Prenatal Environmental Factors
The overviews discussed the possible problems that can occur after conception. Many different toxins, illnesses, and experiences can harm a developing fetus. Teratogens are anything—drugs, alcohol, viruses, pollutants, malnutrition, stress, and more—that can increase the risk of prenatal abnormalities, and many teratogens are avoidable. Unfortunately, some teratogens adversely impact the development of the brain and may result in attention deficits, hyperactivity, learning disabilities, and other symptoms that are manifested during early developmental stages.
In this module, you learned about the speed with which the brain develops from conception until the first two years and you became familiar with environmental and behavioral factors that can adversely impact a developing fetus. Next, you will review a brief case study and discuss the impact of behavioral and environmental influences on healthy development. Additionally, you will address how your personal views may or may not impact your work with this client.
You are working in a group home setting with 17-year-old Nora, from a lower socioeconomic status (SES), who is pregnant for the first time. She mentions to you that a few cigarettes here and there and an occasional glass of wine won’t harm the baby. She shares that her mother smoked and drank while pregnant with her, and she said, “Look, I turned out fine.” Utilizing the text and course lectures, provide Nora with some research-based reasons for not smoking or drinking during pregnancy.
In a minimum of 200 words,
- As a mental health clinician working in a group home, how might you respond to Nora’s comments? What resources might you offer that may help educate her about prenatal development?
- Discuss some prenatal environmental factors (teratogens) that can compromise later academic performance and social adjustment.
- From your personal perspective, how great is the need for prenatal education in your community? Search online for prenatal education programs available in your community.
Support your responses and analysis by using at least two resources from professional literature. Professional literature may include the Argosy University online library resources; relevant textbooks; peer-reviewed journal articles; and websites created by professional organizations, agencies, or institutions (websites ending in .edu or .gov)
Assignments should reflect graduate level writing skills and appropriate use of APA style, including in-text citations and references.