Fetal and Postnatal Growth Essay

Fetal and Postnatal Growth Essay

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Fetal and Postnatal Growth Introduction From conception through fetal development, childhood, and adolescence, there are many factors that affect the growth of a child. Throughout his life, child undergoes a remarkable transformation before reaching adulthood; this transformation involves not only physical growth and maturation but also a dazzling array of complex developmental events impacting on each organ system and on the child as a whole. Developmental phenomena can be important determinants of the young patient’s response to disease and to its management. Furthermore, normal features of “growing up” are, at times, erroneously interpreted as manifestations of disease, triggering unnecessary concerns. In turn, disease states may alter the pace and nature of maturation and growth during childhood. Fetal Growth Factors Fetal growth and development are controlled by genetic and environmental factors. There is overwhelming evidence that the intrauterine environment determines to a great extent the diversity in offspring after a normal pregnancy. This has led to the theory that the fetal organs are ‘programmed’ during pregnancy and that disturbances at a critical or sensitive period during development could lead to disorders after birth, and even to diseases declaring itself not sooner than at the adult age (Adzick, 1984). Especially organs such as the brain and the kidneys, where neurogenesis and nephrogenesis respectively take only place during fetal life, are thought to be vulnerable to disturbances in their development. Since after birth no new neurons and glomeruli develop, any disturbing influence on the brain and kidneys during development could have lifelong consequences. Important factors that negatively influence fetal d...


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...lative Contributions Of Lung Fluid And Fetal Breathing Movements. J Pediatr Surg 19(6): 658-665, 1984. Brace, R.A. Physiology Of Amniotic Fluid Volume Regulation. Clin Obstet Gynecol 40: 280-289, 1997. Hedriana, H.L., W.M. Gilbert, And R.A. Brace. Arginine Vasopressininduced Changes In Blood Flow To The Ovine Chorion, Amnion, And Placenta Across Gestation. J Soc Gynecol Invest 4:203-208, 1997. Andrews, J., Mcgarry, J.M. A Community Study Of Smoking In Pregnancy. Journal Of Obstetrics And Gynaecology Of The British Commonwealth 79(12): 1057-1073, December 1972. Denson, R, Nanson, J.L., Mcwatters, Ma. Hyperkinesis And Maternal Smoking. Canadian Psychiatric Association Journal 20(3): 183-187, April 1975. Kline, J., Stein, Z.A., Susser, M., Warburton, D. Smoking: A Risk Factor For Spontaneous Abortion. New England Journal of Medicine 297(15): 793-796, October 13, 1977.

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