What Factors Affect Fetal Development?

Alex Tree

Many factors effect fetal development, but some key factors are diet, the mother’s age, and whether the mother smokes or consumes alcohol. It is necessary for a pregnant woman to consume high enough quantities of foods that are rich in certain vitamins and nutrients during fetal development in order to give birth to a healthy baby. In addition, a pregnant mother consuming alcohol or smoking can result in severe birth defects, low weight, or mental retardation.

Monitoring fetal movement is important to help determine the health of the fetus.
Monitoring fetal movement is important to help determine the health of the fetus.

Foods consumed by the mother during pregnancy are linked to how successfully fetal development and the birth of a healthy child progresses. In order for both the mother and fetus to have healthy teeth and bones throughout pregnancy, it is important for the mother to consume high-calcium foods. Consuming appropriate quantities of vitamins and nutrients such as folic acid, vitamin B, and vitamin D is especially important for pregnant mothers. Without enough folic acid and vitamin B during fetal development, babies can be born with serious brain and spinal cord abnormalities. Improper nutrition during fetal development does not only hurt the fetus, but a pregnant woman’s own body will often suffer because vitamins and nutrients can be robbed from her and transferred to the child.

Children and unborn children are more likely to suffer from health issues as a result of secondhand smoke because their bodies are still in the early stages of development.
Children and unborn children are more likely to suffer from health issues as a result of secondhand smoke because their bodies are still in the early stages of development.

A pregnant woman who is older than 30 years old is at risk for additional problems regarding fetal health as well as additional risks to her own health. For example, a baby is more than 10 times as likely to be born with Down’s syndrome if his or her mother is older than 40. Another risk to fetuses developing in a woman more than age 30 is that they are more likely to die due to a miscarriage.

When a pregnant woman consumes alcohol or smokes, it can result in severe birth defects, low weight, or mental retardation.
When a pregnant woman consumes alcohol or smokes, it can result in severe birth defects, low weight, or mental retardation.

Mothers who smoke or are around chemicals that result from smoking can result in serious negative consequences during and after fetal development. Low birth weight, higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and a myriad of other health problems can arise in babies who experience secondhand smoke during fetal development. Birth defects such as a cleft lip have also been linked to having a mother who smoked during pregnancy.

Improper nutrition during pregnancy will hurt a fetus.
Improper nutrition during pregnancy will hurt a fetus.

Alcohol is another substance that can cause severe harm to fetuses if the mother consumes it. For instance, if a mother consumes alcohol while she is pregnant, it can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome. If a child has fetal alcohol syndrome, he or she experiences problems such as mental retardation, inhibited growth, as well as a myriad of other physical and mental defects.

Consuming moderate amounts of red wine may or may not affect fetal development.
Consuming moderate amounts of red wine may or may not affect fetal development.
Many factors affect fetal development.
Many factors affect fetal development.
Women who use drugs or drink, even early in pregnancy, may be putting their baby at risk of birth defects and developmental issues.
Women who use drugs or drink, even early in pregnancy, may be putting their baby at risk of birth defects and developmental issues.
A woman who is at risk for preterm labor may receive steroid injections to speed fetal development.
A woman who is at risk for preterm labor may receive steroid injections to speed fetal development.
Pregnant women need to consume sufficient quantities of foods that are rich in specific nutrients and vitamins.
Pregnant women need to consume sufficient quantities of foods that are rich in specific nutrients and vitamins.

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