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Fetal States While The Baby Is Still In The Womb, How Things Are Different From Inside And Out. "Mystery Of A Hidden Life"

560 words - 3 pages

The article entitled,"The mystery of fetal life: Secrets from the womb" (Pekkanen, 2001) starts out with a brief discussion about an embryo's development (e.g. rapid cell division, cell differentiation, development of organs) capabilities (e.g. movement of arms/legs, swallowing, awareness, sending hormonal signals) and threats (e.g. mother's emotions, health and behaviors, environmental factors) while in the mother's uterus. The importance of positive prenatal development to not only fetal life, but also to post-labor life is strongly stressed in this article.Commonly, expectant mothers are advised complete abstinence from alcohol. The author notes that this advice is due to health-care professional's fear that without such advice, expectant mothers will drink ...view middle of the document...

A particularly interesting factor that has been linked to have a negative affect on fetal development consists of over 50 identifiable man-made chemicals called endocrine disruptors (there are hundreds more that are suspected out of the over 90,000 produced synthetic chemicals). When these synthetic chemicals get into cells at a particular time/strength, hormone levels are changed and consequently an aspect of the fetus' development is stunted. An example of such chemical is polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which has been found to cause neurological defects, even from very little exposure.Very interesting research has been conducted to evidence fetal memory and what it means. A research study found that 2 day old babies preferred to hear a "familiar" voice (mother's) and story, which was previously periodically told by his or her mother while still in the womb. This study demonstrated that fetal learning and memory do occur pre-labor. However, expectant mother's need to be advised that a fetus can be over-stimulated and actually harm their baby. There currently is no evidence that such programs geared towards prenatal IQ development (e.g. playing Mozart) will make the child smarter, more attentive or anything else that these programs imply. The best bet is for the mother to assure that the womb is a quiet, healthy environment for the prenatal development of their child. This article does a good job addressing a wide variety of factors that do or are expected to negatively affect prenatal development. Some of the factors are one's that are generally not discussed (e.g. over-stimulation, toxoplasmosis from litter boxes, etc.).References:Pekkanen, J. (2001). The mystery of fetal life: Secrets of the womb. Current, pp. 20-29. Retrieved June 15, 2005, from The McGraw-Hill Companies' World Wide Web.

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