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 mothers womb. The gestational age
is the age of the fetus derived from onset of mothers last menstrual period.

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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 healthy baby. 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 during
pregnancy. 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 have to be certain age. 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.

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 mothers consumption of alcohol. This disease can
be avoided. Most infants 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 womans
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 babys 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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