Reflection Paper

Years ago, I heard a quote “When mom is happy, everyone is happy”. At that time, I even did not mention or understand it at all. Now, I recall it when taking the course of Child Development, and reading the chapter 5 about prenatal development, birth and new born, I have realized that it is very important in relationship between mother and child at the mom’s pregnant time. Well, for mom’s unborn child, this isn’t just a funny saying; it’s a reality. Why it is very important in relationship between mom and unborn child?

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For an unborn child is connected to its mother both physically and emotionally. During this period, the environment inside the uterus, where the unborn child is developing, is called the prenatal environment. The prenatal environment of the developing child is linked to both the mother’s physical and emotional condition. In other words, everything the mother experiences, the baby experiences as well. Physically, the mother’s nutrition is important to her developing child. This is because the unborn child must receive the nutrients necessary for development from the mother. An expecting mother must take in enough protein to support the development of new cells in the unborn child, enough calcium to create a skeletal system and enough iron for the increased blood supply that occurs.

Whereas, as discussing in our class, if a pregnant mother consumes alcoholic drink, her child must suffer the effects of health risk, called FASD- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Also, the placenta offers the fetus some protection from stress hormones. But when the mother experiences high levels of stress, this protection can become compromised. This could have some lasting effects on the developing child. These stress hormones can also affect the mother’s vascular function, which could result in reduced blood flow to the fetus. If blood flow is reduced, the amount of oxygen and nutrients being delivered is reduced as well. This can negatively affect fetal growth.

That means physical health and nutrition that mother consumes directly affect to the child. Prenatal development can be impacted by chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. We all know that stress can have numerous negative effects on our lives. The stress can come from many different ways – illness, a physically demanding work environment, partner-conflict, abuse or excessive emotional strain can all cause pregnant women stress. One way the impact of the mother’s stress level, evidently, is that a rise in the mother’s blood pressure causes a rise in the blood pressure of the developing child as well increased fetal heart rate. In psycho-physiological relation, if in the prenatal state, mom is sad or angry or feeling stressed, so is her unborn child. Also, the child will be generated psychological status of the mom.

What the mom is eating, what mom is doing, what the mom is thinking, and what the mom is perceiving during the prenatal time are all penetrate and emerge to the child. Other words, any of the mother’s physical state and emotional state can both have an impact on prenatal development. One example from my own family, based on this theory, I have already realized in reality of my older brother. Because, I see his face and his characteristic appear something of half-sorrowful and half-mystery status. Once I asked my mother what happened at the time that my mother got pregnant of my older brother. She told me that she got suffered of troubles with my father during the time.

That is the evidence that give me more understanding in this area. I am really interested in learning chapter five of this book. It doesn’t give me new ideas about inheritance, but it helps me clarify and identify the importance of mom-child relationship. Especially, it relates closely to my present part-time job of teaching young people, as well as my future career in fields of psychology. However, many issues related to psycho-physiology I still wonder and try to learn, such as “infant prodigy”. And I sometime read news or materials related to the matter of “gene mutation”. But I could not be satisfied with the explanations of the psychologists and scientists about the phenomenon. So, my big question in my mind is that: Why is “infant prodigy” come from while infant children may only be generated from their moms’ physical and emotional conditions?

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