Fetal Development Case Study

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1. Describe the normal events of fetal development. How does malnutrition impair fetal development? Fetal development begins with the fertilization of an ovum; the female reproductive cell, capable of developing into a new organism upon fertilization, by a sperm; the male reproductive cell capable of fertilizing an ovum. Three stages follow fertilization: the zygote, the embryo, and the fetus (Whitney & Rolfes, 2016, p. 475). The initial product of the union of ovum and sperm; a fertilized ovum, is called the zygote. It begins as a single cell and rapidly divides to become a blastocyst or the development stage of the zygote when it is about 5 days old and ready for implantation; the embedding of the blastocyst in the inner uterine wall. Cell…show more content…
Similarly, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also advocates breastfeeding for the nutritional health of infants as well as for many other benefits it provides both infant and mother. Breast milk excels as a source of nutrients for infants that promote infant health and development throughout the first year of life. The main carbohydrate in breast milk is lactose which is easily digested and enhances calcium absorption. The carbohydrate component of breastmilk also contains abundant oligosaccharides, which are present only in trace amounts in cow milk. These oligosaccharides help protect infants from infections by preventing the binding of pathogens to the intestinal cells. The amount of protein is less than in cow’s milk but is beneficial as it places less stress on the infant’s immature kidneys to excrete urea. Much of the protein in breast milk is alpha-lactalbumin; a major protein in human breast milk, as opposed of casein, a major protein in cow’s milk, which is easily digested and absorbed (Whitney & Rolfes, 2016, p.…show more content…
Additionally, medicines used to treat drug abuse may affect nutrition status. Drugs such as marijuana seem to enhance the pleasures of eating, especially sweets. Prolonged use of marijuana may lead to weight gain. Cocaine and methamphetamines lead to dehydration and loss of electrolytes. These drugs may also lead to a decrease in appetite, weight loss, and malnutrition. Often the craving for these dugs replaces hunger (Whitney & Rolfes, 2016, p.

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