HOW DO NEWBORNS ADJUST TO LIFE OUTSIDE THE WOMB?
An average newborn in the United States is about 20 inches long and weighs about 7 ½ pounds.
The first four weeks of life, called the neonatal period, is a time of transition from intra-uterine
to extra-uterine life. During the first few days, the neonate (newborn) loses weight and then regains it.
At birth, the circulatory, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and temperature systems become independent
of the mother’s. If a newborn cannot start breathing within about 5 minutes, brain injury due to anoxia
(lack of oxygen) may occur. Spank
Neonatal Juandice: A yellowing
of the eyeballs and skin caused by immaturity of the Liver. (Fairly common in
newborns and not considered dangerous).
WHAT COMMPLICATIONS OF CHILDBIRTH CAN ENDANGER NEWBORNS
Birth trauma (difficult
(Pre-term or Premees)
Although the infant mortality rate in the United States has improved, it is still
disturbingly high, especially for African American babies. Birth
defects are a primary cause of death in the first year, for black infants, low birth weight is the leading cause.
VERY LOW BIRTHWEIGHT INFANT MORTALITY RATE
LESS THAN LESS
5.5 POUNDS 3.3
See Table 4.3 page 119 (Birth weight, Mortality and Race)
In your opinion, what might accounts for the above differences?
AS LISTED IN THE TEXT INCLUDE:
BEING UNDER AGE
17 OR OVER AGE 40
USE OF ALCOHOL,
DRUGS, OR EXPOSURE TO STRESS
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the third leading cause of death in infants in the United States.
Exposure to smoke and sleeping in the prone position are major risk factors.
Because we know the first few minutes, days, and weeks are crucial for development in infants,
it is important to have tests to detect as soon as possible any problems that might need special attention.
TWO TESTS THAT ASSESS IMMEDIATE HEALTH CONDITION OF INFANTS ARE
* Apgar Scale
(see Table 4.3 page 117 text)
* Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale
Apgar Scale is
a test that is administered 1 minute after delivery and 5 minutes after birth to assess babies appearance, pulse,
grimace, activity and respiration.
Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) is a Neurological and behavioral test to measure neonate’s response to the physical
and social environment.
(FIRST THREE YEARS)
A child’s body grows most dramatically during the first year of life; growth proceeds
at a rapid but diminishing rate throughout the child’s first 3 years.
Children grow faster during the first 3 years of life than at any other time. At 5 months a baby’s weight usually has doubled since birth.
The brain grows most rapidly during the months before and immediately after birth as neurons migrate
to their assigned locations, from synaptic connections, and undergo the process of integration and differentiation.
Growth occurs from the top down. The head which is largest at birth becomes proportionately smaller as the child grow
in height, See Figure 4.3 page 126 text.
INFLUENCES ON GROWTH
The genes an infant inherits have a strong influence on growth determining whether
one is tall, short, stocky or thin.
These genetic influences interact with environmental factors such as nutrition
and living conditions. Example:
Japanese American children are taller and weight more than Japanese children of the same
age born in Japan
(probably because of diet)
EARLY SENSORY CAPACITIES
Touch seems to be the first
sense to develop and mature. Newborns are sensitive to pain. Smell, taste, and hearing also begin to develop in the womb.
Vision is the least well
developed sense at birth.
Environmental factors, including cultural practices, may affect the pace of early motor development.
NEWBORN’S SENSORY CAPACITIES
(WHAT CAN NEWBORNS DO?)
SMELL TASTE TOUCH
Focus and See
Can Coordinate Listening Can tell the difference Can tell the
This sense is present
Contrast in lst week and looking
difference between difference
between when the Fetus is in
certain odors which Sweet, Bitter, Sour the Womb.
Prefer bright moving
Is indicated by a
Look at Mothers Turns
face longer than sounds
By the time small children can run, jump, and play with toys requiring sophisticated coordination, they are
very different from, the neonates we described at the beginning of this chapter.
A final thought before we close this chapter centers around Breast Feeding and the role it may or
may not play in Physical Development.
BREAST FEEDING AND ITS BENEFITS
Research show that breast feeding offers many benefits (helps immune system, assist in mother child bonding, etc.). However, the quality of the relationship between parents and infant maybe more important
than the feeding method in promoting healthy development. (About 25% of women
breast feed in 19971). However, now that the results are out concerning the benefits
of breast feeding, about 70% of new mothers breast feed at least for the first 4 to 6 months.
DID YOU BREAST FEED? WHY OR WHY NOT?
In this chapter we have discussed the Physical Development during the first three years.
The Cognitive changes that have taken place between birth and 3 years are equally dramatic, as we
will discuss next week in Chapter 5