Prenatal development is the period in development from conception to the onset of
labor. Perinatal period is the period beginning about the seventh month of pregnancy
and continuing until about four weeks after birth. Postnatal development is the period
in development the follows directly after birth. The germinal stage is the stage lasting
about ten -fourteen days following conception before the fertilized egg becomes
implanted in the uterine wall. The embryonic stage is the stage in which major
biological organs and systems form. The fetal stage is the stage in which is marked by
rapid growth and preparation of body systems for functioning in the postnatal
environment. Viability is the ability of the baby to survive outside the mother’s womb.

The gestational age is the age of the fetus derived from onset of mother’s last
menstrual period. The number of older mothers is on the rise in the U.S. as women
postpone pregnancy to establish careers or for other reasons. Healthy women older
than thirty-five routinely deliver healthy infants just as other between the ages of
twenty and thirty-five do. Teenagers, however, may be at a greater risk for delivering
less healthy babies. Lack of prenatal care is a big reason. Diets, while pregnant, must
be sufficient not only in number of calories but also with respect to the right amount of
proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients. Stress also plays a big role in delivering a
Cultural beliefs about potentially harmful consequences of frightening or stressful
events on fetal development are pervasive, and many societies encourage a calm
atmosphere for pregnant women. The social support a pregnant woman receives from
family and friends is an important factor that can lessen the consequences of stress
Another reason is the complicated nutritional needs of teenagers. Teenage mothers
give birth to as many as 500,000 babies in the U.S. every year. It is suggested to
women that are thirty-five or older undergo a test. Not in all cases does the woman
In some cases women must undergo an amniocentesis which is a small sampling of the
fluid surrounding the developing fetus by inserting a needle and drawing fluid. This test
is designed to diagnose fetal developmental disorders and/or genetic disorders.

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Ultrasonography is a method using sound wave reflections to obtain a representation
the developing fetus. Support within the womb: the placenta. The placenta is a support
organ formed by the cells from both blastocyst and uterine lining; serves as exchange
site for oxygen, nutrients and waste products. The umbilical cord is made up of blood
vessels in which oxygen, nutrients and waste products are transported between
placenta and embryo. As extra precaution the fetus is surrounded in a fluid-filled,
transparent protective membrane known as the amniotic sac. Teratogen is any
environmental agent that can cause deviations in prenatal development. Causing
behavioral problems to death. There are a number of diseases that can cause
complications to a pregnancy. These are just a few of the many diseases that can cause
harm: toxoplasmosis, hepatitis B, diabetes, and chlamydia. FAS (Fetal Alcohol
Syndrome) is a cluster of fetal abnormalities stemming from mother’s consumption of
alcohol. This disease can be avoided.
Most infant’s are born in a hospital, although there are some alternative birth settings
such as, birthing centers (home-like setting). Statistics show that births directly
supervised under a midwife, have less complications and distress. Preparing for
childbirth, prepared childbirth (also known is ouch), is procedures practiced during
pregnancy and childbirth designed to minimize pain and reduce the need for medication
during delivery. A cesarean birth is the delivery of a baby through a surgical incision in
the woman’s abdomen and uterus. During the delivery, a fetal monitoring device is
used to monitor fetal heartbeat. In the first stage of labor , the neck of the uterus,
dilates and thins to open a passage through the birth canal. When the water is about to
break, the baby’s head rests inside the cervix. Then, transition, the baby shifts to the
birth canal. After the resting in the birth canal, the baby is ready to be born. The head
rotates sideways after it emerges. Thus, allowing the placenta to fall.

Infants born with low-birth weight are in luck. Despite the immediate obstacles facing
low-birth weight babies, many become normal children and adults. Newborns and
infants display a number of states. A large part of their time in engaged in REM sleep, a
state that may provide them with stimulation even when asleep.


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