Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 1.6: Understand the needs of the mother and baby during pre-conception, pregnancy and the first year of life
Learning outcome: Understand the potential effects on development of preconception, pre-birth and birth experiences
Assessment criteria: Explain the potential effects on development of: pre-conception experiences, pre-birth experiences, birth experiences
Experiences prior to conception, during pregnancy and after the birth of the child may impact the child’s development.
A child’s development may be influenced by the mother’s experiences even before conception. Factors can include the mother’s health and nutrition, lifestyle choices and environmental exposures. Some health conditions, such as obesity and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), may affect a woman’s fertility. Older women may also have more difficulty conceiving.
Pre-birth experiences may include things such as trauma during pregnancy, exposure to drugs or alcohol, infections or maternal stress levels. These experiences can also impact the developing child and may lead to problems later on in life.
The birthing process itself can be traumatic for both the mother and child. Factors such as a long labour, use of forceps or vacuum extraction, or a caesarean section can all increase the risk of complications. The mother’s mental health during and after birth can also impact a child’s development.