Grow my Brain: your baby's development
Research shows that babies who feel safe and secure experience better brain development, even when they're still inside their mother’s tummy. Watch these eight short videos for ideas of loving interactions you can do with your baby, before and after they’re born, to help build their brains and give them a solid foundation for later life.
Sometimes it’s the little things that make the big differences.
Watch the videos to find out how to grow your baby's brain!
© Medway Foundation Trust, Medway Council and Medway Community Healthcare CiC
The story behind Grow my Brain
The grow my brain campaign was created by two midwives, Jo and Trude, who were inspired by years of helping Medway’s mums deliver and look after their babies.
The idea for grow my brain came to midwife Jo Maynard one night when she was lying in bed and couldn’t get to sleep. Jo started thinking about how best she could support the families that she meets every day as part of her job as Lead Midwife for Infant Feeding at Medway Maritime Hospital.
She shared her idea with another midwife called Trude, who in her spare time is a very talented illustrator. Together they created the beautiful illustrations and words that are at the heart of the grow my brain campaign.
Grow my brain is supported by the Medway NHS Foundation Trust, Medway Community Healthcare and the council and is used in Islington by kind permission of this partnership.
The science behind Grow my Brain
The first 1,000 days of your baby’s life (the time between when you get pregnant and your baby’s second birthday) are really important for the human brain.
Your baby’s brain is developing really quickly, the quickest that it will grow during their lifetime.
Advances in science mean that we know a baby’s brain develops better if they feel safe and secure. This is true when a baby is still inside their mother’s tummy and once they are born.
Simple actions like singing to your baby, stroking or talking to your bump, and holding your baby close to you, help your little one to feel loved and safe.
Scientific research has shown that when unborn babies and young children feel stressed they release a hormone called cortisol, which prevents healthy brain development.
UNICEF have reported that the right side of a baby’s brain develops best when they enjoy a strong bond with their parents or carers. This brain development is really important as it’s the right side of the brain that is responsible for our emotions and how well we communicate.
So the development of your baby’s brain can affect what sort of adult they will grow up to be, from how well they are able to manage their feelings to whether they can form positive relationships.