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Prenatal Development

Ovum Or Germinal Stage, Embryo Stage, Fetal Stage, Prenatal Environmental Influences, Stress, ExerciseConclusion

The end result of a successful pregnancy is that miracle called a child, which begins as a simple zygote and becomes a fertilized ovum during the first of three stages, or trimesters, of prenatal development. During the nine months, or approximately 266 days, of prenatal development, the zygote divides into billions of cells, which eventually become differentiated from one another while new systems and parts become integrated.

Never before has the importance of prenatal care for the developing child been so apparent. With increases in research and knowledge of what factors can affect the zygote, embryo, and fetus, the likelihood that such factors can have a negative impact on the well-being of the child and the mother is greatly decreased.


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"Prenatal Development and Birth." In the George Mason University [web site]. Fairfax, Virginia, 2001. Available from http://classweb.gmu.edu/awinsler/ordp/prenatal.html; INTERNET.

Priest, Judy, and Kathy Attawell. Drugs in Conception, Pregnancy, and Childbirth. London: Thorsons Publications, 1998.

Neil J. Salkind

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Social Issues ReferenceChild Development Reference - Vol 6