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Prenatal Fact sheet: Conception to Birth

A physical milestone that will develop in the prenatal stage will be the development of
sex organs. Babys gender will typically be determined sometime after the 16th week of
gestation. (Martoz & Allen, 2013). Another important physical development for a fetus comes
shortly after the 24th week of gestation. During this time the infant should have well formed eyes
that will often be open and in addition will be responsive to light and sounds. (Marotz & Allen,
2013)
Even at birth children will show development of their language skills. For example,
crying and fussing are major forms of communicating soon after birth. (Marotz & Allen, 2013)
A newborn will cry when hungry, letting parents know that they are ready to eat. Another
important milestone reached after conception and before birth will be the ability to hear. The
fetus starts hearing in the frequency range of 250-500Hz (as opposed to 20-20000Hz in adults).
With progressing gestation, the fetal hearing range increases. The fetus does not exhibit
responsiveness to a wider range of frequencies until 37-38 weeks (Einspieler, Prayer, &
Prechtly, 2012, Pg. 95). It would be beneficial to talk your unborn child because they will be
able to hear you. They may even be able to recognize your voice once they are born.
During the third trimester an important milestone of cognitive development will be
reached. The brain continues to make great strides. The cerebral cortex, the seat of human
intelligence, enlarges (Berk, 2013, Pg. 92). In terms of cognitive development, the
development of the brain is a crucial aspect. Soon after birth, infants also show significant
cognitive development. The following is described of a newborns cognition, From the earliest
days of life, newborns are absorbing information through all of their senses and can be
characterized as purely reflexive. They take form of sucking, startle responses, grimacing,
flailing of arms and legs, and uncontrolled eye movements, all of which overlap with perceptual
responses (Marotz & Allen, 2013, Pg. 74). Its amazing to think that a newborn child is growing
in their cognitive development, even if its involuntary.
If a pregnant women is diagnosed with Gestational diabetes, the child can develop
atypical development. The following is discussed, This in turn negatively impacts on fetal
growth and development with significantly increased risk of a number of short-and long-term
adverse consequences for the fetus, and the most significant of which is a predisposition to the
development of metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes (Vaillancourt & Lafond, 2012, Pg.
88). Most pregnant women do have a test to check for gestational diabetes, so it is important to
make sure to ask for this test if a doctor does not order it. Watching ones diet during pregnancy
can help in reducing the chances of developing gestational diabetes.
Perhaps one of the most influential factors in pregnancy is the nutrition of the mother.
During the prenatal period, when children are growing more rapidly than at other time, they
depend totally on the mother for nutrients. A healthy diet that results in a maternal weight gain
of 25 to 30 pounds helps ensure the health of mother and baby (Berk, 2013, Pg. 103). Mothers
need to ensure they are eating a healthy diet and exercising when possible. In addition to this,
mothers need to stay away from substances such as tobacco and alcohol as these can negatively
affect the fetus.

References
Einspieler, C., Prayer, D., & Prechtl, H. (2012) Clinics in Developmental Medicine, Volume 189:
Fetal Behavior: A Neurodevelopmental Approach Mac Keith Press. Retrieved from the
ProQuest Database.
Berk, L. E. (2013).Child development. (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Marotz, L. R. & Allen, K. E. (2013). Developmental profiles: Pre-birth through adolescence
(7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Vaillancourt, C. & Lafond, J. (2012) Pregnancy Disorders and Perinatal Outcomes Bentham
Science Publishers. Retrieved from the ProQuest Database.