Teratogens Essay

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#3: Evaluate the following claim: All teratogens that mothers and their fetuses are exposed to will cause severe cognitive delays in the infant. Is this true? Use what you know about the effects of teratogens and the sequence and principles of prenatal development to support your answer. In our Childhood Development textbook, teratogens are defined as agents that can cause malformations in an embryo or a fetus. These teratogens may include any diseases the mother contracts during her pregnancy, any toxins in the environment, or anything toxic she may ingest. Because there are so many teratogens, each one has a specific consequence on the fetus or embryo. The teratogens themselves can affect the fetus in different ways ranging from functional …show more content…
An embryo or fetus has a range of sensitive periods, which is a stage in prenatal development in which the organism is more responsive to certain stimuli. During a child’s development, there are certain organ’s that develop at certain times, meaning a teratogen can affect the development of that organ at that time. For example, if the teratogen has the potential to impair the development in the neural tube, it must take place in the sensitive period of the first 4.5 weeks of pregnancy. Furthermore, this can be illustrated by examining women who contract Rubella, a teratogen, at different periods of their pregnancy. Exposure to Rubella in the first 11 weeks of pregnancy can be catastrophic in that it may cause birth defects such as vision and hearing loss in the child. However, exposure later in the pregnancy may not have as much …show more content…
Baby blues are a biological response to a woman’s rapidly changing hormone level after pregnancy. These responses may be depicted by mood swings, sadness, loss of appetite, insomnia, and irritability. Baby blues however, can be alleviated by resting and seeking help to care for her newborn. Unlike the baby blues, postpartum depression is more severe and lasts a lot longer. Postpartum depression usually begins within the first 3 months of delivery and is characterized by symptoms such as sadness, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, trouble concentrating, and lack of energy. These symptoms usually last at least 2 weeks and can impair the woman’s ability to function. Although “baby blues” and postpartum depression are similar to an extent, they are very different in that postpartum depression is more severe and can leave a woman in a more devastating

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