However, tragic outcomes for these children began to reveal the effects of such toxins passed to the fetus via the placenta. Two well-known examples of this include birth defects resulting from the use of thalidomide in the 1960s and fetal alcohol syndrome due to alcohol consumption, first diagnosed in the early 1970s.
Furthermore, in 1971, diethylstilbestrol or DES given during pregnancy …show more content…
And, so fetal origins hypothesis birthed. The significant documentation of increased fetal risk associated with certain substances supports this theory. In fact, fetal origins extends beyond the effects of substances on an unborn child. Maternal stress, nutrition, obesity, illness and pollution prove worthy of consideration as well.
Fetal origins theory proposes that the time when a child is in the womb significantly affects developmental health and well-being after birth. And, yes, this impact extends from infancy into adulthood. In other words, that which affects a pregnant mom, in turn, impacts her unborn child. Choices and behavior during pregnancy do matter over the course of a child’s …show more content…
Barker suggests that unborn babies adapt in the womb to the expected environment outside the womb. Through information received as clues or “postcards” from the mother via the placenta, the fetus physiologically prepares for the world. Problems arise when the characteristics of the womb and that of the world do not match.
While this may sound confusing, the thrifty phenotype hypothesis offers an example for clarity. Suggesting that poor nutrition in utero lead to an increased risk of metabolic disorders, such as Type II Diabetes, this theory states that prenatal diet causes permanent changes in how a developing body processes food.
For instance, the scarcity of nutrients that a pregnant mom consumes wires her child to process this type of diet. When exposed to an abundance of processed foods after birth, the processing of these foods proves difficult because the body expected and was wired to handle a different diet. Issues of obesity, heart disease and Type II Diabetes may result later in the life of this infant, even after appearing healthy at birth.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PREGNANCY