The Development of Children (5 th ed.)
Cole, Cole & Lightfoot
Cole, Cole & Lightfoot, p. 72
The Study of Prenatal
The developing organism can be affected by mothertobe’s health, habits, environment and lifestyle
Conception to attachment (8-10 days later)
(single-cell zygote multi-cell blastocyst)
Attachment to end of 8 th week all major organs have taken primitive shape, gender is decided.
Critical period for problems in development of heart, lungs, brain and nervous system
Fetal period (fetus)
9 th week (ossification begins) until birth all major organs continue to develop
10 th week: Intestines in place; breathing and jawopening movements
12 th week: Sexual characteristics; well-defined neck; sucking and swallowing movements
16 th week: Head erect and lower limbs well-developed
5 th month: As many nerve cells as it will ever have
7 th month: Eyes open and lungs capable of breathing
8 th month: Many folds of the brain present
9 th month: Brain more developed
Fetus doubles its weight in the final weeks before birth
Critical Periods of Fetal Development
A fetus is most vulnerable when it is first forming
Prenatal Development of the Brain
What does optimal brain development require in the first three months of prenatal life?
Sense of balance at 5 months
Responds to light (i.e., heart rate changes, increased movement) at 26 weeks
Responds at 5-6 months
Can discriminate outside sounds, but hears mother’s voice best (i.e., changes in heart rate)
Maternal Conditions: Attitudes & Stress
Presence of a supportive mate and other family members, adequate housing, and steady employment give a woman a basic sense of security . This appears to enhance the prospects for a healthy baby
Czech study : At birth, unwanted children weighed less and needed more medical help than children in the control group
Psychological stress during pregnancy is associated with premature delivery and low birth weight
Yom Kippur: 24-hour food and water fast by orthodox Jews
Partner talk: How important is nutrition? Why?
Immaturity of the lungs is the leading cause of death for preemies. They can also have digestion and immunity problems
Premature babies who are normal size for their gestational age stand a good chance of catching up with full-term babies
Some children born prematurely have problems maintaining attention and with visual-motor coordination when they are school age
Teratogens are everything in the environment that is ingested or breathed in that poisons the fetus.
All teratogens lead to birth defects, retardation, and/or mental disturbances to some degree.
Agent Orange, is an environmental pollutant used during the Vietnam
War. It was an herbicide used to kill the jungle vegetation.
It caused many, many birth defects!
Triclosan (found in many antiperspirants) is
Increase in rate of spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, and neonatal death
Nicotine results in abnormal growth of the placenta
Similar effects from second-hand smoke!
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Abnormally small head, underdeveloped brain, eye abnormalities, congenital heart disease, joint anomalies, malformations of the face
Most serious damage from alcohol caused in first weeks of pregnancy
This woman’s story is in National Geographic magazine.
It is the ONLY such article in NG! Search “Fetal Alcohol Syndrome”
Prescription medication: can pass to the fetus and damage its development
Caffeine : Increased spontaneous abortion and low birth weight
Marijuana : Low birth weight, premature; infants startle easily, have tremors, and sleep problems
Cocaine : Increased stillborn or premature, low birth weight, strokes, birth defects; infants irritable, uncoordinated, slow learners
Methadone & Heroin : Born addicted; likely to be premature, underweight, vulnerable to respiratory illness, tremors, irritable; infants have difficulty attending, poor motor control
Rubella (German measles): Can cause a syndrome of congenital heart disease, cataracts, deafness, and mental retardation in more than half of all babies born to mothers who suffer from the disease during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy
AIDS : Approximately 30% of the babies born to mothers who test positive for the AIDS virus acquire this disease
Also Rh incompatibility , radiation , pollution
THIRD STAGE: Delivery of the placenta
Physical condition: Apgar Scale: rates the strength of the heart, respiration, muscles, reflexes and color within 5 minutes of birth
Neurological condition: Brazelton Neonatal
Includes tests of infant reflexes, motor capacities, muscle tone, capacity for responding to objects and people, capacity to control own behavior, attention
These tests are good for determining necessity of medical intervention and indicate the potential for normal development.
Prominent forehead; large eyes below horizontal midline of face; round, full cheeks
Baby-ness seems to appeal to adults, to girls of 12 and 14, and boys between the ages of 14 and
Baby-ness creates the emotional responses necessary to form positive and healthy attachments in early infancy.
Get a partner …
Pick a number: 1, 2, or 3 …
Here are your topics:
1. List as 5 examples of the environment playing a significant role in prenatal development.
2. List some of the expectant parents’ responsibilities toward the health of their developing child.
3. What will you be sure to do, or not do, from now on?