The periods of human development are eight from birth to death. They include infancy, first 2 years, the second is early childhood 2-3 years, third is play age 3-5 years, fourth is school age, 6-12 years, fifth is adolescence, 12-18 years, sixth is a young adult, 18-35 years, seventh is middle adulthood, 35-55 or 65 years, and eighth is late adulthood, 55 or 65 to death.
In infancy, one cognitive activity is that children learn by observing their surroundings and by touch. The love and care they receive from the mother enables them to trust others hence growing psychosocially. Physically the child learns how to walk hence their bodies grow stronger. In the early childhood stage, the child remembers large amounts of information (Papalia, 342). When it comes to social development, children at this age are able to form friendships. In terms of physical growth, children engage in many physical activities hence strengthening their muscles. In the third stage, the play age, the mind is curious, hence children engage in stories that try to satisfy their curiosity. Psychosocially the child is able to make close relations with others, but the most fundamental relation remains that of the family. Many biological changes happen to the child, and they grow both physically and mentally.
Inherited influences are influenced by the DNA in the genes passed on from parents and influence observable and unobservable traits in an individual. Environmental influences are the external occurrences in ones environment that influence the character and physical traits in an individual. The difference is that one has no influence on inherited influences, and they are irreversible whereas environmental influences are acquired and one can choose to discard the behaviors gained from these influences.
Environmental influences include attitude of parents towards the child which determine how the child relates with others as through parental warmth they learn to trust and interact with others. The level of parents’ intelligence or mental illness in the family may have a role in a child’s confidence level and their intelligence, as well. Parents’ wealth and connections will determine the social class that the child grows up in making them adapt to the norms of that particular class, and this includes work ethics and discipline. Involvement of the parents in the community will determine the psychosocial level of the child with the more actively involved becoming more social and vice versa. Diet will also determine the level and speed of growth of a child.
The three alternative birthing methods include caesarian section, water birth and Lamaze. In caesarian section, a horizontal cut is made just above the pubic bone and the stomach muscles pulled apart to gain access to the uterus. A lower transverse incision is made in the uterus. The suctioning out of amniotic fluid occurs and the baby delivered with the head delivered first for cleaning of the nose and mouth for breathing. The placenta is then delivered. The close up process follows. The disadvantages include extended stay at the hospital after delivery and extended recovery time. There is a higher maternal mortality rate than with natural births (Annabel, 862). Risks involved in the caesarian delivery are infection at the incision site or the uterus. Another is hemorrhage with women requiring blood transfusion after the process or arising cases of anemia.
The other type of birth delivery method is water birth. This method of giving birth involves immersion in warm water. The advantages are that it is relaxing and calming, buoyancy promotes efficient contraction by reducing body weight. It promotes the elasticity of the perineum and eases transition for the baby. The risk may include gasping of the baby while in the birthing pool hence risking drowning, but this happens in rare occasions.
The third type of birth method is the Lamaze. It involves breathing and relaxation techniques where one focuses on the breathing. Ones partner should give support throughout labor. Advantages are that there is enhanced bonding between mother and child as they are not separated after birth. The risk factors involved in this process are those associated with natural childbirth.
Sudden infant death syndrome is one and an example may be the baby sleeping on the abdomen. Babies breathe by the expanding and contraction of the abdomen and cannot turn themselves over if in that position for long so they may end up suffocating. As concerning specific dangers faced by low birth weight babies these include respiratory distress, congenital malformation and neonatal malformation.
Respiratory distress may occur because the baby’s air sac being premature, as the baby does not produce enough surfactant. In addition, the baby is not strong enough to breathe normally for the first few days. Congenital malformation is a physical condition involving many body parts causing malfunctions in the infected parts.
It may be genetic or due to exposure to malformation causing agents during pregnancy such as alcohol. Cleft lip, heart defects, limb defects and Downs’s syndrome are examples. Neonatal malformation is a result of severe blood infection more than 48 hours after their birth.
Annibale DJ et al. “Comparative neonatal morbidity of abdominal and vaginal deliveries after uncomplicated pregnancies.” Arch Pediatric Adolescence Med; 1995, 149(8):862-7. Print.
Papalia, Diane E. and Olds, Sally Wendkos. Human Development. New York: McGraw-Hill. 1978. Print.
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