Prenatal and Newborn Development

Educating Yourself Before and After Birth

Key Milestones in Prenatal and Newborn Development:

Prenatal Milestones:

First Trimester


  • (Week 1-2) - developing organisms begin to form


  • (Week 3-4) - brain, spinal cord, heart, muscles, ribs, backbone, and digestive tract begin to develop


  • (Week 5-8) - face, arms, legs, toes, fingers, internal organs, and the fetus begins to move


  • (Week 9-12) - the fetus starts to grow rapidly, and organs, nervous system, muscles become connected, and the external genitals can be seen



Second Trimester


  • (Week 13-24) - the fetus continues to grow very fast and the mother can start to feel movement



Third Trimester


  • (Week 25-38) - a period of brain, sensory, behavioral development takes place, and the fetus has formed a good amount that if born during this trimester it has a high chance of survival





Newborn Milestones


  • Cognitive development - the baby's language begins to develop as well as their thinking, and reasoning


  • Language Development - they begin to listen to sounds and words around them, and they begin to understand their meaning


  • Social and Emotional development - they begin to form a bond of love with parents and others that care for them as well as trust

Tips in Baby's First Year:

  • read to your baby daily to build parent and child relationship as well as in helping with cognitive development


  • use complete sentences or proper words (no gibberish) as this helps with language development


  • do not over stimulate with play and instead watch for cues (yawning, distracted, eyes closing)


  • Take out time for yourself and do something that you love as this will help with having a positive relationship with your baby

Cultural Influences on Child Development:

According to Cherry (2014), "Western cultures tend to focus more on individualism, Eastern cultures are known for having a greater collectivist focus, meaning that the culture stresses the needs of the community as a whole over the needs of each individual" (para. 9). The development of a child is also based on the experiences that they have in life and culture is one key part of this.

Nature vs. Nurture


Biological/Nature:


  • Predisposition for physical ailments


  • Mental Disorders


  • Personality


  • Temperament



Environmental/Nurture:


  • Creativity


  • Intelligence


  • Memory


  • Autonomy

My thoughts:

The first nine months, as well as the first year of a child life, are crucial to their development as this will be the stage for their later years. It is important for women who plan or are pregnant to seek medical care and continue to follow through with the doctor's orders to have a successful and healthy baby. This does not stop here as care should continue for both the child and mother post birth and always balancing life in a manner that benefits both. Always making sure to set time aside for baby to build up his or her development as well as finding time for yourself to let out any stress and are able to refocus on what matters most....which is you CHILD.