Infographic: Low Birth Weight

The months a baby spends in the womb, along with the first 12 months after birth, are arguably the most important time of all for brain development. During this period, brain cells called neurons are forming connection with each other, creating the networks that underlie thinking, learning and feeling. Low birth weight can disrupt early brain development. Low birth weight babies are at increased risk for developmental problems related to physical health, psychological adjustment, and intellectual functioning.

Eating for Two

Nutrition is the single greatest environmental influence on babies in the womb and during infancy, and it remains essential throughout the first years of life. Prenatal malnutrition, for example, has been linked to later adverse health and cognitive outcomes. Likewise, malnutrition in infancy and early childhood is a key risk factor for cognitive deficits, lower academic achievement, and behavior problems.

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