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3.

Correlate Prenatal and Postnatal Conditions with


Development
When you become pregnant it is recommended to seek prenatal care.
Prenatal care is usually a schedule of visits for medical care in which you can
have screening for manageable conditions, gene abnormalities, and
treatable diseases that can affect both you and baby. Prenatal care is not
limited to medical it can also include educational, social, and nutritional
services. When you receive prenatal care you can also take birthing classes
to prepare for labor and delivery. They have classes for caring for your
newborn. Women who seek prenatal care are more likely to receive postnatal
care for themselves and baby. Prenatal influences are described as a
teratogen, toxic agents in the environment that capable of causing
developmental abnormalities or birth defects. Also detrimental to a fetus is
prenatal malnutrition, and malnutrition after birth. It can cause stunted brain
development. Many other factors can be harmful to development like
alcohol, smoking, recreational drug use, and some medications. Some more
are stress, disease, radiation, and even rodents. Pregnancy is so important
for many reasons. You are directly responsible for the life growing in you.
Your actions can have adverse effects on the fetus.
Nutrition and weight gain during pregnancy should be monitored. The
mothers nutrition can have a strong influence on the development of the
fetus. Maternal obesity can lead to hypertension, diabetes, respiratory
complications, and infections in the mother. Obesity can also lead to preterm
labor and preterm birth, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in the
adolescent/adult offspring. Inadequate weight gain can lead to low birth
weight in the fetus. A spike in weight gain can suggest water retention and
may need to be evaluated.
Exercise is actually encouraged during pregnancy. Exercise can prevent
constipation, conditions the body, and can put you in a positive mental state
which reduces depression. It shouldnt be vigorous exercise especially if you
didnt do it prenatally. Moderate exercise is linked to healthy weight gain and
normal birth weight in the fetus.
Teratogens are any agents that can potentially cause a physical birth
defect. There is a field of study called teratology, the study of birth defects.
Teratogens can include-drugs both prescription and non-prescription,
incompatible blood types, environmental pollutants, infectious diseases,
nutritional deficiencies, maternal stress, and advanced maternal and

paternal age. The time of exposure, dose, and genetic susceptibility to a


particular teratogen influence both the severity of the damage to the embryo
or fetus, and the type of defect.

Prescription drugs that can be considered a teratogen include antibiotics,


such as streptomycin and tetracycline; some antidepressants; certain
hormones such as progestin and synthetic estrogen; Accutane, and
thalidomide. Non-prescription drugs-diet pills and aspirin.
Psychoactive
drugs-caffeine,
alcohol,
nicotine,
cocaine,
methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin.
Incompatible blood types between the father and mother.
Environmental hazards- radiation, toxic wastes, and other chemical
pollutants: carbon dioxide, mercury, lead, and certain fertilizers and
pesticides.
Maternal diseases-rubella, syphilis, AIDS, HIV, genital herpes, and
diabetes.
Maternal diet and nutrition, maternal and paternal age, emotional states
and stress.
Paternal factors are in play as well as maternal factors with developing
birth defects and complications. A fathers exposure to lead, radiation,
certain pesticides, and petrochemicals may cause abnormalities in sperm
that lead to miscarriage or diseases, such as childhood cancer. A diet lacking
in vitamin C increases offsprings risk of birth defects, and cancer. Drug use
such as cocaine may attach to sperm and cause birth defects, and long term
use can affect sperm count, low motility, a higher number of abnormally
formed sperm. A fathers age 40 and older increases the risk of spontaneous
abortions, autism, and schizophrenic disorders. A father can have a positive
role too, by supporting the pregnancy, having a positive attitude, helping to
alleviate some of the stress by helping out with tasks, and participating in
childbirth classes.
If all these risk factors are avoided and you have a healthy baby there
are still chances of having a baby with abnormalities from chromosomal
abnormalities, or genetic disorders. If a preterm baby is given kangaroo care
it leads to better physical development. It also increases respiratory and
cardiovascular functioning, sleep patterns, and cognitive functioning from 6
months to 10 years of age. Massage is also used, because preterm babies
experience less touch being in incubators. During the postpartum period
woman adjust physically and psychologically. Physically the biggest
adjustment is lack of sleep which can lead to stress, relationship conflicts,
impaired decision making, confidence in ability to care for baby and family
life, coping with baby and family life, loss of sense of well-being, and its
even been linked to post-partum depression. Exercise has been linked to a
better sense of well-being and relaxation techniques are also found to be

very helpful. Post-partum depression is a very depressive episode that


typically occurs about four weeks after delivery. Their feelings of sadness,
anxiety, or despair interferes with daily tasks. Post-partum can affect and
compromise feedings, sleep routines, and safety practices with the newborn.
Even fathers are not exempt from developing post-partum depression.
Bonding with your infant right after birth forms an emotional
attachment as a foundation for optimal development in years to come. The
complexity of environments plays a huge role in who we are just as much as
heredity and genes. You cant effect one without changing something in
return. Development doesnt stop with birth it continues for years.