The Prenatal Environment

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Prenatal environment
There are many factors believed to be responsible for the presentation of autism that occur prenatally and are directly affected by characteristics of the mother’s behavior during her pregnancy. The fetal environment for a growing embryo is incredibly important. Since the embryo acts as a protective shield to the baby and a place for nurturance and growth, any alterations to that development can be detrimental. The embryo is affected by many different actions the mother does, like gain a significant amount of weight during pregnancy. Weight gain has the ability to be a significant risk factor for the growing fetus (Bilder et al., 2013). The production of steroids in utero is vital to a healthy development and excessive weight gain disturbs this natural production and exchange between the baby and the mother (Bilder et al., 2013). Previous studies have looked at the BMI of a woman before becoming pregnant, and have found that a BMI of over 30 is considered a risk factor for ASD. Bilder et al. (2013) looked specifically at gaining weight during pregnancy and the risk factors involved related to ASD. There appears to be a significant risk for autism spectrum disorders and weight gain during pregnancy (Bilder et al., 2013). There are many reasons a woman may gain more than the recommended weight during her pregnancy, and stress can certainly play a large role in this.
Another risk factor that Gardener, Spiegelman, & Buka (2009) has shown to affect the
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