How Does ADHD Develop in Our Babies?

ADHD is common among people of all ages and genders, but there is still much debate on what causes the disorder. While neuropsychologists don’t know for sure what exactly causes a person to suffer from ADHD, there is evidence indicating that babies develop the condition in the womb. While more studies need to be conducted before doctors can draw any certain conclusions, the following prenatal factors may lead to ADHD in a child.

Exposure to Harmful Substances

During pregnancy, it’s important for an expectant mother to avoid putting toxins in her body – both for her own sake and for the sake of her child. Smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol while pregnant are both associated with a variety of health risks to a fetus, and many doctors believe that it can increase a child’s chances of being diagnosed with ADHD later on. The more a mother uses these substances, the more a child’s odds of developing ADHD are likely to increase.

Poor Nutrition in Utero

ADHD may also stem from a lack of proper nutrition in the womb. More specifically, a maternal diet that is low in omega-3 fatty acids can affect the development of a child’s brain, and some researchers believe that this deficiency may be linked to ADHD. It may be beneficial for a mother to promote good fetal health by taking vitamin supplements.


While some potential causes of ADHD may be within a mother’s control, there may not be a way to completely eliminate a child’s risk of developing the disorder. Genetics plays a role in a person’s brain chemistry, and children are more likely to have ADHD if one or both of their parents have it. While certain healthy choices on the mother’s part may lower a child’s risk of suffering from ADHD, it is not a parent’s choice whether or not they pass the condition down to their child.

ADHD can manifest in many ways. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are three different categories of the disorder: combined presentation, predominantly inattentive type, and predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type. Because there is so much variety in ADHD symptoms, different patients may require different forms of ADHD therapy treatment. If you suspect that your child may have ADHD, Elements Psychological Services can provide them with an ADHD assessment and help you explore a variety of ADHD therapy treatment options.