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To give birth and perpetuate a new life is a longing for the majority of the women. The pride that accompanies motherhood is ranked highly amongst them. Other observers have argued that indeed motherhood is a calling. This is as a result of the psychological, emotional, and physical changes that occur immediately after conception till parturition. Not only are the mothers affected but also the newborn babies since their mothers are the vessels through which they arrive in the outer world. Usual physiological symptoms as a result of pregnancy like vomiting, frequent urination, back pain, mood changes, and constipation are arguably modifications triggered by the body to help it adapt with the new life within itself (Phelps & Hassed, 2012). This is because there is more to pregnancy than just the swelling of the womb and embryo. An interview with a new mother will offer a practical reality of the sudden changes experienced by the women when they deliver. Changes are also evident on the baby’s side as they progress from helpless infants to reasonable humans by their first year. Both the physical and emotional milestones achieved are evident when the baby reaches the third month.
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As the baby grows, there are significant developments that arise. In the early months, almost all babies tightly clench their fists while tightening their bodies. Another observable feature is the way they open their mouth when touched. Although the developments are gradual, there is a significant change when the baby attains the three-month mark. During the third month, there is an improved intellectual development. For example, there are smiles on the baby’s face. They can also recognize the voices, especially that of the mother. Furthermore, the baby startles at loud sounds and by the fourth month, the babies move their eyes in the direction of any sound. If at all it has toys, it will notice them particularly those with sounds. Not only are the physical developments common in the first year but also emotional development. For example, a baby is more attached to the person he or she interacts with the most. Talking too is a common trait. The baby imitates speech sounds like mama, dog, hi although they may be not that clear.
On the physical aspects by age one, a little baby would practically crawl to aid its movement. Though walking is still tough task, it can be done under watch and help of the care provider. Furthermore, this is the stage where the baby is more playful. Inserting objects into containers and removing them almost immediately is a common trait among many kids.
All in all, the interaction with the mother of three years was successful. A clear insight into the development of the child from birth until he or she reaches mature age is achieved. Mothers also undergo overwhelming challenges and trauma when they give birth. When this mother narrated the way she felt pain in the abdomen, it was as a result of the contraction of the uterus in a bid to regain its original structure. Tightening of the body and the opening of the tightly clenches fist is called the Startle reflex (Benson & Haith, 2009). The root reflex is when the baby turns to touch while opening the mouth.
Q. What were the first few days after childbirth like? What kind of changes happened with you and the baby?
The first few days I experienced a lot of fatigue and pain that was not as piercing as the labor pains. Some blood also dripped from my birth canal, but I was assuaged when my midwife told me it was a regular occurrence. The sleep too was not enjoyable because my baby could wake up from slumber at any time. Initially, I breastfed my baby a lot after childbirth, but after some time situations changed and he adapted.
Q. What kind of reflexes did you notice in first few days, weeks, and months?
A few days after bringing him home, I noticed the way his tiny fists were always tightly gripped. The body too was tightened. This effect went on for a few weeks. At some point when touched, he turns to face what has moved him when his mouth is open.
Q. Tell me about some of the biggest physical milestones in your baby’s first year of life?
Well, I could believe that it has been my baby after just twelve months. He could crawl well and try walking, although with my help. He understood my little orders like when I said “come” he could respond well. He even called me mama. Putting objects into the container and removing them immediately was his favorite sport. He achieved quite a milestone than I expected.
Q. How did your baby’s emotional development change throughout the first year?
When he attained the first age, he was more attached to me than he was at three months old. He got used to me that when I handed him to a neighbor, he could cry endlessly. He was emotional too. When I denied him access to toys, he could get angry and frown, but he would exude bonhomie and smiles when I gave him toys.
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Q. How did you cope and adjust with those emotional changes?
It was fun handling the kid during such times. When he complained about something, I could give him straight away. When he cried due to hunger, he would be immediately fed. It was not hard. Perhaps my maternal instincts sailed me through.
Q. What were some of your baby’s biggest intellectual gains in the first few months?
My baby could smile at me whenever he saw my face. That drove sense to me that he recognized my presence. Again, he could turn to similar sounds like when my phone rang he could turn and look.
Q. How did your baby’s intellectual development progress throughout the first year?
Throughout the first year, the baby could bang toys and objects. He attempted to feed even the dolls with a cup. I was buoyed when he called mama and could even wave good-bye at his dad.
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- Phelps, K., & Hassed, C. (2012). Joints and connective tissues: General practice: The integrative approach series (3rd ed.). Australia: Elsevier Health Sciences.
- Benson, J. B., & Haith, M. M. (2009). Language, memory, and cognition in infancy and early childhood. Amsterdam: Academic.