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When Does Life Begin?

crying babyThe anticipated joy of a couple becomes complete at the sound of the cry of their new born after about 9 months of pregnancy and several hours of labor. The birth cry has been known to signify life and is looked out for by the medical professionals at the point of delivery. However, it should interest you that life does not begin at birth but at the moment the man’s sperm fuses with the woman’s ovum (This is called fertilization in biological terms or conception). A child’s life begins at this time. According to a renowned developmental psychologist, Professor Agiobu-Kemmer, the womb is the primary environment where an unborn child develops. It cannot be seen with unaided eyes but advancement in technology has made it possible to know what happens in there.

What evidence exists regarding life at conception? What makes one know that a child starts developing from the womb? Why must environmental factors both in the womb and outside be considered for optimal development?

sucking babyThe developing “child” or “fetus” in the womb hears, feels, sees, and moves even before birth. At approximately two weeks after conception, a lot of development occurs in the womb of a mother. At this stage, nutrition and environmental factors as well as genetics play a role. The body organs and parts begin to develop and take shape. At 12 weeks (3months), the fetus can smile, frown, suck and swallow. This same period coincides with when the fetus can urinate, move arms, legs, fingers and toes. Sucking the thumb usually is not learnt after birth, rather at about 20 weeks after conception, fetuses have been reported to have begun this behavior. At 25 weeks, they begin to hear and at 32 weeks they begin to respond to sounds particularly their mothers’ voices. A very recent study by Lahav (2015), an assistant professor of pediatrics, indicated that neural connection grew at sound centers of the brain of premature babies in incubators who heard recordings of their mother’s voice rather than the regular noise of intensive care units. This research shows how important it is for a mother to speak to her child while in the womb.  Another recent story was published in the news by Mail Online; A newborn baby who refused to be pacified kept on crying until he heard his father’s voice and was held by him. This provides evidence that bonding begins in the womb and both parents play a role.

It is really amazing the delicacy of the life that exist in the womb. How all the organs develop is still a continuous source of inquiry for scientists and researchers. Nutrition, emotional attachment, genetics and the  physical environment during pregnancy play a role in determining a child’s life outside the womb.  Thus, it is important to note that all these factors determine a child’s physical, intellectual and socio-emotional development

“Everything a mother does and is, is shared with her unborn child”.

Development

Every child deserves the best and remember that what a mother does or does not do during pregnancy will affect the child’s development in later years.

For more interesting updates on #child development, kindly follow @DrMorayoJimoh.

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What’s Love Got To Do With It?

whats loveI’m sure the title may have got you dancing and reminded you of the song by Tina Turner. Have you ever wondered what love has got to do with Valentine? Has it ever crossed your mind? We mention Valentine and associate the word with love. We celebrate the holiday, give gifts, roses, cards, show love and for most of us, we have no clue as to why? Is valentine a person or place? Let’s see what history says. Many stories have been found to represent why we celebrate valentine. Actually, Valentine is the name of a person and record has it that there were three people named Valentine in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.

Story 1
During a period of invasion in Rome, Emperor Claudius put a ban on marriages. He did this, believing that single men made better soldiers. However, a priest named Valentine who believed in love and marriage, secretly married couples. He was found out by the Emperor who eventually beheaded him on February 14th. It was said that he gave up his life for the love of love and the love of God.

Story 2Valentine
Another Valentine is rumored to have been imprisoned from worshipping God as the Emperor at the time commanded everyone to worship 12 Roman Gods. While in prison, the jailer requested that he bring his blind daughter to learn under his tutelage. Valentine agreed and taught about arithmetic, nature and also God. One day, the jailer’s daughter asked whether God could heal her, and valentine said yes. He prayed for her and she was healed. On the eve of his death, he wrote a note to her and urged her to keep close to God and signed “from your valentine”. The next day which was February 14th, he was executed. Some rumored that he fell in love with his captor’s daughter.”
Story 3
It is also believed that the holiday has its roots in the pagan festival of Lupercalia- a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, Romulus, and Remus, founders of Rome, which held on the 15th of February. In the 5th century, Pope Gelasius declared that February 14th was St. Valentine’s Day and outlawed Lupercalia, calling it un-Christian.

 

love round

Irrespective of which story holds true, Valentine’s Day became associated with the idea of love. It is seen as a day to show love, care and affection. This includes but is not to limited to opposite sex relationships. This day can also be regarded as one to extend a hand of love to the less privileged and show love to family and friends. Someone once said,  “love makes the world go round”. The world can become a better place if we truly love each other. There would be a decline in wars, terrorism and violence.

As Valentine’s day draws near, make up your mind to love and show that you love.

Love yourself,

Love others and

Remember that love has everything to do with it!

love 2

For interesting tips to spice up this love season, follow @drmorayojimoh for updates. If you are following the #LoveDare, kindly make comments or share your experiences with us.


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Family Ties

“Family is the most important thing in the world.”Princess Diana

 familyThey have watched you laugh, cry, win or fail at different points in your life. They have seen you at your worst and best, they have shared in your joy and pain. They know and understand your strengths and weaknesses and they may seem to criticize you the most. You didn’t choose them and you can’t forget them in a hurry but out of all the people in this world, they are the ones that probably know, understand and accept you the most – Your family! Yes, your father, mother, sister, brother, spouse, children and significant others. They are the ones who will be with you in times of crises, celebration, mourning and even at death.

“Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!”- Albert Einstein

 Every family is different, what applies to one family may not apply to another. It’s the uniqueness of your family that makes it special. You should cherish your family even with all the imperfections that forms part of it. The obvious truth is that there really is no perfect family no matter how perfect they may seem to the outside people. Every family  has their own challenges as well as strengths. Here’s a tip;

 Take time out to appreciate the positive sides of your family while refusing to mull over the negative aspects of your family. family 1

“When trouble comes, it’s your family that supports you.” – Guy Lafleur

 As humans,we have a  strong need to love and be loved and the family is usually the first platform where love is expressed such as in caring for and sharing with one another. The bond that ties your family together is not just blood, but more of the shared joy, love, memories and respect for each other. It’s the reason why you love your brother, sister or others in your family regardless of how much you have fought with them in the past or their weaknesses.

“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it.” –  George Moore

 We have a responsibility to our family to keep it strong and knitted together in love. Doing this requires a daily effort on our part to invest in our family with our time, gifts and other resources.

Family ties are precious threads, no matter where we roam,

 They draw us close to those we love, and pull our hearts toward home.

“Love begins at home and its not how much we do, but how much love we put into that action”.- Mother Teresa

Welcome to the month of February, the season of love.loveEvery day this month… (and of course other months), make a conscious effort to put a smile on a family member’s face!

Love starts with you.