The top question on any expecting mother’s mind is uncannily common: how will her future baby look like? The factors that play a role in determining the baby’s appearance come into play long before he/she arrives into the world. At times, even before his/her conception. Of course, the parents make the biggest difference when it comes to the appearance. But, there are things other than the DNA that impacts the baby’s looks too.
As an expecting mom, you might have realized how everything you do affects the baby’s growth and development. The same goes for his/her appearance too. How the little one looks is not only dependent on the partner you choose but also the environment you live in, your diet, etc., to name a few. Here, we bring you some of these things that influence your tiny angel’s appearance:
1. DNA Game
Everyone knows that DNA plays a key role when it comes to determining the baby’s appearance. While both the parents’ genes contribute to it, it is not like all of these genes are received by the baby. Basically, your kid will be a combination of both you and your partner’s DNA.
2. Pregnancy And Alcohol
While this is too strong an example, it is worth considering the drastic impact alcohol can have during pregnancy. In fact, if a pregnant woman drinks too much alcohol, she can suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome. This can even cause the baby to develop a unique facial appearance such as exceptionally small eyes or thin lips (1).
3. Building Blocks For Baby
Folic acid is considered to be important during pregnancy as it helps in the formation of a baby’s spine. In fact, the lack of it can result in spina bifida (2). That is why a lot of docs may push for folate supplements. Thus, it may affect the baby’s appearance too.
4. Travel Routine
Travel habits during pregnancy can potentially influence a baby’s appearance. Frequent air travel may expose the developing fetus to radiation, which is known to be harmful to the little one. And, it might also affect his/her looks. So, if you are required to travel extensively during pregnancy, you can consult your doc once.
5. Complexion Genes
If you and your partner have mixed complexions, then your baby may be born with a different skin tone. You would have noticed that generally fair-skinned parents have fair-skinned kids and dark-skinned parents have dark-skinned children. It is obviously not a coincidence. But, it is not just one gene but a combination of different genes that influence the little one’s skin tone.
6. Fitness Matters
Both healthy as well as unhealthy habits can influence the baby. So, your physical and food habits may make a difference to the baby’s looks too. For example, if the soon-to-mother is obese, her child might be obese too. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t been active throughout. Supervised regular exercise when pregnant may help mitigate the effects of your weight.
7. Hold Back On Caffeine
If you are the expecting mom who loves her coffee, try to limit your caffeine intake to 200 milligrams per day during pregnancy (3). It may have an impact on the size of your baby at the time of his/her birth. The baby might be born smaller and slimmer than normal. So, make an effort to hold back on this addiction during this phase.
8. Give Me More Sunshine
Though we love our sunscreen, we all realize the importance of sunshine and Vitamin D. At least, for some amount of time every day. Insufficient sunshine might result in a baby born with low birth weight. So, try to ensure that you get a sufficient amount of this nutrition during pregnancy. After all, a little sunshine won’t hurt.
Now, you are hopefully more aware of things that can unknowingly affect your baby’s appearance during pregnancy. We hope that this information is of some help to you. Good luck!