In this medical video learn how you can boost your baby's brainpower.
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Jeniffer Mathews: Jessica Meeker is a parent's dream. She graduated high school at age 12, college at 16, and received her MBA at 18. Jessica Meeker: Everyone else is just now going to college and looking at all these years of school, in front of me, and I'm all done. Jeniffer Mathews: Her mom says she noticed Jessica was different right from the get-go. Leigh: Her first word was pocketbook. I'd come home from work, and I picked her up from the baby sitter's. I didn't have my pocketbook with me, she looked me and said, pocketbook, and I am like, huh? Jeniffer Mathews: And like any mom would be, Jessica's is proud. Leigh: It definitely is a gift from God, it is, it is. Jeniffer Mathews: But having a smart child may take a little work on your part too. Lise Eliot: It's good to rinse the brain before you take a look at them. Jeniffer Mathews: Doctor Lise Eliot studies how babies' brain develop. She says there are ways expectant mothers can increase their chances of having a smarter baby. Lise Eliot: About 20 percent of a child's IQ can be influenced by prenatal experience, and that's quite a substantial proportion. It's going to take quite a number of years of schooling to equal out that! Jeniffer Mathews: Number one on this list: Take choline supplements. In animal studies, skimping on choline permanently damages fetal brain chemistry. Take 450 milligrams a day, or eat foods like eggs, meat and fish. Number two is get your thyroid checked. Children born to mothers with untreated thyroid disease during pregnancy scored seven points lower on IQ tests. Next, see your dentist. Having periodontal disease during pregnancy increases the risk of having a preemie by more than seven-fold. And number four? Get moving! Lise Eliot: If there's one time to be in shape, it's when you're pregnant. Jeniffer Mathews: Researchers found women who exercised had smarter children at 5 years old. Also, gain the right amount of weight Putting on about 20 percent of your ideal body weight will ensure you'll have a child with a higher IQ. Breastfeeding is number six. Lise Eliot: It's really one of the easiest ways it's one of the easiest ways mothers can choose to make a tremendous difference in their baby's health and cognitive development. Jeniffer Mathews: In one study, breast-fed children scored three points higher on an IQ test than those who were formula-fed. Number seven, take iron. Without it, critical areas of the brain don't grow. Finally, stress can damage a fetus's brain by restricting blood flow. So take a deep breath and relax. Now you know eight ways to ensure your baby gets the best start in life. This is Jeniffer Mathews reporting.