Saturday, July 4, 2015

Childbirth Around the World: Chad

This week we were asked to choose a country and see how births happen there.

I chose the country of Chad, located in Africa. According to Kathleen Berger in our text this week, Chad has the lowest percentage of deliveries by c-section, less then half of 1%. This almost seemed celebrated in our text, especially when it was compared to the United States' 34% or Brazil's 45%. Because I delivered via c-section, I thought this would be a good country to explore.

In 2005 BBC Panorama films put out a documentary "Dead Mothers Don't Cry" about the country of Chad and their mortality rates in maternity wards. This documentary has spurred on the creation of several non-profits to come in and help Chad. As of 2013, Chad's infant mortality rate was 91.94 (meaning 91.94 infants our of 1,000 infants die every year) where the United State's infant mortality rate was 5.4. In 2010 Chad's IMR was 131.17, ranking them at 186 of 188 in the world with the best IMR. So thankfully there has been some improvement in their IMR rating, partially in thanks to the documentary. How can their low percentage of c-section rates be celebrated in light of their extremely high IMR?

In Chad, there are not enough skilled personal in attendance for labor and deliveries. This is one reason why there are not very many c-sections performed in Chad, there are not enough medical professionals in Chad that can perform them. In Chad, according to the World Health Organization in 2013 only 23.7% of births had a skilled professional in attendance for the birth. Also very few pregnancies in Chad are monitored throughout the length of their pregnancy. According to UNICEF in 2010 only 18% of pregnancies were monitored. Less monitoring means that particular health needs that arise in death during labor or birth could have been prevented if they had been known.

For me, I've always thought wow I'm so glad I live in this day and age where when I needed a c-section for my own personal health I was able to have one. I did not factor in that other countries in this same day and age are still not able to have c-sections if they needed one. This has really put into perspective for me that developing nations are still not in the same category as we are in the health department, especially in labor and delivery. I think the biggest impact this makes on child development is that in Chad from 2013 for every 1,000 families there are 91.9 that are missing a family member. That many families are going on without their child, sister or brother, or without their mom or wife. Those children were not given the ability to develop and some of those families of other children now have to develop without their mother's influence, which has a huge impact on the development of those children.

My First Birthing Experience

This past week my oldest daughter Abbey turned 8. These past 8 years went by so fast! But I still remember the days she was born vividly.

My husband, Keven, was in the Navy when I was pregnant with Abbey. My OB suggested that we were induced so we could plan with the Red Cross to get Keven home in time for her birth. My induction was scheduled for the morning of Friday June 29th, 2007. They started the Petosin IV and put me in a shared room. Keven and I were on the left side but behind the curtain was an Amish husband and wife. This picture was humorous to us, them on one side very quiet, just one small bag, and just the two of them. Where on our side, we both had our phones, a personal dvd player, laughing and talking and I had several friends and family come to visit.

The Amish family went back first and had their son that evening. The Petosin wasn't working for me so at 8pm they progressed by putting in a bulb to break my water. We spent the night just waiting. By 8am Saturday June 30th my water had finally broke. Then began the real fun! I spent the morning being miserable. They offered an epideral and I gladly accepted. My mom was an RN at an affiliated hospital so they allowed her to stay with me while they gave me the epideral. After their 4th attempt of trying to stick it in my back, my mom needed to step into the bathroom, and she passed out. At this point they cleared the room and after me begging for just a c-section, they were finally able to get it in. Unfortunately, an hour later, it came out and after 2 more attempts it was finally in! I was good to go.

The evening of June 30th was rough. My temperature and blood pressure spiked, I bit my husband during a contraction, and was mumbling complete non-sense to my sister (which we still make fun of today). As we went through the night I was not progressing at all as we approached the 24 hour of my water being broken. By 4am on Saturday July 1st my OB made the call that we were going to have an emergency c-section. I was relieved, I was not doing well and just wanted my baby.

By 8am, Keven and I were back in the operating room, and I was snoring (at least that's what Keven and the Dr. told me). A few minutes later Keven was holding our daughter and I was doing much better. It took a bit for me to come to but when Keven handed me our new little bundle I knew immediately that it had all been worth it.

8 years later, it was still so worth it. Our Abigail is such a wonderful amazing little girl, who completed our family 8 years ago and still adds so much vibrance and life to it today.

