Maternal Disease and Prenatal Development Term Paper by Peter Pen

Maternal Disease and Prenatal Development
A discussion of maternal diseases that affect prenatal development.
# 103222 | 1,460 words | 8 sources | APA | 2008
Published on Apr 29, 2008 in Medical and Health (General)

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This paper takes a look at maternal diseases and teratogens, which are substances that can cause damage to the embryo or fetus during prenatal development. The paper discusses maternal diseases, such as the German measles, HIV, cytomegalovirus, syphilis, genital herpes and gonorrhea and examines these diseases and their effects on prenatal development.

From the Paper:

"The first three months of pregnancy, called the first trimester, are considered a critical period because during this period external stimuli can affect prenatal development drastically. German measles is the most widespread of the viruses that have a teratogenic effect. If a pregnant woman contracts German measles in the first three months of pregnancy, she is likely to give birth to a child with a congenital abnormality such as heart disease, cataracts, deafness, or mental retardation. The mother must be especially careful not to contract contagious diseases such as German measles. Fortunately, German measles in pregnancy is now a rare problem in the United States because most women have been vaccinated against it (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1999). The vaccine prevents most but not all German measles infections during pregnancy. If a pregnant woman is not immune to German measles and catches it during the first five months of pregnancy, she usually passes the disease on to her fetus. If the fetus gets German measles during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, the baby likely will be born with many problems (Goldenburg, 2000). The most common are eye problems, hearing problems and heart damage. If the fetus gets rubella between twelve and twenty weeks of pregnancy, problems are usually milder. If the fetus gets rubella after twenty weeks of pregnancy, there are usually no problems. There is no treatment for the German measles infection. The damage that happens to the fetus will last for the child's whole life."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Berman SM. Maternal syphilis: pathophysiology and treatment. Bull World Health Organ. 2004 Jun;82(6):433-8.
  • Callahan, T. L., Caughey, A. B., & Heffner, L. J. (2001). Blueprints in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2nd Edition. MA: Blackwell Publishing.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (1999) Attention pregnant women: What you can do to keep germs from infecting you and your baby.
  • Donders GG. Management of genital infections in pregnant women. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2006 Feb;19(1):55-61.
  • Goldenberg RL, Culhane JF, Johnson DC. Maternal infection and adverse fetal and neonatal outcomes. Clin Perinatol. 2005 Sep;32(3):523-59.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Maternal Disease and Prenatal Development (2008, April 29) Retrieved March 26, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Maternal Disease and Prenatal Development" 29 April 2008. Web. 26 March. 2023. <>