Maternal age, Immune system activation, & Nutrition and their effect on fetal Development

Elmatri, Haitham Hussain (2018-04-13)

Fetal growth is exponential and during the last 20 weeks of gestation the fetus gains 95% of its weight. Genetic, nutritional, environmental, and fetal factors have been suggested to influence fetal growth. Those factors can be affected due to smoking, maternal age and nutritional status of the mother. The foundation of the baby’s intelligence is being built during the intrauterine life. This stage is very critical because this is where the raw materials of their intelligence and personality are being formed. Fetal brain development has long lasting effect on the baby’s personality, future and quality of life


The fetal brain is highly plastic and is not only receptive to but requires cues from its intra-uterine environment to develop properly which is affected significantly by the nutritional status of the mother which causes changes in that environment. Furthermore, mothers who smoke or are exposed to tobacco smoke passively gave birth to underweight babies and also increased the risk of them developing mental retardation. The available empirical evidence appears to support the notion that exposure to excess stress in intrauterine life has the potential to adversely affect short- and long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes due the activation of the mother immune system and the effect of the released immune mediators on the fetus

Attribution 3.0 United States
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