Building on a concept that I first introduced in my book “For Our Babies: Ending the Invisible Neglect of America’s Infants”, I recently wrote and narrated a six minute animated video, for use with the general public, called “The Social Womb”. The video and an accompanying paper are both available for public use.
The video depicts why the young human brain needs continuing nurturance, protection and enrichment throughout the infancy period. It describes the need for a “social womb”, once a child is born, to support the rapidly developing young brain, similar in function to the nurturance a fetus receives while in the womb.
Three key social policies are presented in the video that would have a significant impact on the health and development of our babies, our nation as a whole, and lead to children entering school better prepared to succeed:
Paid Parental Leave: Providing parents with a minimum of 9 months of paid leave after birth or adoption of a child with leave shareable between parents to allow for flexibility.
Home visiting: Providing regular, affordable, in-home visitation by child health and development professionals for the first 2 years of life.
High-Quality Infant Toddler Care: Developing and enforcing state infant/toddler childcare regulations that ensure safe, engaging and intimate settings. Strengthening state and federal regulations to ensure infant/toddler care providers are trained and credentialed and receive compensation and health benefits on par with K-12 schoolteachers. Create federal, state, and workplace subsidies for families or childcare providers to improve access to high‐quality care.
Please share these resources with others. It’s time to bring the U.S. closer to the rest of the industrialized world in its treatment of babies.