Three Trimesters to Three Years: Promoting Early Development

Thu, Jan 14, 2021, 1:00 pm

A Princeton-Brookings Future of Children Event

The period from pregnancy through age three is the one in which the most rapid growth of the brain and behavior occurs. Yet most researchers and policymakers have treated the nine months of development during pregnancy separately from the first three years of life. Prenatal experiences are part and parcel of the postnatal experience of mothers and their babies; the postnatal period is sometimes referred to as the fourth trimester, a way to highlight the fact that after a child’s birth, mothers themselves need continued services and screening. Children’s wellbeing very much depends on their mothers’ health and wellbeing.

On January 14, Princeton University and the Brookings Institution highlighted the release of the latest issue of “Future of Children,” entitled “Three Trimesters to Three Years: Promoting Early Development,” which highlights continuity in development, the continuing intersection of mother and baby, and the rapid growth that occurs from conception to three years of age. The event also covered the issue’s accompanying policy brief, “Balancing Family and Work During a Child’s First Years,” which proposes a set of enhanced policies to better support families and improve young children’s long-term health and wellbeing. The webinar featured a presentation from the issue’s editors and panel discussion among experts on several topics covered in the issue, including family income and child nutrition.

A video recording of the event can be found on the website of the Brookings Institution.

Viewers submitted questions by via email to events@brookings.edu or via Twitter with #FutureofChildren.