Our development does not start at birth. It starts on the day a baby is conceived in its mother’s womb. The baby will carry it own genetic code determined by the merger of the father’s sperm and the mother’s ovule. Physical appearance, health, personality will be contained in the genetic heritage of the baby. However these will also be strongly influenced by personal factors that are linked to the mother and father’s behaviour during pregnancy and beyond.
If during pregnancy the mother is stressed all the time, this might affect the child’s personality. Likewise if the mother smokes, or drinks alcohol, or uses drugs, this might create a dependency on these substances by the child after birth. The same applies to the mother’s diet when pregnant. The mother might trigger obesity or diabetes or even jaundice genes in the unborn child. Children before and during birth can have defects such as asthma or cystic fibrosis or other genetic defects that can result in physical disabilities. These would directly influence the ability of a child to develop. A child with asthma for example can be prevented from playing outdoors and running around which would limit its social and physical development. Some birth incidents can lead to learning difficulties, such as speech impairment, and other sensory disabilities and these affect negatively all areas of a child’s development.
After birth, the most important factors in a child’s development are the family