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Prenatal Teratogens

             When most people think about the development of a child, they probably begin with the birth. Many don't realize the enormous amount of development that takes place before the child is brought into the world. The prenatal period is actually when the most rapid change occurs. The union of a tiny egg and sperm develops into many cells, which develop into functioning organs and a complex brain. With so much going on during this period, expecting mothers must become very aware of their environments, as there are many things around them that can harm this vital period.
             I believe it is the responsibility of the mother to protect her unborn child from outside harm. I can't even begin to comprehend how there are children born today already addicted to awful drugs, that most people wouldn't even imagine trying. It's so unfair for a child to begin their life with such a huge weight on their shoulders. Some other harmful substances that I still see many expecting mothers engaging in are smoking, drinking and caffeine. While these aren't quite as extreme as crack or heroine, they can still have an enormous impact on the child's development, that is if they even get the chance to develop. They can result in low birth weight, SIDS, asthma, FAS, and mental retardation. The facts and warnings are all over the place, yet many women still put their child's development at risk with the use of these substances. Other than physically putting something into your body, there are environmental factors that can influence development. Stress is one for example, which can cause premature birth and loss of oxygen to the infant. Women must also pay very close attention to their diets. Having a poor diet could result in the low birth weight of a child, or kidney or pancreatic failure, and also the possibility of diabetes in the future. .
             I could go on for so long naming these things that women should be aware of, like X-rays, fatigue, maternal age, hot tubs and lead, however it doesn't change the fact that there are so many women that are ignorant to these facts, or just plain careless or selfish.

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