Building a healthy brain for baby – and other women’s health conversations this month at The Core

Even though pregnant women are essentially building their baby’s brain from scratch, it’s a stunningly fast process.TheCore_HealthyPregClass_RGB

By Day 20 – before most women even know they’re pregnant – the neural tube begins to form, which will ultimately develop into the brain and spinal cord, said board-certified pediatric neurologist Nadia Fike, who will be co-presenting “Healthy Moms Build Healthy Brains” at Tucson Medical Center’s The Core at La Encantada on Friday, May 15.

The first part of the 90-minute presentation, which begins at 2 p.m., will examine the development of the structure and function of the growing brain. “One of our goals is to make sure people know how cool this whole process is,” said Dr. Fike, who has been with the Center for Neurosciences since 2006. “There is a lot of interest in how we can help along this incredible development during pregnancy, but there is also a lot of misinformation that exists about how we can make it turn out better.”

For Dr. Fike, it’s not about playing classical music or buying the latest prenatal education system. First and foremost, it’s about mom being her healthiest self – eating nutritious meals, getting appropriate rest, exercising and steering clear of tobacco, alcohol and drugs. Planned pregnancies should, however, include supplementing with folic acid, since that helps guard against neural tube defects.

“The marketing claims out there about how you can make a smarter baby are neither useful nor proven,” Dr. Fike said. “As amazing as this process is, it has been honed over time by evolution. The bottom line is if moms are generally making healthy choices and taking care of themselves, things will most likely be OK.”

In the second part of the May 15 presentation, Dr. Jyotsna Sahni will talk about how to get better sleep – something helpful for new parents, clearly, but also for a larger audience. Dr. Sahni’s multiple board certifications in a number of specialties, including geriatric, internal, nutritional, and sleep medicines, allow her to view sleep disorders in a unique, comprehensive way.

The presentation is part of a month-long series of expert conversations on women’s health, including:

  • Oh Baby! What you need to know to keep your new family healthy and well
  • Financial Fitness
  • The Power Asana Lifestyle
  • Women, Wellness and Wine; addressing changing hormones other concerns
  • It’s a Date! Women’s health, including breast health information
  • Gluten Free At Home: navigating the grocer as a gluten-free cook

There will also be a fun Mother’s Day celebration from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 10, with free photo booth pictures, flowers and other giveaways.core

In addition to the calendar of events, The Core also offers a full slate of fitness classes at its storefront location in La Encantada retail center, Campbell Avenue and Skyline Drive.

Check out the offerings for the month or registration for events at

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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