The first years of childhood are crucial to the health and wellbeing in various stages of life. This period offers an opportunity for children to grow up so that they can unleash their full potential in adult life, according to the Ministry of Health.
The development trajectory of each child depends largely on the love, care and encouragement received from their family and surrounding environment.
International organisations engaged in children welfare and related fields call for the need to provide better care for children in the early stages of life, and recommend inclusion of relevant programmes – such as mother-child health, nutrition, reproductive health, health promotion, etc – in national policies.
Children need the constant care of parents, as brain development depends on the quality of stimuli from their family and environment.
Favourable conditions should be created in order to achieve optimum physical, social and linguistic growth. Consequently, it is necessary to improve families’ overall conditions to enable them to raise their children better.
Birth spacing is one of the important factors in achieving children’s development.
Spacing between pregnancies has many benefits for children, allowing them more attention and care in terms of breastfeeding, nutrition, healthy practices, disease prevention and accidents. Children who are adequately spaced have better learning opportunities, which contribute to their cognitive growth and development. Spacing births also has enormous health benefits by reducing risk of complications of premature birth, malnutrition, poor growth, morbidity and mortality. It also has positive impacts on the health of the mother as she can regain her physical and psychological health, be able to breastfeed better, provide her baby care and interact with him/her with full mental capacity.
Leaving a sufficient period between pregnancies also provides parents the opportunity to educate themselves in the field of childcare, which leads to improving parenting skills. Additionally, a smaller family enables parents to give all their attention to their children and increase investment opportunities for every child. It gives their child increased opportunities for education and support compared to children who have many siblings.
The development of children in the early stages is crucial to human development and success of societies. This can only be achieved by providing encouraging conditions, including reproductive health and spacing pregnancies, the Ministry of Health said.