Topics: Pregnancy, Embryo, Chromosome Pages: 6 (2279 words) Published: April 8, 2013
Alexis Incantalupo
Child Psychology DSL
Prenatal Advice
Professor Guallini

Congratulations on your first baby! This means that your husband’s sperm cell has successfully fertilized your egg cell! I understand that you are worried about potential problems throughout your pregnancy. Pregnancy can be a nerve-racking experience for any first time parent. These parents may worry about something going wrong while carrying a child such as the baby’s health, or they may worry about something going completely wrong during the delivery process. Although it is hard, many mothers should try not to stress throughout their pregnancy. Unnecessary stress can be one cause of problems for the developing baby. To reduce the anxiety, mothers need to be properly informed about what exactly is occurring throughout the entire pregnancy. Reading books and watching films may be informative; however, they may leave out important information regarding genetics, abnormalities and disorders, and prenatal development. Mothers will worry less when they understand the important aspects that contribute to a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery.

The first thing both parents should understand is the process of heredity. Through genetics, parents can understand how the child’s characteristics and traits are inherited. The inherited influences are essential in the passing of all different characteristics and traits from parents such as weight, height, hair and eye color, shyness, and possibly different interests (Rathus, 2010, p.44). Both you and your husband will play a huge role in this child’s appearance and other biological aspects. Each parent has 23 chromosomes that will pass on to their future child (Rathus, 2010, p.44). In each chromosome there are thousands of different genes which will control the development of different traits (Rathus, 2010, p.44). For example, one gene may determine whether the child will have brown eyes and curly hair, or blue eyes and straight hair. Of course, this is all based off of the mother and fathers combined alleles. The parent’s alleles are a pair of genes that can be dominant and/or recessive (Rathus, 2010, p.47). For example if a mother carries a dominant trait for brown hair and a father carries a recessive trait for the blonde hair, there is a much higher chance of the child being born with brown hair. This is because the more dominant trait is almost always expressed. Although both parents will aid in determining the child’s characteristics and traits, only the male will determine whether the baby will be male or female. The 23rd pair of chromosomes is the sex chromosomes (Rathus, 2010, p.45). The mother will always carry the X sex chromosome. However, the father’s sperm will either carry an X sex chromosome (female) or a Y chromosome (male) (Rathus, 2010, p.45). Once the baby is born, both you and your husband will be able to see different characteristics and traits that the child has inherited from the both of you.

As a new mom-to-be, you may be nervous about the health of your developing child. Although genetics plays a huge role in the baby’s traits and characteristics, it also plays a role in chromosomal and genetic abnormalities (Rathus, 2010, p. 48). As you know, the child will have 46 chromosomes. Twenty three of these chromosomes will comes from you, the mother, and twenty three will come from the father. A child may experience health problems and/or behavioral abnormalities if there is too many or too few number of chromosomes (Rathus, 2010, p. 48). Down syndrome is a chromosomal abnormality that is caused by having one extra chromosome in the 21st pair (Rathus, 2010, p.49). A child with Down syndrome may suffer from mental retardation due to deficits in cognitive development, and also have a different appearance (Rathus, 2010, p.49). Many disorders are known to be caused by an irregular number of sex chromosomes. These are generally called “sex-linked chromosomal abnormalities”...
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