Prenatal Development

When we talk about prenatal development, you’ll notice that we talk about typical and atypical development We have to first understand what typical development is so that we can more easily spot development that has not progressed as expected

Some parents know their children isn’t developing as expected before birth As you read this chapter, you may come to realize that many of the conditions mentioned would be noticed prior to birth When we lived in Portland, I had the opportunity to care for an infant that had Trisomy 18 (see http://wwwtrisomy18org) which is a chromosomal defect, as is Down's Syndrome, but in Trisomy 18, many of the babies don't even make it to term, and of those that do, still birth is common

Maria was notified during her pregnancy that Paige had Trisomy 18, and although it was early enough to terminate, Maria never considered aborting the pregnancy She was hoping for at least 10 minutes with her daughter before she passed away The doctors expected Paige to be still born, but she survived the birth and lived for 10 months, which her mother considered to be a blessing During that time, I had the privilege to be a night time caregiver for Paige so her mommy and daddy could get some sleep Paige was sometimes in a great deal of pain, and even though it has been many years, it seems like yesterday that I would walk the floor with her in that little house, trying to help keep her comfortable

At 10 months, Paige was still so small and fragile Although it was such a challenging time for their family, if you were to ask Maria about it now, she would tell you – I'm so glad Paige blessed our lives If you are interested in watching a short video clip Paige's mom created after she passed away, you can send me a private message It is religious in nature and it wouldn't be appropriate to post it here (It doesn't add anything to the content of this class

) Some conditions that present themselves in the womb such as Trisomy 18, are unpreventable, but others certainly are The need for prenatal care is a critical factor in helping educate mothers about the risk facts and positive steps they can take to ensure their child’s healthy development The decision to seek prenatal care is very important Have a great week – and don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance!

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