Some women say you're not a true mother if you've had a c-section. For me, I am so thankful we have the ability to have those procedures today, otherwise I may not be here, 8 years later, to enjoy every moment being Abbey's mother. Abbey was loved and nurtured from the first moment, regardless that she was born via a c-section. I don't think her birth had any effect on her development, except for the fact that she was here via that way. I chose this example because she was my first of three children and her birth set the stage for the other two to follow.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Code of ethics in Early Childhood

DEC's code of ethics:

-We shall use individually appropriate assessment strategies including multiple sources of information such as observations, interviews with significant caregivers, formal and informal assessments to determine children’s learning styles, strengths, and challenges.

-We shall build relationships with individual children and families while individualizing the curricula and learning environments to facilitate young children’s development and learning. 

-We shall respect, value, promote, and encourage the active participation of ALL families by engaging families in meaningful ways in the assessment and intervention processes. 

I thought all 3 of these ethics were really important because they crossed the barriers between special needs children and all children. We should be asking parent's input on how their child learns, regardless of their child's learning ability. We should also be a bridge between the families and the center/school for all families and their kids.

NAEYC's code of ethics:

-Recognize that children are best understood and supported in the context of family, culture, community, and society.

-To help family members enhance their understanding of their children and support the continuing development of their skills as parents.

-We shall be familiar with and appropriately refer families to community resources and professional support services. After a referral has been made, we shall follow up to ensure that services have been appropriately provided. 

I agreed with all 3 of these ethics from NAEYC. I think it's important to remember that children are not stand alone people but are integrated with their families. But it's also important to remember that not all parents understand kids or have gone through classes about kids, they may have rarely interacted with kids and it's our job as the teacher to educate the kids but to be a resource of education to the parents too. We need to be an available resource to them and follow-up with them to let them know that we are there and do care. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Early Childhood Resources

Below are some professional early childhood resources.
Position Statements and Influential Practices:
Global Support for Children's Rights and Well-Being
Selected Early Childhood Organizations
Selected Professional Journals
Tip: Use the Journal option under Search & Find on the library website to find journals by title.
  • YC Young Children
  • Childhood
  • Journal of Child & Family Studies
  • Child Study Journal
  • Multicultural Education
  • Early Childhood Education Journal
  • Journal of Early Childhood Research
  • International Journal of Early Childhood
  • Early Childhood Research Quarterly
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Social Studies
  • Maternal & Child Health Journal
  • International Journal of Early Years Education
Additional Resources

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Early Childhood Quotes

When researching something that we want to attain to, it's really important to have some good quotes from professionals that we can hold on to. Below are some quotes about early childhood that I've come across the last few weeks that have stood out to me.

"If teachers wish someone else would teach certain students, or if they express the belief that some students are incapable of succeeding in the class, what is the likelihood that they are continuing to problem solve to help these students succeed?"
-Marilyn Friend

"Because all students are different, classrooms need many options to facilitate student learning"
-Marilyn Friend

"The first idea that the child must acquire, in order to be actively disciplined, is that of the difference between good and evil; and the task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility, and evil with activity."
-Maria Montessori

"Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed."
-Maria Montessori

"Passion comes from within each of us; it cannot be imposed or mandated from outside. At the same time, it compels us to move outside, to engage with the world around us."
-John Hagel

"It was discovered that the preschool years are the critical, they are the most fundamental period when in fact children are noticing who they are and are noticing the attitudes and stereotypes and the discomforts and positive messages about their skin color, their racial identity, their ethnic identity and so on."
-Louise Derman-Sparks

"We as professionals in the early childhood field have an opportunity to shape a child's life for the better."
-Sandy Escobido

"I'm not here to save the world, I'm here just to make a difference in the community that I'm working."
-Raymond Hernandez

Out of all of the quotes above I think the one that sticks out to me the most is Raymond Hernandez's quote. Sometimes when we start thinking through new ideas we want to change everything and everyone, but we need to remember that we really need to focus on the kids and people that we have a direct impact on. 

What is your favorite quote about early childhood?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Personal Childhood Web

This week in my Master's Program (week 3, yay) we discussed theories of childhood development and the importance of the people surrounding each child, their personal childhood web. It really made me think through some of the kids that I teach currently and how I only really see a fraction of who they are. It also reminded me how as my own kids get older and start attending school I'm now a part of a much larger team of people who influence and help them grow, it's not just family anymore. But this also challenged me to think back to my own childhood years and who made up my own personal childhood web.

