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The First 1,000 Days: A Crucial Time for Mothers and Children—And the World by Roger Thurow

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chapter five

THE BURDEN OF KNOWLEDGE

“THINGS ARE HAPPENING THAT YOU CANT SEE.”

This was Patricia’s favorite way to grab the attention of her expecting moms in Chicago. It was a powerful sentence, mysterious and challenging. So much development was taking place in the womb; there were so many things the moms were already influencing unbeknownst to them. With that one sentence, Patricia had them hooked. She hardly needed to add the next exhortation, but she did anyway, over and over: “Listen carefully, for this is very important.”

That admonition—“Pay attention, things are happening that you can’t see”—echoed from Chicago to Ongica to Rampur Khas to Chuicavioc. It was spoken in Langi, Hindi, K’iche’, Spanish, English. And everywhere, mothers ...

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