Prenatal Development, Birth, and the Newborn Baby:   Conception to birth

The one-celled organism transform into a human baby with remarkable capacities to adjust to life outside the womb.

The sperm and ovum that unite to form the new individual are uniquely suited for the task of reproduction

Periods of Prenatal Development: Zygote(1-2 weeks), Embryo(3-8 weeks),Fetus(9-12 weeks),Second(13-

24 weeks),Third(25-38 weeks).

Prenatal Environmental Influences: Teratogens refers to any envirnmental agent that causes damage

during the prenatal period. It depends on the following factors: Dose, heredity, age,other negative

influences :Prescripcion and nonprescriptions drugs, ilegal drugs, tobacco, alcohol,radiation, enviromental pollution, infectious disease, nutrition, emotional stress,RH factor incompatibility, maternal age.

Three stages of childbirth


Dilatation and effacement of the cervix: it last 12 to 14 hours with a first birth and 4 to 6 hour with later births. Contractions of the uterus become more frequent and powerful causing the uterine opening for the baby passage.

Delivery of the baby:  This is much shorter, about 50 minutes for a fist birth and 20 minutes in later birth, strong contractions of the uterus. The mother pushes with the abdominal muscles; with each contraction she forces the baby down and out.

Delivery of the placenta: Labor comes to an end with a few final contractions and pushes this causes the placenta to speared from the wall of the uterus and be delivered in about 5 to 10 minutes.


Baby’s adaptation to labor and delivery.

Baby’s delivery seems dangerous because of the strong contraction. But the strong contractions make the stress hormones acts over the baby to prepare them sending blood to head and heart until the baby is able to breathe once the baby is delivered. The stress a hormone prepares the baby’s to breathe by causing the longs to absorb any remaining fluid.


Natural childbirth and home delivery

There are techniques to diminish pain and medical interventions. There are 3 activities suggested:

·         Classes: Where the mother learn about anatomy and physiology of labor and delivery.

·         Relaxation and breathing techniques: Practicing breathing exercise to control uterus contraction pain.

·         Labor coach: the partner learns to help during childbirth remaining her to relax and breathe               motivating her.

These techniques have a lot of benefits for the child and parents health supporting the baby to be healthy; therefore, parents would diminish concerns. Some concerns could be the parents stress leading to sickness, or babies not cared appropriately that can also lead them to acquire some disease or traumas. We should have in mind that childbirth always has to be managed by a professional to prevent any   risk circumstance.


List common medical interventions during childbirth, circumstances that justify their use and any dangers associated with each.

 Common Medical Interventions.

·         Inadequate oxygen supply. It may cause brain damage.

 ·         When the baby comes with the umbilical cord is wrapped around his or her neck. It may cause also a brain damage.


Risks associated with preterm versus and small-for-date births, along with factors that help infants who survive a traumatic.


Pretend infants are those born several weeks before the due date.

Risks: Although they are small they weight may still be appropriate, days on time spent in the uterus.

Small-for-date: babies are below their expected weight considering lengths of the pregnancy. Some small-for-day infants are actually full-term.

Risks: Others are pretend infants who are especially underweight.

Both types usually have more serious problems.

Factors that help infants who survive a traumatic birth recover

1.       Special infant stimulation: intensively care nurseries preterm babies rock in suspended hammocks or are exposed to attractive mobile or a tape recording of a heartbeat soft music or the mother´s voice. Touch is very important also.


2.       Training parents in infant’s care giving skills: teach them about the infants’ characteristics and promote care giving skills.


3.       Very low birth weight, environmental advantages and long –term outcomes: these children relied on factors outside the family and within themselves to overcome stress.



Newborn baby’s reflexes and states of arousal.: sleep  and crying baby.


A reflex is and inborn, automatic response to a particular form of stimulation. Some reflexes have survival value.

A few reflexes form the basics for complex motor skills that will develop later.

Reflexes help parents and infants stabilizations gratifying interaction.

Most newborn reflects disappear during the first six month, due to gradual increase in voluntary control over behavior at the cerebral cortex develops.

State of arousal:  Are the degrees of sleep and wakefulness.

Sleep: During irregular, or rapid-eye-movement (REM), sleep, brain-wave. Activity is remarkable similar to that of the waking stage. In contrast, during regular, or non-rapid-eye-movement (NREM), sleep, the body is almost motionless, and heart rate, breathing, and brain-wave activity are slow and even.

Observation of sleep of baby can help identify central nervous system abnormalities.

Crying:  is the first way that babies communicate, letting parents know they need food, comfort or stimulation.  Young infants usually cry because of physical needs. But  babies may also cry in respond to temperature changes when undressed, a sudden noise or a painful stimulus. 

There are two kinds of crying soothing cry infants and abnormal crying.

·         Soothing cry infants: is when fiddling and the diaper changing do not work.

·         Abnormal crying:   The infant cry offers a clue to central nervous system distress. Some examples are colic.


Describe the newborn baby’s sensory capacities.

Touch:  The sensitive to touch is well developing at birth and infants are highly sensitive to pain.

Taste: Newborns can distinguish several basic tastes.

Smell: Certain odor preferences are present at birth.

Hearing: Newborn infants can hear a wide variety of sounds and their sensitivity improves greatly.

Vision: Vision is the least-developed of the newborn baby´s sense.  Visual structures in both the eye and the brain are not yet fully formed.                                                                  (Berk,86-87)

Typical changes in the family after the birth of a new baby.

Mothers begin to produce oxytocin, which stimulates uterine contractions; causes breasts to ” let down! Milk.

The first weeks are full of profound challenges. The mother needs to recuperate from childbirth and the father needs to support the mother in her recovery.

Other young siblings may feel jealous.

Stress of income.


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