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Periods of Development Fact Sheets

The prenatal period is commonly divided into stages. In obstetrical practice, pregnancy
is described in terms of trimesters, each consisting of 3 calendar months:
First trimester- conception through the third month
Second trimester- fourth month through the sixth month
Third trimester- seventh month through the ninth month (Allen & Marotz, 2010)
Stages Development
Germinal Week 1 to Week 12: First Trimester
Begins with conception when the sperm and the egg enter into the uterus.
Cell division and growth.
Ovum implants itself into the uterine wall.
Umbilical cord connects the placenta and the fetus via navel.
Embryonic Week 13- Week 26: Second Trimester
Skin cells, nerves, bone, and other body tissue begin
Eyes, ears, and nose have also appear
Organs have formed
Arm and leg buds appear
Fetal Week 27 to end of Pregnancy: Third Trimester
Bones form
Organs are differentiated
Fetus growth and size increase dramatically
Physical changes occur

During this time, the fetus goes through physical changes. It transforms from an egg and
begins to develop cells, nerves, bones, and
body tissue. The facial features on the child
begin to come in and they develop their body
parts. In the third trimester their bones have
form, and the fetus grows dramatically. The brain is growing at a rapid rate where it is beginning
to process information causing the child to produce movements. Between 30-34 weeks, fetuses
show rhythmic alterations between sleep and wakefulness that gradually increase in organization.
By the end of pregnancy, the fetus takes on the beginnings of a personality (Berk, 2013).
Two language developmental milestones that typically developing children should achieve in
this period is distinguish the tone and rhythm of different voices and sounds and blink their eyes
to nearby sounds. The fetus becomes aware of the things that are taking place outside of the
womb. They begin to pick up different stimulations that cause them to respond in different ways
and actions. The fetus is able to distinguish the difference between its mother and fathers voice
and differentiate between male and female. They are also able
to distinguish the different levels in an adults voice.

Atypical development describes children with developmental differences, deviations, or
marked delays- children whose development appears to be incomplete or inconsistent with
typical patterns and sequences. (Allen & Marotz, 2010, 2007) Teratogens are environmental

agents that can cause malformations, neurological, and behavior problems. Those teratogens
consists of things like alcohol, smoking, addictive drugs, hazardous chemicals, and some
medication to say the least. But the harm by teratogens us bit always simple and
straightforward. It depends on the following factors: dose (lager doses over longer periods of
time), heredity, other negative influences (such as poor nutrition and lack of medical care), and
age (Allen & Marotz, 2010). Three factors that I believe that might contribute to atypical
behavior come from the book which is genetic errors, poor health and nutrition, and injury.
Genetic errors can be caused by illness that has been transferred throughout the family down to
the newborn. Heredity factors can contribute to a child having atypical development. These
genetic errors can be traced to genes and chromosomes from the mother or father. Poor health
and nutrition comes from the way the mother carried herself prior to pregnancy and during the
pregnancy. It can relate to drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or child abuse in the fetus. Poor nutrition
can affect fetal development as well as child development. Prenatally, the fetus depends totally
on the mother to receive nutrition through the placenta. If a mother is malnourished it is likely
the baby will be born malnourished, or worse, be born prematurely, suffer from low birth weight,
or die soon after birth. (Children's Medical Service, 2012)
One strategy that families can use to influence their childs learning development during
this period of development is singing and talking to the child. This allows the child to become
familiar with voices and learning. The child can pick up the different sounds and words that
increase their cognitive skills while in the womb.

Allen, K. E., & Marotz, L. R. (2010). Developmental Profiles: Pre-Birth through Twelve (6th
ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Berk, L. E. (2013). Child Development (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Children's Medical Service. (2012, August 30). Infant Toddler Development Training Module 1,
Lesson 3. Retrieved from http://www.cms-
Medline Plus. (2014, May 16). Adolescent Development. Retrieved from
Piper, T. (2012). Making Meaning Making Sense: Childrens Early Language Learning. San
Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education Inc.