Maternal Behaviors and Their Effect on the Unborn Child

Topics: Pregnancy, Fetal alcohol syndrome, Prenatal development Pages: 3 (938 words) Published: March 4, 2013
Maternal Behaviors and their Effect on the Unborn Child


Jennifer Livengood

Pregnancy can be one of the most magical times in a woman’s life. There is nothing quite like taking care of the little person that is growing in the womb, and knowing that everything you do is going to have some kind of effect on that little person.

For a vast majority of women, pregnancy is a magical time, one filled with awe and wonder. Pregnant women tend to take better care of themselves, making sure that they are providing the best environment for their growing child. Some women, however, do just the opposite and do not take care of themselves and thus harm the unborn child in their womb.

There are several things that can have an adverse effect on the growing child. One of them is the mother’s nutrition. This is an easily adjustable factor, but one that some women don’t actually think about. When a woman becomes pregnant, according to, she needs to consume roughly 300 more calories than normal in order to have a healthy pregnancy ( This will provide the extra nutrition that the fetus needs. If a mother does not consume enough calories, she is putting her child at risk of being malnourished. A poorly nourished infant is more likely to get sick, as they do not have the ability to fight off illness as well as a properly nourished child. There is also a possibility that undernourishment can have an impact on the mental development of a child (Feldman, 329). Proper nourishment is vital to proper development both in the womb and once the child is born.

Another behavior that can have an adverse effect on the growing child is alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Alcohol is a teratogen, which is known to be harmful to human development ( Consuming alcohol during...
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