Teratogens during pregnancy There are many are many reasons why expectant mothers should be careful about what they are exposed to on a daily basis. In the following discussion I will list various types of Teratogens and how they affect the expecting mother as well as the child. All of the information was obtained was found online Teratogens during pregnancy In recent years a great deal of attention has been devoted to research on teratogens and how they affect unborn children. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy is a prime example of this.
There is never an acceptable amount or a safe time to drink during pregnancy. The first trimester is the most important time because vital organs form during this time. The heart is forming and dividing into four chambers, the vital organs such as the digestive tract and the esophagus, stomach, and liver. Even the respiratory tract is forming by week four. The effects of prenatal consumption of alcohol are birth defects such as mental retardation as well as fetal alcohol syndrome or FAS. FAS have side effects such as difficulty with learning, attention span and memory.
Children born with FAS usually have abnormal facial features such as wide spaced eyes and thin upper lips. These are just a few examples in a long line of effects. Tobacco is also a concern for expectant mothers. Some of the conditions caused by smoking before and after pregnancy are placenta previa; where the placenta does not grow normally. Low birth weight is also a common problem for smoking mothers. The blood flow is restricted form the placenta to the child so in essence the child is not able to receive as much nutrition and in turn makes the baby’s weight low.
Not to mention that cigarettes have nicotine in them and are highly addictive. Second hand smoke is also a problem and has caused SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome and respiratory problems to name a few. Not many people know about this Teratogen so I thought it was important to mention it. Toxoplasmosis is a parasite that is passed in cat litter; cats get the parasite from eating infected birds or rodents. The disease has terrible side effects on the child including but not limited to blindness, mental ability, eye damage or brain damage.
The side effects of toxoplasmosis are usually don’t show up until after the baby gets older. There are many ways to get information on teratogens during pregnancy. Asking you doctor, searching the internet, taking the time to go to the library. The information is out there; it’s all about going out and getting it. There are also clinics that offer information on well baby care. Insuring our children’s wellbeing from conception is not only the mother’s responsibility but everyone as a community. References www. cdc. gov healthline. com neighborhoodlink. com