Prenatal and Postnatal Stimulation Research
An Open Window to the World
Short summary of pre and postnatal stimulation research conducted in Venezuela by Dr. Beatriz Manrique over a period of sixteen years.
This study stems from the author and her team's extensive experience while working in the Ministerio del Estado para el Desarrollo de la Inteligencia (State Department for Intelligence Development) and Proyecto Familia (Project Family) in Venezuela. The core idea of this technique is to encourage parents to learn the potential of their unborn child during gestation and postpartum development. "Make Way for Baby!"™was not made just to increase intellectual results, but to conceive an emotional, mental and socially developed human being.
Problem: The goal was to analyze the relationship between the integral development of children, family integration, health, nutritional education and stimulation techniques in uterus babies, newborn and children up to the age of six.
Statistic Design: The research structure comprised 4 groups: 2 Control and 2 Experimental. Analysis was performed with the ANOVA (Varianza analysis) method.
- Venezuelan mothers
- First time mothers
- Ob-gyn certified healthy pregnancy
- Age: 18-26 year
- IV and V Social-economical levels by Venezuelan population adjusted Graffar scale.
- Regular visits to Ob-gyn
The research was divided in three experimental steps:
Prenatal Program: Relaxation, calisthenics, respiration types and stimulation techniques.
Neonatal Program: Post-natal exercises, breastfeeding, analysis of baby's functional reflexes: Suction, press, vision, audition. Other reflexes like cervical tone, repetition, automatic march, Moro, Babinski and baby's five senses were stimulated.
First year and subsequent measurements until six: Evaluation of his/her development, motor skills, space-time notion, anticipation, causality and language.
The following is a brief summary of the results from this extensive research. These results show the relevance of this process and how is it possible to induce substantial changes in a society at a very low cost.
From the very moment of birth, babies of the experimental group were more alert and turned their head to the place they heard their parents' voices, over other ambient noises. They recognized the music they heard when they were in the womb. These are dynamic and relaxed children, they had initiative and were very curious. They had good eye-hand control, hand movement, more coordination and harmonic movements. These babies laugh easily and were very social.
What you are about to see is just a short summary of the results obtained during the investigation, from delivery until 6 years of age.
Mothers of the experimental group showed more adequate behavior
Mother's behavior during delivery
Graph 1: Mother's behavior during delivery
BABIES: SECOND DAY
At second day, babies of the experimental group showed more capacity of following visual and auditory stimuli, animated or inanimate. They have better cephalic control, movements and muscular tone.
Baby development at second day
Graph 2: Baby development at second day
neurological and conductual scale (T.B. Brazelton).
BABIES: 25th. DAY
At 25th day, stimulated babies, in comparison with control group, have
better sight and hearing, and better reactions to stressful situations (such as too much noise or light). All these show a more developed central
Baby development at 25th day
Graph 3: Baby development at 25th day
neurological and conductual scale (T.B. Brazelton).
CHILDREN: 18 MONTHS OLD
A better development of mental and motor skills is seen in the stimulated babies. There are significant differences in language, eye-hand coordination and problem-solving.
Mental and motor development at 18 months.
Graph 4: Mental and Motor development at 18 months.
Nancy Bayley Scale
Subtests: Mental and Motor development at 18 months
Graph 5: Sub-tests: Mental and Motor development at 18 months.
Nancy Bayley Scale
CHILDREN: 3 YEARS OLD
An experimental group of children at 3 years of age showed a better development of mental and motor skills measured according to certain variables such as: language, visual/motor ability, memory, social
intelligence and reasoning.
Intelligence scale at 3 years
Graph 6: Intelligence scale at 3 years
Subtest: Intelligence scale at 3 years
Graph 7: Sub-tests: Intelligence scale at 3 years.
CHILDREN: 4 YEARS OLD
Children arriving at 4 years of age had a higher verbal, execution and global IQ compared against the control group. They had better information of the world around them and better management of daily situations. They had a higher level of common sense and could solve problems adequately. They were good observers and had a great capacity of analysis and synthesis
and a good concept of space and direction.
Intelligence scale at 4 years
Graph 8: Intelligence scale at 4 years
Verbal Subtest: Intelligence scale at 4 years
Graph 9: Verbal Sub-test:Intelligence scale at 4 years
Execution Subtest: Intelligence scale at 4 years
Graph 10: Execution Sub-test: Intelligence scale at 4 years.
CHILDREN: 5 YEARS OLD
Results with children five years old showed significant differences between stimulated and control groups. The experimental group showed better vocabulary and knowledge of their surroundings. They had either better abilities related with reading and writing. Improved school performance is expected in the beginning of formal schooling.
Intelligence scale at 5 years
Graph 11: Intelligence scale at 5 years
Subtests: Intelligence scale at 5 years
Graph 12: Sub-test: Intelligence scale at 5 years
CHILDREN: 6 YEARS OLD
Former observations apply. Children have excellent vocabulary, abstraction capacity and motor coordination.
Intelligence scale at 6 years
Graph 13: Intelligence scale at 6 years
Subtests: Intelligence scale at 6 years
Graph 14: Sub-test: Intelligence scale at 6 years
Evaluation began upon delivery, where it was found that mothers in the experimental group showed adequate behavior during contractions (relaxation and breathing) and during childbirth. They did not need anesthesia and a great percentage breastfed their babies. All these mothers also showed a strong self esteem. Newborns had better head and general movement control, excellent visual and auditory tracking and could pass from one state to the other (Brazelton conscience states) in a gradual and smooth way. These babies had a good central nervous system.
At 18 months differences between control and experimental group are more evident, especially in the mental scale.Through a factorial analysis differences were found in the following areas: language, eye-hand coordination and problem solution.
At 3 years, differences were stronger in mental and motor scale. Children of the stimulated group showed an excellent language development, motor coordination, memory, social intelligence and reasoning.
IQ's of children at 4, 5 and 6 years old ranked higher in the experimental group than the control group. Stimulated children had a stronger common sense and adequately solved day to day problems. They were good observers with great analysis capacity.
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