The first 1000 days starts from the time a child is conceived up to his second birthday. This critical period of time determines the child’s intellectual capabilities and lifelong health. At the same time, the first 1000 days offers opportunities for the child’s parents and caregivers to seek unique and loving ways to nurture the child in preparation for the future.
It is crucial for pregnant women to receive adequate nutrition to establish the child’s optimum overall health and neurodevelopment. After all, proper nourishment leads to her child’s survival growth. Without proper nutrition during pregnancy, the woman could give birth to undernourished children. In the case of undernourished daughters, they grow up to become mothers themselves, and the cycle continues. A poor diet during pregnancy also has damaging effects on the baby in utero, which transcends until the latter is born.
In low-developing countries like the Philippines, the importance of an individual’s first 1000 days is not fully recognized, particularly in impoverished areas. According to World Bank, in 2015, some 22 million Filipinos – more than one-fifth of the population – live below the poverty line. Without access to education, basic health care and protection services; how will pregnant women and their families be adequately informed about the importance of the first 1000 days or even keep up with its demands?
Thankfully, we have organizations like Save the Children. Whilst not all superheroes wear capes, the people in this organization work everyday to spread awareness on how crucial a person’s first 1000 days are while providing accessibility to food, education, and other protection services for the poor. The impetus for this is the growing number of malnourished children in the country. Based on statistics, there are 3.3 million children in the country who are stunted and 800,000 more are malnourished. The Philippines currently ranks 9th among 10 countries in the world with the worst cases of stunting and malnutrition in children.
Wrist measurement of undernourished children.
Based on my experiences as a mother, I came up with 4 reasons as to why the first 1000 days are crucial to a child’s development:
Here’s Why Our First 1000 Days of Life are Crucial
Starting Day 1, families transition to a new lifestyle to accommodate and ensure the healthy wellbeing of a pregnant woman and her child in utero. Families adjust to new changes and consider making mindful choices to ensure the mother’s healthy pregnancy.
Zone One Band gets everyone in high spirits with their energetic performance.
The first 1000 days could gauge how a child will function at home, in school, and in the community in the future. Malnutrition inhibits the development of a child’s brain, thereby affecting their interaction with the environment.
Zone One Band serenades everyone with their songs, some of which are Filipino Christmas carols.
The first 1000 days strengthen mother-and-child bonding, so the child is able to develop a sense of security and attachment. Mothers should be given all the support and love that they need when rearing their child during this time.
This Christmas, we wish children to have the fortitude needed to carry on with their dreams.
The first 1000 days is a window to provide all the nourishment and proper nurture that an individual needs. Healthy individuals contribute well to the nation in the long run by fueling and sustaining its growth.
It is imperative to spread the importance of the first 1000 days of a child, and helping out organizations like Save the Children in any way we can goes a long way.
Save the Children’s Christmas campaign “Lahat Dapat” invites everyone to wear their beautiful #LahatDapat bandana to encourage other people to save the lives of the poorest Filipino children.
I am fascinated by the organization’s current efforts in making a difference in children’s lives. This Christmas season, no child should be left out and anyone can spare their resources for them because #LahatDapat. ☺
Save the Children
Twitter / Instagram: @savethechildrenPH