The way to get smart baby

TIRUPATI March 30. Meharban Singh, Professor Emeritus, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, has said that a newborn baby's smartness and intellect depends primarily on its mother's health and the prenatal care she takes.

Delivering the guest lecture on the theme, `How to have smarter babies,' conducted by the Tirupati branch of Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) and Glaxo Smithkline, he said that a brain develops up to 70 p.c. in the foetal stage, while the rest grows in the next three or four years.

While observing that a nutritional diet and a tension-free life was must for a pregnant woman in order to beget a smart baby, Dr. Singh faulted the lack of proper care of the mother that was leading to birth of mentally unbalanced and physically fragile children. That a child in the womb has a sense of touch and passion and that it talks, listens to and admires its mother should be perceived, he noted.

On postnatal care, he suggested to mothers to provide food rich in vitamins and minerals to children. Advising parents not to confine themselves to buying toys to `let the kids grow by themselves,' Dr. Singh said that they should spend sometime daily and frequently interact with them and get emotionally closer and develop a sense of attachment and belongingness in them.

Apart from lack of a nutritional diet, Mr. Singh expressed concern that impure drinking water was causing up to 80 per cent of child-related diseases in the country.

Former head of Paediatrics of S.V. Medical College, Ratna Malika, chaired the session. The IAP's president and secretary, N.M. Abdul Salam and A. Arumugam, also spoke.

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