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How Does a Poor Diet Affect Fetal Development?

What are early intervention services? Why is early intervention important? What can I do if I am concerned that my child may have a developmental delay? Child development refers to the process in which children go through changes in skill development during predictable time periods, called developmental milestones.

Developmental delay occurs when children have not reached these milestones by the expected time period. For example, if the normal range for learning to walk is between 9 and 15 months, and a month-old child has still not begun walking, this would be considered a developmental delay. Developmental delays can occur in all five areas of development or may just happen in one or more of those areas to read about the five areas of development, click here.

Additionally, growth in each area of development is related to growth in the other areas. So if there is a difficulty in one area e. Risk factors for developmental problems fall into two categories: Genetic Environmental Children are placed at genetic risk by being born with a genetic or chromosomal abnormality. A good example of a genetic risk is Down syndrome, a disorder that causes developmental delay because of an abnormal chromosome. Environmental risk results from exposure to harmful agents either before or after birth, and can include things like poor maternal nutrition or exposure to toxins e.

Environmental risk also includes a child's life experiences. For example, children who are born prematurely, face severe poverty, mother's depression, poor nutrition, or lack of care are at increased risk for developmental delays.

Risk factors have a cumulative impact upon development. As the number of risk factors increases, a child is put at greater risk for developmental delay.

What are the warning signs of a developmental delay? There are several general "warning signs" of possible delay. If a child is not learning a skill that other children are learning at the same age, that may be a "warning sign" that the child may be at risk for developmental delay.

If you want to read about typical developmental milestones children learn at different ages, click here. If a child has not learned these skills during a specific time frame, it does not mean your child is delayed. We would recommend, though, that you let your child's doctor know about your concerns.

Developmental delay is identified through two types of play-based assessments: Developmental Screening Developmental Evaluation A developmental screening test is a quick and general measurement of skills.

Its purpose is to identify children who are in need of further evaluation. A screening test can be in one of two formats, either a questionnaire that is handed to a parent or childcare provider that asks about developmental milestones or a test that is given to your child by a health or educational professional. A screening test is only meant to identify children who might have a problem. The screening test may either over-identify or under-identify children with delay.

As a result, a diagnosis cannot be made simply by using a screening test. If the results of a screening test suggest a child may have a developmental delay, the child should be referred for a developmental evaluation. A developmental evaluation is a long, in-depth assessment of a child's skills and should be administered by a highly trained professional, such as a psychologist.

Evaluation tests are used to create a profile of a child's strengths and weaknesses in all developmental areas. Learn how you can receive a developmental evaluation if you live in San Diego County by clicking here. Early intervention services include a variety of different resources and programs that provide support to families to enhance a child's development. These services are specifically tailored to meet a child's individual needs. In San Diego County, children under the age of 3 years can access these services through the California Early Start program.

Children over 3 years of age can access these services through their local San Diego School District. In addition, there are other agencies and organizations that serve children in San Diego County see Resources section of this website. If a child is found on a developmental evaluation to have some developmental delays, it is important that intervention occurs early on in childhood for a number of reasons.

Generally, children need to learn these developmental skills in a consecutive fashion. For example, a child needs to learn to sit up on her own before she will be able to stand up. Also, early intervention helps a child advance in all areas of development. Sometimes if a child has a delay in one area i.

Therefore, it is vital that a child receive early intervention as soon as possible. Finally, early intervention is critical for the child to develop good self-esteem. Without early intervention, a child's self-image may suffer and they may become avoidant of school. For example, a child who has a language delay may feel embarrassed to speak in front of their peers and teacher at school.

Early intervention can help prevent these embarrassing moments for a child before they begin school. If you are concerned that your child may have a developmental delay, it is important to talk with your child's doctor. Your child's doctor can talk with you, examine your child, and refer you to agencies that help to screen or evaluate children for developmental delay.

The resulting combination is called a zygote , a new and genetically unique organism. The term "conception" refers variably to either fertilization or to formation of the conceptus after its implantation in the uterus, and this terminology is controversial.

Prior to fertilization, each ovum, as a gamete , contains half of the genetic material that will fuse with the male gamete, which carries the other half of the genetic material DNA.

The ovum only carries the X female sex chromosome whilst the sperm carries a single sex chromosome of either an X or a male Y chromosome. The resulting human zygote is similar to the majority of somatic cells because it contains two copies of the genome in a diploid set of chromosomes. One set of chromosomes came from the nucleus of the ovum and the second set from the nucleus of the sperm. The zygote is male if the egg is fertilized by a sperm that carries a Y chromosome, and it is female if the egg is fertilized by a sperm that carries an X chromosome.

In contrast, the mitochondrial genetic information of the zygote comes entirely from the mother via the ovum. The embryonic period in humans begins at fertilization penetration of the egg by the sperm and continues until the end of the 10th week of gestation 8th week by embryonic age.

