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Factors and Hazards of Infant Development Essay

Author’s note: This essay is a summary of my beliefs of the three most hazards factors in the early stages of Infant Development. This essay is for Mrs. Hacker’s EC100/EEC1700 Section 07 Foundations of Child Development Course.

Factors and Hazards of Infant Development

There is nothing more precious in life, than hearing your baby heartbeat or feeling it kick for the first time. Mothers and fathers to be should be aware of various hazards that can play a major factor in the development of their infant. The three factors that I feel are the most hazardous are alcohol, smoking, and drugs of any kind. In this essay, I will try to explain to you why these factors are very important to be avoided before and during pregnancy.

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can have serious consequences for mother and the developing fetus (O’ Leary et al., 2010). If a mother is consuming alcohol during pregnancy she can have a miscarriage, stillbirth, low-birth weight, or a premature infant (ACP CS-EBK for Developmental Profiles, pg. 58). A developing fetus consumes whatever the mother puts into her mouth and body. Alcohol is a teratogen that has irreversible effects on infant development.

There are several birth defects that a mother who drinks should be aware of; they are fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASDs) fetal alcohol syndrome, hyperactivity, heart defects, facial deformities, and speech impairment (Ismail et al., 2010). A mother who drinks mild alcohol during pregnancy could cause their infant to suffer from fetal alcohol effect. Infants with this effect suffer from learning and behavior disorders. It is very important that a mother to be does not consume alcohol. If you care about your baby well-being do not drink during pregnancy.

Smoking is a bad habit that’s hard to kick once started. Smoking is dangerous for pregnant women, kids, men, and women. Smoking can damage the lungs of the smoker, and also cause lung cancer to those who smoke for long periods of time. Many pregnant women continue to smoke despite the warning on the U.S. Surgeon General label. Maternal smoking has been linked to many fetal malformations and birth complications (Ashford et al., 2010). Cigarette smoke contains harmful substances, which can harm a person body. These harmful substances are nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide. All the substances can harm an undeveloped fetus if consumed throughout pregnancy. Mothers who smoke during birth are at risk for having infants who suffer from asthma, allergies, and it can cause SIDS.

Prescription and nonprescription medications, pesticides, fertilizer, and street drugs are very dangerous during pregnancy (Mattison, 2010). These drugs and chemicals can have many adverse effects on developing fetuses. It can cause SIDS, miscarriages, stillbirth, and numerous birth deformities to the undeveloped fetus. Drugs of any kind should be avoided during pregnancy, to ensure a better chance of having a healthy fetus.

There are many reasons a mother to be should be cautious about the environment and the things she consumes during pregnancy. The best care a mother to be can give to her undeveloped fetus is to eat right, get adequate rest, and regular check-ups, which can better ensure the birth of a beautiful, healthy baby.

References
Ashford, K., Hahn, E., Hall, L., Rayens, M., Noland, M., & Ferguson, J. (2010).The Effects of prenatal secondhand smoke exposure on preterm birth and neonatal outcomes, Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 39(5), 525–535.

Mattison, D. (2010). Environmental exposures and development, Current Opinion in Pediatrics, 22(2), 208–218.
O’Leary, C., Nassar, N., Kurinczuk, J., de Klerk, N., Geelhoed, E., Elliott, E., & Bower, C (2010). Prenatal alcohol exposure and risk of birth defects, Pediatrics, 1 26(4), E843– E850.


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