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Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER 4 PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT AND BIRTH"— Presentation transcript:


2 Learning Objectives How does development unfold during the prenatal period from conception until the time of birth? How does prenatal behavior of the fetus relate to postnatal behavior of the infant?

3 Prenatal Development Time of fastest development in life span
Environment extremely important Conception Ova travels from ovary to uterus Penetration by 1 of sperm Outcome: Single-celled ZYGOTE

4 Prenatal Stages Germinal period: Days 1-14
Implantation: One-half are successful Miscarriage: 15% to 50% Embryonic period: 3rd to 8th week Organogenesis, Sexual differentiation Fetal period: 9th week – birth Proliferation, Migration Differentiation of stem cells Ends in tremendous brain development

5 Learning Objectives How and when do various teratogens affect the developing fetus? How can you summarize the effects of teratogens during the prenatal period? How do maternal age, emotional state, and nutrition affect prenatal and neonatal development? What about the father’s state - can this influence development?

6 Prenatal Environment Reciprocal influence
Person and environment Good and bad influences important Teratogen: Environmental agent Harms the developing fetus Critical Period: Organogenesis Dosage and duration Genetic make-up: Susceptibility

7 The critical periods of prenatal development
The critical periods of prenatal development. Teratogens are more likely to produce major structural abnormalities during the third through the eighth prenatal week. Note, however, that many organs and body parts remain sensitive to teratogenic agents throughout the nine-month prenatal period

8 Teratogens: Drugs Thalidomide (for morning sickness)
All or parts of limbs missing Tobacco: Miscarriage, low birth weight, SIDS, slows fetal growth Alcohol: FAS Small, facial deformities, retardation Cocaine: Processing difficulties


10 (A) Characteristic features of a child with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).

11 (B) Child with FAS, illustrating many features in the drawing
(B) Child with FAS, illustrating many features in the drawing. Such children may also have cardiovascular and limb defects.

12 Teratogens - Diseases Rubella (German Measles)
Blind, deaf, heart, brain Syphilis: Miscarriage, blind, deaf, heart, brain After 18th week AIDS: Mothers transmit to babies (15%-35%) Prenatally, perinatally, postnatally



15 Teratogens: Environmental Hazards
Radiation: MR, leukemia, cancer, mutations, spontaneous abortions, etc. Avoid X-rays when pregnant Pollutants In air and water Lead: MR (also postnatally)

16 The Mother’s State Age: Typically age 16-35
15 or younger don’t seek prenatal care Birth complications, low birth weight Over 35:Miscarriage, Down Syndrome (father’s age also) Emotion: Stress can stunt fetal growth Positive outlook most helpful Nutrition: lb weight gain Malnutrition: Smaller neurons, brain, child

17 The Father’s State Research limited except for genetic contribution
Father’s age can also be influential Over 35: Increased number miscarriages, heart defects, Down Syndrome Over 50: Higher risk for schizophrenia Exposure to environmental toxins Radiation, anesthetic gases, pesticides Damage to genetic material in sperm

18 Postnatal Depression Baby Blues: mild, common
Clinical depression: 1/10 Previous depression common Children of Depressed Mothers Insecurely attached, less responsive Negative to other children

19 The Father’s Experience
Accepted, expected in delivery rooms Attend prenatal classes with wife Experience described as a significant event Anxiety, stress common during delivery Relief, pride, joy when baby is born Sometimes depression following birth Fathers also need support Disappointed if sex does not resume soon

20 The Neonatal Environment
Culture, early socialization, health status E.g., low birth-weight babies (8% in US) Less than 5½ lbs Strongly linked to low SES Environment: Neonatal intensive care Risk: Blindness, deafness, CP, autism, cognitive, and later academic problems Parenting must be attentive, responsive

21 Modern technology permits survival of younger and smaller babies, but many experts believe we have reached the lowest limits of viability at weeks gestation.

22 Learning Objectives What are the advantages of breast feeding?
Are there disadvantages of breast feeding? How can at-risk newborns be identified? What treatments are available to optimize development of at-risk babies? To what extent are the effects of the prenatal and perinatal environments long lasting? What factors influence whether effects are lasting?

23 Breast or Bottle? Breast feeding most natural nutrition
Practices vary across cultures Health benefits great for breast-fed infants At least first 6 months recommended More likely to bottle feed: Factors Younger, low SES, less education, employed, African American US values toward breast feeding ambivalent APA Goal 1: Major concepts, empirical findings APA Goal 8: Recognize sociocultural and international diversity


25 Low Birth-Weight Babies
< 5½ pounds: “Small for date” or “preterm” Leading cause of infant mortality 8% of all births, 65% of all infant deaths Factors: Low SES, smoking, stress, multiples Worse for minority, poverty, single-parent children For most, significant catch-up growth Low Birth-Weight Infants Greater risk for blindness, deafness, CP, autism, health problems - especially respiratory problems

26 Factors Helpful for LBW Infants
Breastfeeding, skin-to-skin contact, massage Responsive parenting, intellectual stimulation Early intervention programs work with parents Childcare education and support Growth-enhancing home environment Consistently attentive, responsive parenting


28 Risk and Resilience Not all high-risk infants have problems
Werner: Kauai Longitudinal study (40 yrs) Findings: Effects decrease over time Outcomes depend on postnatal environment Protective factors Personal resources Supportive postnatal environment


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