Danielle's Childhood Web:

My Mom, My Sister Julie, My Uncle Jake, & My Dad
1. & 2. My Mom & Dad. They were (and are) my most prominent influence. My parents showed me what
love and family were. They created a safe and loving environment where I could grow, explore, learn and fail, and knew no matter what they would be there to catch me. They taught me way more than I realized and now that I'm a wife and a mom I can truly appreciate all that they both taught me. I see so much of my parenting style and our family's choices come out of the environment my parents created and I'm very grateful for that model and love.

Julie and I parasailing in Wildwood, NJ
3. My sister Julie-We are 12 years a part in age. When I was really little she was my idol, I wanted to grow up to be just like her, she was my hero. When I grew a little she seemed so far away like we were on different planets, I was learning my ABC's and she was learning to change diapers. When I was a teenager, she was my cooler older sister who knew everything about driving cars and makeup. When I became an adult, she was my confident, my friend, the person who gave me the reality of a situation but never changed her opinion of me based on that. My sister is still my hero, we still live far away but now it's by actual car miles, I have my ABC's down pat but now we're both changing kids' diapers, she's still cool (but don't tell her lol) and I can't imagine life without her.

4. My Grandma Boles-She made a huge impact on me. My
My Grandma Boles & I at Easter
grandma babysat me until I went to school, she walked me to and from preschool where I went for a half day, and she helped me learn how to get on a school bus for Kindergarten. She also taught me how to play cards, which soap operas were the best to watch, how yummy celery was with peanut butter, and that rock piles are the best place to look for white lucky stones. My grandma really set a lot of the framework for my childhood and gave me so many amazing memories. My grandma passed away in 2002 but when I dig for rocks with my kids, one of them dresses in every color imaginable, or we eat celery with peanut butter, I think of her and smile knowing that I'm passing down some of the same memories that she gave me.

My Uncle Jake holding my youngest daughter Ally
5. My Uncle Jake-He's more than just an uncle, he's practically Dad part 2. He taught me how to play chess, how to paint, how to laugh at the humor of life, and what it meant to be in the role of aunt/uncle. My Uncle Jake believed in me more than anyone, if there was a fad I was interested in or something that I wanted to learn about, he was right there to help me explore it. We played chess by mail, painted landscapes, wired contraptions together, built lego towers, jimmy rigged fuses in my car, turned my clarinet into a lamp, and laughed till I cried or spit my pop out on my sister. He gave me the foundation of learning and exploring and taught me it was ok to try something new & to laugh at myself through it.

Who is in your childhood web? How did they help you to be the person you are today?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Importance of Reading (and New Bookshelves)

This past week I finally finished a Pinterest project I've been wanting to do for a long time. We turned Ikea spice racks into bookshelves!

Reading is really important to me and thankfully we've been able to pass that along to our 3 kids. 

"The more that you read, the more you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." Dr. Seuss

For me reading and imagination are very tied together. Dr. Seuss, I think, believed the same thing. With my own kids, and with the kids that I teach, when you read them a book, it opens them up to a whole new idea to interact with and explore. Books are a gateway to new worlds, new ideas, and new pretend play zones.

The bookshelves were a huge surprise for my 4 year old son Micah. He was ecstatic that they were up, mostly because he could now reach his books from his bed during bedtime. But as soon as Micah looked at the book shelves, he told his sisters that now they could play book store and book fair! These books are not only opening him up to new ideas but they are also giving him new games to play and explore. Who knows, maybe this will encourage him to be a librarian?

One of Micah's favorite books, "Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site" by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld, is on the top bookshelf.

When Micah was 2 and a 1/2 and 3, this was the only book he wanted to read at bedtime. We read it over and over and over until all of us had finally memorized this book. I could quote it in my sleep! But this book really helped him go to sleep when he transitioned to a big boy bed and it helped him go to sleep when he had a baby sister in the house. This book was a huge comfort for him. Now, we don't read it every night, we actually haven't read it in a long time, but it still had to have a special place on the shelf, just in case he needs it again.

What is your kid's favorite book? What was your favorite book growing up?