacking in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
 
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
 
slideshow fetal development
Slideshow
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
Article
 
What Causes Bipolar
Video
Woman trying on dress in store
Slideshow
 
pregnant woman
Article
Woman looking at pregnancy test
Quiz
 
calendar and baby buggy
Tool
dark chocolate squares
Slideshow