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Early interventions before and after pregnancy

Page history last edited by Crystal Dyess-Carroll 6 years, 3 months ago







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     Children living in poverty come often come from backgrounds in which parents and caregivers are not educated on the importance of their well-being and cognitive development. Poor parents have more difficulty providing the necessities they need for their child during prenatal and postnatal development (Aber, Bennett, & Conley, 1997). Therefore there can be indirect effects on a child living in poverty, such as through the process of prenatal development the mother could be going through depression or stress caused by living in poverty which can ultimately affect the cognitive development of the child (Aber, Bennett, & Conley, 1997; Kiernan, 2008; Latendresse, 2009). This stress can ultimately factor in major risks in possible infant mortality as well as the serious long-term health issues such as cerebral palsy, blindness, and other developmental disabilities that include cognitive, sensory, language, as well as learning deficits (Latendress, 2009). To ensure that mothers at risk are provided with adequate resources when living in poverty it is going to take early intervention programs to increase the chances of a child living in poverty to maintain a successful cognitive outcome. Early intervention prenatal programs include prevention programs that provide intervention services through home visitations to at risk mothers (Akai & Guttentag, 2008). Home visitation provides a way for at risk mothers who lack resources including transportation or income for high quality child care to obtain a way to learn and develop strategies to support their infants and toddlers (Akai & Guttentag, 2008). Home visiting programs also have effects on maternal education, increased employment, as well as self sufficiency (Martin, Brooks-Gunn, & Klebanov, 2008). Through community support families living in poverty are able to receive the education they need to ensure that their child will receive the basic necessities they need to thrive when they are born.


The importance of early intervention before pregnancy

     An infant born into poverty has many risks that include being born prematurely or with a low birth weight that will play a role on their cognitive development. Postnatal development is just as important as prenatal development. This is why early prevention programs are a key part in educating parents and caregivers during prenatal development because if early prevention is not in tacked an infant maybe born into poverty with the risks stated above. Postnatal intervention programs include home visits, Infant Health and Development Programs (which are services received from neonatal discharge to 3 years) (Martin, Brooks-Gunn, & Klebanov, 2008), and Head Start Programs (Guo, 1998; Prince & Pepper, 2006), that have helped to ensure the well being and development of early infancy and toddlers (Prince & Pepper, 2006). Furthermore research has found that a child’s development during the early years has a lifelong affect on their well being and cognitive outcomes (Najman, Hayatbakhsh, Heron, & Bor, 2009; Prince & Pepper, 2006).


The importance of early intervention after pregnancy

     The goal ultimately for children living in poverty that effects their cognitive development is to ensure that parents and caregivers are aware of the tools, strategies, and education that comes with having and raising a child. Prenatal and postnatal development go hand in hand, infant mortality, low birth weight, preterm birth, stress, depression, and socioeconomic status all are indicators that effect a child’s well being (Latendresse,2009; Prince & Pepper, 2006). Although there are benefits to the intervention programs, they only provide support to parents and caregivers of infants and toddlers up to age 3 to 4 years old. Children would benefit strongly from interventions implemented in all different life stages (Guo, 1998). Moreover, there seems to be a lack of combining parental education programs with early intervention programs for children. Research has shown the different programs to help educate parents and caregivers as well as provide early education to infants and toddlers, but there is not a combined program that will provide the knowledge and guided practice parents need (Akai & Guttentag, 2008) in raising their child throughout all life stages.

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