Teratogens and Their Effects on Fetus Development

2011 Words9 Pages
Every woman when pregnant has a 3-5% chance of having a baby born with a birth defect, and these chances increase when the developing fetus/ embryos are exposed to teratogens, whether it’s intentional or unintentional (Bethesda (MD), 2006). Teratogens can cause severe birth defects, malformations, or terminate the pregnancy altogether (Jancárková, & Gregor, 2000). The placenta is known as an effective barrier from any detrimental pathogen that can potentially hurt the fetus. The timing of exposure of any teratogen is critical to the impact of prenatal development (Bethesda (MD), 2006). The most vulnerable time of the fetus for severe damage is during early pregnancy when all the major organ and central nervous system (CNS) are developing.…show more content…
The use of marijuana has been linked to the development of schizophrenia later in life, although the certain dose of marijuana is not yet known. All the above are known to affect the child’s success in school one way or another. Those exposed to methamphetamine have fetal growth restriction, decreased arousal, and poor quality of movement as infants. The use of heroin (opiate) during pregnancy has been associated with low birth weight, but the impact of prescription opiate abuse on pregnancy outcomes is not yet well understood (Chambers, Polifka, & Friedman, 2008). In some extreme cases, babies who are exposed to drug use during pregnancy are labeled as “drug babies” when they are born. Drug babies are exposed to high amounts of drugs during pregnancy. Furthermore, these infants are born addicted to whatever drug their mother was abusing during pregnancy. Some of these babies need the drug to live, and some go through withdraw symptoms if they aren’t given the drug. Unfortunately, these babies reach such a high tolerance for the drug that they may die if they don’t have the drug (Chambers, Polifka, & Friedman, 2008). As a result of this these babies don’t have a normal developmental growth and may suffer from muscle spasms and or body rigidity. Not all physicians are willing to administer drugs to these babies to avoid withdrawal symptoms and

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