i-MED africa

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a South African NGO, aiming to save childrens' lifes through targeted health education.

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articles about our activities, and tips for parents about child-health.

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The First 1,000 Days

i-MED vision educates and motivates communities through providing access to health education and knowledge. In October, we will focus on the first 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s 2nd birthday.

\r\n This timeframe provides a very important foundation for lifelong health by investing in the well-being of mothers, babies and toddlers. In the short-term, it means more women and children survive and thrive. Longer term, it provides the foundation for children to develop to their full potential, setting them up for later success in school and in the workforce, and to live a healthy life.\r\n<\/p>\r\n\r\n

\r\n Research in the fields of neuroscience, biology and early childhood development provide powerful insights into how nutrition, relationships, and environments in the first 1,000 days shape future outcomes. The costs of missing this window of opportunity are high. \r\n<\/p>\r\n\r\n

\r\n What are the important aspects?\r\n<\/h2>\r\n\r\n

\r\n The correct diet (and nurturing environment for both mother and baby), building a bond with the parent or caregiver in a safe and loving environment as well as regular, stimulating play are crucial aspects of healthy child development. The right decisions about nutrition, the environment, safety and support for the pregnant mother play a key role in determining baby\u2019s future happiness and success.\r\n<\/p>\r\n\r\n

\r\n Here are some special tips:\r\n<\/h2>\r\n
  • Encourage eye contact and talk about everything you see with your child.<\/li>\r\n
  • Play peek-a-boo and sign nursery rhymes.<\/li>\r\n
  • Allow your toddler to explore a safe environment \u2013 curiosity is an important part of learning.<\/li>\r\n
  • Allow time and opportunity for free play.<\/li>\r\n
  • Establish a daily routine and be consistent.<\/li>\r\n
  • Make sure your child\u2019s muscles get lots of exercise by playing with him\/her.<\/li>\r\n
  • Allow playtime with other children.<\/li>\r\n
  • Consult with your local clinic or doctor if your little one suffers from regular ear infections or a runny nose or if you have any concerns regarding your child\u2019s development.<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n\r\n

    \r\n Let\u2019s take hands and build more equal beginnings and put all children on track to flourish, when young children are well-nourished, cared for and protected from disease, violence and toxic stress, they have the best chance at a thriving future. \r\n<\/p>\r\n\r\n

    \r\n Follow our health column next week and learn more about the importance of nutrition in early brain development during the first 1000 days.\r\n<\/p>"}]}}}}

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A healthy baby starts with a healthy mother

i-MED vision that support and educate community members on health, physical, emotional, and mental development.

\r\ni-MED vision that support and educate community members on health, physical, emotional, and mental development, we focus this month on the importance of the first 1000 days of a child\u2019s life. Every child deserves the opportunity to thrive. Good nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life provides the building blocks for healthy brain development.\r\n<\/p>\r\n

\r\nA child\u2019s brain begins to grow very early on in pregnancy and develops at an astonishing speed. At the 4th week of pregnancy, the brain has an estimated 10,000 cells\u2014by the 24th week, it contains 10 billion. The nutrition that a baby gets from his mother through her diet is the fuel that drives much of this incredible transformation.\r\n<\/p>\r\n\r\n

\r\nNutrients such as folic acid, iron, zinc and iodine, as well as protein and fatty acids play a vital role in building a baby\u2019s brain during pregnancy. When one or more of these is absent during pregnancy, a baby could be at risk for developmental delays, birth defects and cognitive deficits. \r\n<\/p>\r\n

\r\nDuring pregnancy, a woman\u2019s diet, the rate at which she gains weight, her physical and mental well-being, her environment and her lifestyle habits have a powerful effect on her child\u2019s future health. These factors influence how a child\u2019s metabolism, immune system, and organ functioning begin to develop. They can also affect whether a child is born prematurely or at a low birthweight\u2014outcomes that have a lasting impact on a child\u2019s health well into adulthood.\r\n<\/p>\r\n

\r\nA growing body of research suggests that diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and stroke have their origins in pregnancy\u2014and that prenatal nutrition plays a key role in whether a child becomes susceptible to these and other illnesses later in life. There is also research showing that babies start to develop food preferences in the womb with implications for lifelong eating habits.\r\n<\/p>\r\n

\r\nThe well-being of a mother and her child are intertwined right from the start.\r\n<\/p>\r\n"}]}}}}