Factors and Hazards of Infant Development

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Factors and Hazards of Infant Development

By Miranda Brueggeman

EC100/EEC1700 Section 05 Foundations of Child Development - Winter 2013

There are many factors and hazards that influence the development of babies before they are even born. In this essay I will only be discussing three that I feel are essential for parents to understand. The three I will be talking about are as follows: Limiting exposure to any and all teratogens such as drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and environmental chemicals; Consuming a nutritious diet; and The importance of obtaining early prenatal care. Women should avoid unnecessary contact with known teratogens when they are thinking about getting pregnant or already are pregnant. Several factors can influence a teratogen’s harmful effect on fetal development, including the amount of exposure, fetal age, and genetic makeup of the mother and fetus (Developmental Profiles, 2012, p. 80). Mothers who consume alcohol during pregnancy have a greater risk of miscarriages, stillbirths, premature infants, and low birth weight infants (Developmental Profiles, 2012, p. 80). No amount of alcohol is considered safe to consume during pregnancy (Developmental Profiles, 2012, p. 81). Mothers who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to experience miscarriage, premature births, stillborn infants, and low birth weight infants (Developmental Profiles, 2012, p. 81). Substances known to have a negative effect on the developing fetus range from prescription and nonprescription medications to pesticides, fertilizers, and street drugs. It is very important that both parents are fully aware of these facts and that they do their best to avoid any and all teratogens before, during, and after pregnancy. Depending what the mother eats before and during pregnancy has a significant effect on her health as well as the developing fetus. Consuming a healthy diet lessens the...