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Prenatal Development Period 1

Prenatal Development Introduction

t the time of conception, the physical domains of the
unborn are developing and making the path for the
Two Physical Developmental
cognitive and psychosocial domains. Through genetics
and maturation, these forces are becoming the role of
Two Language Developmental
future existence outside of the mothers womb. During the prenatal Milestones
developmental stage, rapid development is occurring. The sensory,
neurobehavioral and brain development also become at high risk. During Two Cognitive Developmental
early stages of gestation, the fetus sensitivity responds to touch. The signs
One Sign of Atypical Development
of movement occur when the grasping of fingers begin to touch and
move away from external stimulation and then moves towards One Family Strategy to Influence
stimulation. About the tenth week in gestation, breathing movements are Learning and Development

occurring for the development of taste and smell through blood

Two Social -Emotional Milestones
circulation. This provides opportunities for the fetus to develop the
Two Signs of Atypical
experience of smell and taste that can easily identify the mothers scent Development
immediately after birth. By the twenty-eighth week of gestation, the fetus
One Social Factor Influence
has already developed to hearing sounds and responding to sudden
sounds. Vision, the eye movement, is developing by the fifteenth week, One Cultural Factor Influence
and the optic nerve in each eye becomes complete. One Video and two graphic images

During the twenty-eighth week of the eye development, the visual

cortex resembles the adult parent. Ultrasounds and other technological
devices can see the blinking of eyes. The fetus neurobehavioral
development is at a crucial stage, as this underlay the understanding of
human behavior. Prenatal care is important to monitor the development
health of neurobehavioral and functioning. Much movement is occurring
as the fetus begins to develop further. Physical characteristics are
becoming more stable. Neurobehavioral development remains crucial to
detect abnormalities during pregnancy. It is also important to understand
that external stimulus can impact fetal development and functioning.
Prenatal Development Period 2

Through the process of prenatal development, the fetus can become sensitive to the exposure of foreign
substance that can affect future developmental growth influences. Teratogens affect central nervous system
development and the behavioral development of the fetus, linking to undesirable outcomes. Exposure to
tobacco, alcohol or drugs can manifest various behavioral consequences. It is important to understand during
the prenatal development period that much thought is placed on the future health and development of the fetus.
Prenatal Development Period 3

Prenatal Development Fact Sheet


ECE497: Child Development
Two Physical Developmental Milestones
Capstone Course (CNM724DS)
During the Gestational Age, the fetuss skin is transparent and
Instructor: Pilar Carroll
begins to suck and swallow bits of the amniotic fluid. The mother can
Date: June 26, 2017
feel the babys movement. At this stage, the fetal has developed tiny
5 Periods of Developmental fingers and fine hair is beginning to be developed called lanugo.
Fact Sheets According to the text, most of the brains neurons are in place by 24

Prenatal weeks and the babys eyes are sensitive to light (Berk, 2013, Ch.3.3).

Infancy and Toddlerhood

Early Childhood
Middle Childhood

Two Language Developmental Milestones

During the last trimester of fetal development, the fetus becomes

familiar with voices and responsiveness to external sources.
Language, rhymes, and melodies are becoming familiarized and
studies have demonstrated that learning and memory take place in the
womb (Mossler, Ch. 3.4). Mossler continues to discuss that
experiments have demonstrated that fetus could distinguish among
different languages. Ongoing research has shown that outside stimulus
of the mothers womb has demonstrated a systematic heart rate
change between the tones of voices heard by the fetus.
Prenatal Period

Two Cognitive Development Milestones

Prenatal Development Period 4

During the third trimester stage (the fetal stage) the brain continues to make progress and the cerebral cortex
continues to enlarge. According to Child and Adolescent Development, the maturing brain assists in the further
development of the bodys systems the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and others (Mossler, 2015, Ch. 3.4).
Movements also recur when touching the mothers abdomen and typical response reflex to sudden loud noise
from the external environment.

One Sign of Atypical Development

During the prenatal stage of development, various physical milestones that the fetus reaches are typical and
normal for fetal development. However, external stimuli can influence atypical fetal development that can affect
later stages of development. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a term that has various side effects and
behavioral outcomes caused by prenatal alcohol exposure (Berk, 2013, Ch. 3.4). It is a syndrome that is
characterized by slow physical growth, affecting facial abnormalities and brain injury, and additional
functioning areas can also be affected.

One Family Strategy to Influence Learning and Development

During the prenatal development stage, the fetal brain cells are forming. It is important that during the three
stages of prenatal development that the mother avoids chemical and dangerous substances that can be harmful
prior to birth. In the last stages of development, the brain is forming learning abilities and beginning
memories (Developing Human Brain, 2017). According to Developing Human Brain, during the fetal stage it
is recommended to expose the fetus to classical music and soothing sounds that will affect the childs
disposition later in life (Developing Human Brain, n.d.). Though classical and soothing sounds have not yet
been scientific proven but remains sound, the fetal brain reacts to the external stimulus that is provided by the

Additional Information

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Figure 1 Down Syndrome Characteristics

Prenatal Development Period 5

Atypical development

Chromosomal disorder is an atypical development that occurs during the meiosis process when the ovum
and sperm are merging. When a chromosomal do not typically develop as they should from the meiosis process
then an atypical development appears, therefore, producing many physical and mental symptoms. Down
syndrome is one the most known of a chromosomal disorder.

One Socio-Cultural Factor Influence

Cultural expectation varies in different parts of the world during

gestation, labor and delivery of the newborn. Expectations can have
an influence that can impact long after birth linking to child
behavioral problems. Cultural rituals and superstitions can also have
specific behaviors that can be harmful effects on the newborn
(Bravo, 2014). For example, Baganda in Uganda, the expectant
mother ignores their social status and therefore, their language is
limited and the word fetus and prenatal development is minimal
(Bravo, 2014).

Figure 2 Development of the Unborn

Prenatal Development Period 6

Figure 3 The journey from a sperm to human baby developing in the way

Family Resources

Improving lifelong health one pregnancy at a time.
Prenatal Development Period 7