Prenatal Brain Development: Prenatal Lifecycle

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The lifecycle I chose is the prenatal lifecycle. The prenatal lifecycle begins at the time a woman conceives. “Conception is the moment when a sperm fertilizes an egg to create a single cell called a zygote (Dontigney, 2012). Nutrition is important throughout pregnancy because not only does the mother have to supply herself with essential nutrients, she now has to also ensure that her fetus gets the needed amount of nutrients to survive and develop normally (Pruitt, p 700). Improper nutrition decreases the likelihood that the newborn will not be at the appropriate weight for his or her gestational age. There is also an increase of the risk of infection, learning disabilities, impaired physical development, and death in the first year of life (Pruitt, p 703). The diet that I would tailor to a pregnant woman would consist of daily prenatal vitamins to ensure that she and the baby are getting the essential nutrients even if she is eating a healthy diet. Prenatal vitamins also include folic acid, iron, and calcium. Folic acid can reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spinal cord, calcium prevents the loss of bone density in the mother, and iron helps both the mother and baby’s blood carry oxygen (WebMD, 2012). Aside from prenatal vitamins, I would ensure that the mom is eating small meals all throughout the day incorporating fruits, vegetables, meats, and grains. I would also inform her to try to stay away from caffeine as much as possible and definitely stay away from alcohol, cigarettes, and over the counter drugs unless her doctor specifically approves something.

References
Dontigney, Eric. (2012). Life Cycle of a Person. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/about_5388027_life-cycle-person.html. Pruitt, S. et al. (2010). Nutrition, Health & Wellness: An Applied Approach. P 700 & 703. WebMD. (2012). Health & Pregnancy. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/prenatal-vitamins.
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