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Maternal/Child: Teratogenic Medication/Drug - Research Paper Example

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Maternal/ Child: Teratogenic Medication/Drug Name Institution Date Abstract This paper discusses alcohol as a teratogen and how it affects pregnant women and fetuses or embryos in their wombs. Alcohol ingested during pregnancy leads to the birth of handicapped children…
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Maternal/Child: Teratogenic Medication/Drug
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Download file to see previous pages A woman who takes alcohol during pregnancy and it is proved that the tendency affected her child could be charged in a court of law. Defects involved with consumption of alcohol during pregnancy include facial abnormalities, growth deficiencies and psychomotor disorders. No woman who is expecting should ingest alcohol during her pregnancy owing to proven side effects. Maternal/ Child: Teratogenic Medication/Drug Teratogenic medication or drugs cause disturbance to the development of the embryo or fetus in the mother’s womb. They arrest the pregnancy or lead to a birth defects or congenital malformation. Groups of teratogens include maternal infections, chemicals, drugs and radiation. Alcohol is classified under addictive drug type of teratogens. There is no safe period during pregnancy when a woman can take alcohol or safe amount of it. Pregnant mothers who consume alcohol give birth to children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome characterized by the child having unusually low weight at birth, small head circumference, flat mid face, small eyes that are widely spaced, thin upper lip and short upturned nose (Jones and Bass, 2003). When a pregnant woman ingests alcohol, so does their unborn child; the alcohol easily moves through the placenta to the baby. This paper seeks to discuss alcohol as a teratogen, its effect on fetal development, its class and what nursing actions are relevant to the pregnant mother and fetus. Almost three decades ago Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) was rediscovered by Jones and Smith, and from that time, a lot of cases have come to light. Smith, Jones and other colleagues came to an understanding that many children exposed to alcohol during the prenatal period exhibited a pattern or set of abnormalities being psychomotor disorders, growth deficiencies and facial abnormalities. Study of the FAS exposes certain categories. First is the prenatal and postnatal growth retardation with characteristics such as length, weight and head circumference which is below normal size for gestational age. Second is the central nervous system involvement with “… indications of neurological abnormality, developmental delay or intellectual impairment” (Jones and Bass, 2003). Lastly are facial abnormalities with at least “… the following signs: head circumference below the third percentile; narrow eye slits; flat and long upper lip; underdeveloped mid face and flattened nose bridge” (Armstrong, 2003). Fetal alcohol syndrome was a rediscovery not a discovery by Jones and Smith because even from long ago people knew of the relationship between intake of alcohol and the defects it causes during pregnancy (Jones and Bass, 2003). There is no safe dose of alcohol that one can take during pregnancy and neither is there a safe period during pregnancy that one can take it. FAS claims the seat of the leading known cause of mental retardation and defects in infants around the world as stated by Jones and Bass (2003). Alcohol is a socially accepted legal drug and many pregnant women continue to take it especially deep into pregnancy. However, some expecting mothers ingest alcohol before they are aware of their pregnancy. Golden (2005) submits that women who ingest alcohol during pregnancy are prime candidates of abortion. Elective abortion is accepted as a solution for FAS, as opposed to a family encountering consequent pains of a child birthed with defects due to alcohol ingested during pregnancy. The elective abortion would ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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