Fetal development Essay example

Submitted By tiffanyjoyb
Words: 526
Pages: 3

There are many environmental and genetic factors that have an impact on fetal development. One factor that many pregnant women fail to recognize as potentially dangerous is the use of over-the-counter drugs and other alternative medications such as herbal supplements. Over-the-counter medications are very commonly used all over the world for all kinds of health conditions. It is not unusual for a pregnant woman to use over-the-counter medications and assume that these drugs have been sufficiently tested for efficacy before they are put on the shelf at the drug store (Warriner, 2007). However, knowledge is still very limited about the harmful effects on fetal development that might be caused by over-the-counter drugs (Warriner, 2007). Warriner reports that, “80% of pregnant women in the USA take over-the-counter or prescription drugs” (p. 770). Additionally, it is believed that, “at least 10% of birth defects in the USA are thought to be a result of maternal drug exposures” (Warriner, 2007, p. 770). Warriner argues that even some alternative forms of medication, such as homeopathic and herbal remedies which are thought to be safe and natural, have not yet been proven to cause more good than harm. As the field of alternative medication continues to grow, so does the number of consumers. There seems to be a common belief that herbal supplements are natural, and therefore healthy. However, in choosing to use alternative medications, Warriner states that a pregnant woman could unknowingly be putting her unborn baby at risk of exposure to a substance that has not been thoroughly tested like other more conventional drugs. The long term effects of many alternative medications have not been sufficiently studied and should be used with caution.

Genetics are the hereditary information responsible for determining traits such as hair color, eye color, and even freckles (Santrock, 2009). Genetics can also cause negative pregnancy outcomes. Many pregnancy risks can be prevented through proper education and prenatal care. However, there are some cases in which a child is born with a genetic disorder, despite proper prenatal care. According to Hutchison (2008), there are four different types of genetic disorders: 1) inheritance of a single abnormal gene which