Raising Happy Healthy Children: Why Mothering Matters

Raising Happy Healthy Children: Why Mothering Matters

by Sally Goddard Blythe

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With new information carefully added, this book examines the crucial early years from a child’s perspective. It draws on the latest scientific research to show how the first few years determine the way children develop, body and mind, for the rest of their lives. The keys to this development are parents, and in particular mothers. Raising Happy Healthy Children presents convincing research to show how a baby’s relationship with its mother has a lasting, deep impact. Recent social changes, such as delayed motherhood, juggling of work/life balance, limited uptake of breastfeeding, and use of parent-substitute baby equipment and electronic devices, are interfering with key developmental milestones that are essential for wellbeing in later life. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781907359835
Publisher: Hawthorn Press
Publication date: 11/01/2018
Series: Early Years Series
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Sally Goddard Blythe is director of the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology. Her previous books include The Well Balanced Child: Movement and Early Learning.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix

Foreword x

Foreword to previous edition What Babies and Children Really Need xiv

1 Introduction 1

First Love 2

2 Conception and Society: The Politics of Fertility 10

Evolution in Reverse/Retreat: Hereditary Influences 10

Age of the Mother 11

Increasing Use of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) 13

Social Impact on the Mother of Delayed Motherhood 15

In a Nutshell 18

3 Does Early Development Matter? 21

Prenatal Factors 21

Prenatal Influences 22

Family History 23

Pregnancy 24

Prolonged and Excessive Vomiting (Hyperemesis) 25

High Blood Pressure 27

Pre-eclampsia and Eclampsia 27

Gestational Diabetes 28

Incompetent Cervix 28

Maternal Stress 28

Threatened Miscarriage 32

Teratogens Known to Cause Human Birth Defects 32

Smoking 35

Cocaine 35

Marijuana 37

Heroin 37

X-rays and Exposure Radiation 37

Exposure to Other Sources of Radiation 38

Multiple Ultrasounds 38

Nutrition 39

Exercise During Pregnancy 43

Risk Factors in Perspective 44

In a Nutshell 44

4 Events Surrounding Birth 48

Onset of Labour 49

Benefits of a Natural Birth 50

Time to be Born 51

Pre-term Birth 53

Factors Leading up to Birth 53

The Process of Delivery 55

Midwives, Helpers, and Hospital Birth 60

Induced Labour 62

Separation at Birth 63

Low Birth Weight 66

Long-term Effects of Premature Birth 66

Post-Mature Birth 67

Birth in Perspective 67

In a Nutshell 68

5 Events Following Birth - Risk Factors 73

The INPP Screening Questionnaire 73

The Questionnaire 74

Events after Birth - Looking Behind the Questions What Might the Questions Reveal? 76

Later Childhood - Developmental Indicators 91

Schooling 93

Scoring the INPP Questionnaire 101

In a Nutshell 102

6 Breastfeeding 104

Advantages of Breastfeeding for the Baby 105

Breastfeeding and Fatty Acids 106

Fatty Acids and Brain Development 108

Mechanisms of Breastfeeding 110

The Technological Revolution 111

Benefits of Breastfeeding for the Baby 113

Infant Feeding and Obesity 114

Benefits to the Mother 118

Contra-indications to Breastfeeding 120

Obstacles to Breastfeeding 120

In a Nutshell 122

7 Movement Instinct 124

Why Does Movement Matter to Your Child? 125

Reflexes - Reflections on the Inner World of the Developing Child 125

Reflexes -Training for Life 126

Rooting and Sucking Reflexes 127

Babkin and Palmomental Reflexes 130

Palmar and Plantar Reflexes 131

Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex 133

Innate Processes and Modern Mothering Practices 136

Tummy Time 140

Playtime on the Back 142

Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (STNR) 143

Vestibular Stimulation 148

Tonic Labyrinthine and Moro Reflexes 149

Why is the Development of Balance so Important? 151

Infants - Explorers of Space 152

In a Nutshell 153

8 Language Instinct 156

Mimetic Aspects of Language 161

The Importance of Interaction 162

The Nature of Sound 164

The Significance of Background Noise 164

First Sounds 166

Matching Sounds to Gestures 167

Communication of Affect 168

Factors Which Can Affect Mother-Child Interaction 169

Stages of Language Development 171

What Are the Implications of These Pre-language Milestones for Parent-Child Interaction? 175

Music, Reading, and Writing 176

Visualisation and the Emotional Aspects of Language 178

Reading Aloud 179

Putting the Pieces Together 180

Look Who is Talking 180

Music is More than a Pretty Tune 181

In a Nutshell 184

9 Building on the First Year: The Neuroscience Behind Regulation of Emotions 188

Emotional Development 188

Social Factors Affecting Motherhood 191

Choices about Childcare 192

The Nursery and Childcare Debate 193

Neurological Effects of Early Separation, Neglect, or Abuse 196

The Limbic System 197

Cerebral Cortex 202

Hierarchy of Mechanisms Involved in the Stress Response 204

Tips for Daily Living 206

In a Nutshell 207

10 Factors Parents Can Control 209

The Role of Discipline in Establishing Self-regulation 209

Parenting Styles 209

Being a Consistent Parent 210

Mealtimes Matter 211

Modelling 212

Reciprocal Emotion 213

The Changing Face of Child's Play 214

Impact of the Electronic Media 216

TV Time in Childhood 218

Frequency of Human Brain Waves and 220

Associated States of Arousal In a Nutshell 225

11 From Toddlers to Teens: Why Parenting Matters 227

Rough-and-tumble Play 227

Why Children Need Fathers 229

Teenagers - the Chrysalis Period 235

What Has Changed in the Environment in Which Teenagers Grow Up? 237

In a Nutshell 244

12 What Needs to be Done? 246

A Litany of Needs for the Parents of Tomorrow and the Children of Today 247

Charter for Childhood 255

The A, B, C, of Children's Needs - Only a Beginning 258

'The Hand that Rocks the Cradle' 259

Resources 262

Bibliography 263

Index 277

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