Various Factors affecting growth and development



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Younger mothers- having a baby under the age of 16 years chances a higher risk of having premature babies, who suffer from anaemia and high blood pressure.  Older mothers- studies have shown that mothers over the age of 35 having children chances a higher risk of having babies with a chromosomal abnormality. The most common abnormality associated with age is Down’s syndrome, as to this a test is offered routinely to women over 37 years of age.  Problems can occur such as breech presentation, pre eclampsia, low birth weight and neural tube defects during pregnancy.

This can cause early delivery (premature babies), high blood pressure, lack of oxygen, which can result in seizes or brain damage.  Drugs (pre-scribed/Non prescribed) – this can cause low birth weight and development delay. The mother can also become withdrawn and experience distress which can also be passed on to the baby.  Prescribed drugs must always be issued by a doctor however, some drugs prescribed can be very dangerous and effect development an example of this is in the 1960s a drug called Thalidomide was given to many women to help contain a healthy pregnancy but instead caused babies to be born with severe limb defections.

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Drugs- drugs such as cocaine and heroin can cause the foetus to grow slowly and become underweight, babies will be born addicts which as a result suffer from painful withdrawal symptoms Smoking- this reduces placental blood flow which causes the baby to receive less oxygen. Babies who are born to mothers that smoke are more likely to be premature or underweight.  Alcohol- if taken accessibly the baby may be born with foetal alcohol syndrome. This causes the baby to have characteristics facial deformities, mental problems and stunned growth,

Poor nutrition- having a poor diet through out pregnancy chances a higher risk of the baby suffering from disorders such as Spina bifida. It can also pose a development risk to the baby as there not receiving enough vitamins and nutriments for them to go accordingly.  Toxoplasmosis-this is an infection which is caused by eating anything infected with a parasite e. g. eating raw and uncooked meat, unwashed fruit, vegetables, un- pasteurised goats milk and dairy products made from it.

Contracting this disease may cause blindness, hydrocephalus or mental problems to the foetus.  Cytomegalovirus (CMV) – this virus causes aches and pains and leads to severe learning problems. It poses similar risks to Rubella such as blindness, deafness and mental problems. In (Penny Tassoni et la. , (2007), pg. 352) it says “it is thought to infect as many as 1% of unborn babies and of those infected about 10per cent may suffer permanent damage.  Listeriosis- This is caused by pathogens found in soil, vegetation, food and water.

This can cause premature labour, which may mean that they babies body may not yet be fully developed to the normal stage.  HIV- This can be passed onto the foetus, allowing a higher risk for babies to be born HIV positive. This makes the babies immune system very weak and chances a higher risk of sickness. Syphilis- This is a sexually transmitted disease and is only able to pass along the placenta after the 20th week of pregnancy. It causes the baby to develop congenital syphilis and in severe case can lead to death.

Viruses and small bacteria cross the placenta to the foetus, this can interfere with normal growth and development (especially during the first 3 months of the pregnancy, as the foetus is particularly vulnerable). The most problematic infection is: Rubella German measles) – this can cause congenital defects such as blindness, deafness and mental problems.  Premature birth- can suffer from heat loss as the surface is large in proportion to the baby’s weight. Breathing condition called respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) which is caused by a deficiency in the surfactant (which is a fatty substance that coats the baby’s lungs).

This can occur from about 22weeks of pregnancy also because the baby repertory system is immature. Infection- this can easily occur as the baby has not had enough time spent in the uterus to receive antibodies from the mother resistance to infection is poor.  Jaundice- this affects the liver and in result turns the skin and the white of the eye yellow.  Genetics- this can affect development e. g. a child who’s suffers from Down syndrome may find some difficulties in performing certain task, so they may need to require assistance in order to move to the next level.

Environment- this can be negative if the mother is in an unhealthy environment e. g. breathing in too much pollution or smoking from the air can be toxic and passed on tot the baby.  Not enough income- Not enough income can mean the mother may not be able to afford the right healthy foods, so nutrients won’t be given to the baby. Not eating the right healthy foods can lead to obesity, heart problems and stroke. Being worried about having enough money can cause stress, allowing the chances of a bay to be miscarried or delivered early.

It could also be that certain items may not be in the house, this could lead to illness e. g. not having a heating on during the winter.  Overcrowded housing means they might not be enough space for stimulation. It may also lead to stress as they may not have enough privacy and time to themselves. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Teaching section.

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