All children grow strong in healthy families
This goal builds on existing work by B’more for Healthy Babies to ensure all babies are born healthy. The goal demonstrates the unquestionable link between maternal health, child health, and early learning. Child health includes physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development, and is strongly tied to maternal health and literacy before, during, and after pregnancy. During pregnancy, parental substance use, level of social support, and ability to navigate the health care system affect birth outcomes. Children born pre-term or at low birth weight have lower cognitive scores and more behavioral problems at school age. [i] After birth, breastfeeding– which is closely linked to maternal literacy rates, parental mental health, and secure attachment between parents and children—is associated with cognitive development and language and socio-emotional outcomes. Developmental disabilities, tooth decay and undiagnosed hearing and vision impairment also pose substantial challenges in school readiness and can affect attendance. Studies have also shown a correlation between asthma status and absenteeism.[ii]
Check out our priority projects to learn more about the work we’re doing in this area.
[i] Bhutta, A. T., Cleves, M. A., Casey, P. H., Cradock, M. M., & Anand, K. J. S. (2002). Cognitive and behavioral outcomes of school-aged children who were born preterm. JAMA: the journal of the American Medical Association, 288(6), 728-737; Feldman, P. J., Dunkel-Schetter, C., Sandman, C. A., & Wadhwa, P. D. (2000). Maternal social support predicts birth weight and fetal growth in human pregnancy. Psychosomatic Medicine, 62(5), 715-725.
[ii] Moonie, S., Sterling, D.A., Figgs, L.W., Castro, M. (2006). Asthma status and severity affects missed school days. Journal of School Health, 76(1): 18-24; Moonie, S., Sterling, D.A., Figgs, L.W., Castro, M. (2008). The relationship between school absence, academic performance, and asthma status. Journal of School Health, 78(3): 140-148.