The Developing Child © 2010
Any time sexual intercourse takes place, a pregnancy may occur. There are many family planning methods to avoid unwanted pregnancies. When conception does occur, chromosomes from each parent determine the baby’s inherited traits. Prenatal development moves through three stages during the 40 weeks of pregnancy. Couples who cannot conceive may seek infertility treatment or adopt a child.
Grieving parents must deal with miscarriage or stillbirth. Birth defects have a variety of causes. There are tests to help diagnose potential problems. Everything a pregnant woman eats, drinks, and breathes affects her developing baby. A pregnant woman should avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. She also should avoid environmental hazards and diseases.