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Prenatal, Birth And Perinatal Development

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Within this essay I will highlight the risks during prenatal, birth and perinatal development and discuss the longterm effects on a child and what medical advances have been developed to prevent or lessen them. There are three main stages to prenatal development; the germinal stage, embryonic stage and fetal stage. This process is largely determined by genetics and is usually fairly similar for the majority of human beings. Perinatal development is the period just before and just after birth. One key risk that may affect the child would be a low birth weight or a premature birth. This can be caused by numerous things; one being an advanced maternal age. (Aldous and Edminson, 1993). There are multiple implications if a child has a low birth weight, it may affect their cognitive development when they are older (Marlow et al 1993). “Problems within the hyperactivity spectrum, such as difficulty concentrating, have been found most consistently in follow up studies of VLBW children” (Breslau,1995) This statement demonstrates the behavioural issues that a child may face in later life if they are born with a very low birth weight. If a child has a low birth weight they are also likely to endure physical injuries when going through the birthing process as they are much smaller than an average baby and therefore less robust. There is also a high risk of the child having respiratory problems. One reason for this may be that the baby has not yet learnt that it has to breathe as the
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