The elaborate details of life begin with a single cell that develops into a full term fetus within approximately 40 weeks, 280 days or 10 lunar months. The course of this pre-natal development is divided into three main periods: germinal, embryonic, and fetal.
In order to have a healthy baby at the end of the term, there are a few factors which have to be kept in mind by the mother.
Factors affecting pre-natal development
1. Maternal nutrition
Foetus gets the nourishment from maternal blood stream through placenta, so the mother’s diet should contain necessary nutrients, like proteins for tissue building and repair, fats to form tissues, etc.
2. Mental health
Substances that can harmfully affect pre-natal development are called tetrarogens, which may either cause physical or mental abnormalities. Some diseases, if contracted by the mother, are believed to be tetratogence. A disease causing virus can be transmitted from the mother’s blood stream to the baby’s if it is small enough to pass through the placental screen.
3. Bacterial infections
Bacterial infections may also cross the placental screen, one such infection, toxoplasmosis, has recently been blamed for some cases of congenial brain damage and blindness.
Drugs are other chemicals that can filter through the placenta into the blood stream of foetus. The risk is greater during the early stages of pregnancy, when development is progressing more rapidly.
The nicotine in cigarettes is thought to contract the blood vessels in the uterus and placenta. This interferes with the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the foetus.
When consumed in moderate amounts, alcohol has no ill effects. But if the mother drinks excessively, she is likely to give birth to a small baby with retarded motor development.
7. Emotional state of mother
Emotions can temporarily affect the child. The activity level of the foetus is increased when the mother is emotionally upset. Difficulty of labour and delivery is also related to the mother’s level of tension during the preceding months.
8. Maternal age
Those woman who are below 21, have chances of miscarriage, still births, and foetal malformations. The reason is that the reproductive organs of the female are not fully mature.
In order to have a healthy and normal baby, keep these factors in mind and adhere by them.
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