The period of two weeks from fertilization is also referred to as the germinal stage. The embryo spends the next few days traveling down the Fallopian tube. It starts out as a single cell zygote and then divides several times to form a ball of cells called a morula. Further cellular division is accompanied by the formation of a small cavity between the cells. This stage is called a blastocyst. Up to this point there is no growth in the overall size of the embryo, as it is confined within a glycoprotein shell, known as the zona pellucida.

Instead, each division produces successively smaller cells. The blastocyst reaches the uterus at roughly the fifth day after fertilization. It is here that lysis of the zona pellucida occurs. This process is analogous to zona hatching , a term that refers to the emergence of the blastocyst from the zona pellucida, when incubated in vitro.

This allows the trophectoderm cells of the blastocyst to come into contact with, and adhere to, the endometrial cells of the uterus. The trophectoderm will eventually give rise to extra-embryonic structures, such as the placenta and the membranes.

The embryo becomes embedded in the endometrium in a process called implantation. In most successful pregnancies, the embryo implants 8 to 10 days after ovulation. Rapid growth occurs and the embryo's main features begin to take form. This process is called differentiation , which produces the varied cell types such as blood cells, kidney cells, and nerve cells.

A spontaneous abortion, or miscarriage , in the first trimester of pregnancy is usually [7] due to major genetic mistakes or abnormalities in the developing embryo. During this critical period most of the first trimester , the developing embryo is also susceptible to toxic exposures, such as:. From the 10th week of gestation 8th week of development , the developing organism is called a fetus.

Since the precursors of all the major organs are created by this time, the fetal period is described both by organ and by a list of changes by weeks of gestational age. Because the precursors of the organs are now formed, the fetus is not as sensitive to damage from environmental exposure as the embryo was.

Instead, toxic exposure often causes physiological abnormalities or minor congenital malformation. Development continues throughout the life of the embryo and fetus and through into life after birth.

Significant changes occur to many systems in the period after birth as they adapt to life outside the uterus. Fetal hematopoiesis first takes place in the yolk sac. The function is transferred to liver by 10th week of gestation and to spleen and bone marrow beyond that.

Fetus produces megaloblastic red blood cells early in development, which become normoblastic near term. Life span of fetal RBCs is 80 days.

Rh antigen appears at about 40 days of gestation. Fetus starts producing leukocytes at 2 months gestation mainly from thymus and spleen. Lymphocytes derived from thymus are called T lymphocytes , whereas the ones derived from bone marrow are called B lymphocytes. Both these populations of lymphocytes have short-lived and long-lived groups. Short-lived T lymphocytes usually reside in thymus, bone marrow and spleen; whereas long-lived T lymphocytes reside in blood stream.

Plasma cells are derived from B lymphocytes and their life in fetal blood is 0. Thyroid gland is the first to develop in fetus at 4th week of gestation. Insulin secretion in fetus starts around 12th week of gestation. The fetus passes through 3 phases of acquisition of nutrition from mother: Growth rate of fetus is linear up to 37 weeks of gestation, after which it plateaus. A baby born within the normal range of weight for that gestational age is known as appropriate for gestational age AGA.

An abnormally slow growth rate results in the infant being small for gestational age , and, on the other hand, an abnormally large growth rate results in the infant being large for gestational age.

The supplementation of fluoride in the diet of a healthy breastfed infant is no longer recommended by the AAP. Evidence supports the contention that there is adequate fluoride in human milk, and fluorosis from excessive amounts is a concern. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that fluoride supplements only be given after 6 months, and only to children whose primary water source is deficient in fluoride.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry is slightly more conservative, suggesting that the caries risk to the individual child also be considered: Many city water systems add fluoride to the water. Fluoride occurs naturally in most water, so you really need to know how much fluoride is in your water before you decide whether to supplement. After you know how much fluoride is already in your drinking water and determine whether your child is at high risk for developing cavities, you can decide whether fluoride supplementation might be beneficial.

Fluoride Supplements from AskDrSears. Evidence-based clinical recommendations on the prescription of dietary fluoride supplements for caries prevention: J Am Dent Assoc. Journal search on Fluoride and Human Milk. Folic acid deficiency has not been reported in breastfed, full-term infants, and supplements are not recommended. Vitamin K is needed for proper blood clotting, and a deficiency of this vitamin causes a syndrome called Vitamin K deficiency bleeding VKDB.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:. A delay of administration until after the first feeding at the breast but not later than 6 hours of age is recommended.

A single oral dose of vitamin K should not be used, because the oral dose is variably absorbed and does not provide adequate concentrations or stores for the breastfed infant. Niacin deficiency in breastfed infants in developed countries is extremely rare, and no supplementation is recommended. Healthy full-term breastfed babies do not need additional zinc past what they get from breastmilk and after months from complementary foods. Good sources of zinc include meat especially red meat and yogurt.

Signs of a mild zinc deficiency include: Low birth weight, small for gestational age and premature infants are at risk for zinc deficiency. Nutrient Information from the the American Society for Nutritional Sciences includes current information on food sources, diet recommendations, deficiencies, toxicity, clinical uses, recent research and references for further information for many micro- and macronutrients. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Nutrition. Fluoride supplementation for children: Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk.

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