Prenatal health and childbirth- reading 2.docx

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Department
Health Sciences
Course
Health Sciences 2700A/B
Professor
Treena Orchard
Semester
Fall

Description
Prenatal health and childbirth: September 24, 2013 ­ Prenatal Environmental Influences  Teratogens  Teratogen: refers to any environmental agent that causes damage during the prenatal period  Harm done compares on these factors: • Dose: larger dose over long period of time = increased negative effects • Heredity: genetic makeup of the mother and developing organism play a big role. Some individuals are better able to withstand harmful environments • Other negative influences: poor nutrition, lack of medical care, and additional teratogens can worsend the impact of a single agent • Age: at some points during development in the womb, effects of teratogens may be more harmful. Sensitive period – a limited time span in which a part of the body or a behaviour is biologically prepared to develop rapidly and there fore is especially sensitive to its surroundings. Harmful environment = damage with difficult recovery  Period of zygote, before implantation, teratogens rarely have an impact  Embryonic period, serious defects are most likely to occur, b.c foundations of body parts being laid out.  Fetal period, teratogenix damage usually minor Prescription and non-prescription drugs  Sedative thalidomide- taken by mothers 4-6 months, produced gross deformities of the embryo’s arms and legs and, less frequently, damage to ears, heart, kidneys and genitals – as they grew older scored below average intelligence  Synthetic hormone- diethylstilbestrol (DES) – (1945-1970) – meant to prevent miscarriages, daughters of mothers who took this, who reached adult hood, showed highrates of cancer of the vagina, malformation of uterus, and infertility. In men, increased risk of genital deformaties and cancer of the testis  Accutane (a vitamin A), taken for acne, exposure during first trimester results in eye, ear, skull, brain, heart, and immune system abnormalities  Drugs with molecules small enough can pass through the placentile wall and enter into the babies bloodstream  Heavy caffeine intake – low birth weight, miscarriage  Antidepressants – third trimester linked to increased risk of birth complications, including respiratory disease Illegal drugs  Babies born to users of coc, heroin, or methadone, at risk for prematurity, low birth weight, physical defects, breathing difficulties, death around time of birth  Infants are born drug addicted – are feverish, irritable, and cries are an abnormal shrill  Some exposed coc babies have lasting difficulties – contricts blood vessels, therefore, oxygen delivered to developing organism fall dramatically for 15 mins. • Alters the production of neurons and the chemical balance in the fetus  Marijuana – most widely used illegal drug, has been linked to low birth weight and smaller head size Tobacco  Effect of smoking during prenatal period, is low birth weight, miscarriage, prematurity, impaired heart rate, and breathing during sleep, infant death, asthma, and cancer later in childhood  Fetus- nicotine, constricts blood vessels, lessens blood flow to the uterus, causes placenta to grow abnormally  Reduces transfer of nutrients so the fetus, so the fetus gains weight poorly  Passive smokers, related to low birth weight, infant death, and possible long term impairments Alcohol  Fetal alcohol syndrome: mental retardation; impaired motor coordination, attention, memory and language; and over activity are typical of children with the disorder. Physical symptoms: slow physical growth, facial abnormalities, widely spaced eyes, short eye lids openings, a small upturned nose, thin upper lip, small head  Fetal alcohol effects: seen in children whose mothers drank alcohol in smaller quantities, affected individuals display only some of these abnormalities Radiation  Hiroshima, and Nagasaki during world war II, babies had small heads (underdeveloped brain), physical deformities, slow growth rose dramatically  Low level radiation = childhood cancer abnormal brain wave activity, lower intelligence test scores Environmental pollution  Avoid eating long lived predatory fish, such as swordfish, albacore tuna, and shark heavily contaminated with mercury  Polychlorinated biphenyls (
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