Factors affecting a child’s health before and after birth

Length: 1076 words

When a mother smokes during pregnancy then nicotine can affect the development of the foetus. Nicotine can limit the amount of blood and nutrition that reaches the foetus. Children who are born to mothers who smoke tend to weigh less at birth and are more prone to infections. Smoking during pregnancy can cause problems to the child and they may have difficulties regarding attention and learning in school. Drugs on the other hand can also damage a child in the womb.

Alcohol can also have a negative influence on a child’s development before birth. Mothers who drink during pregnancy may give birth to children with foetal alcohol syndrome. Children with this condition usually tend to be smaller and have smaller heads than a normal healthy child. These children may also have heart defects and learning difficulties. I found out that if Angelina’s mother drank alcohol while pregnant of her, she would have had a foetal syndrome.

Infections during Pregnancy

Rubella is a very dangerous disease. It is a type of measles and if a pregnant woman becomes infected during her first months of pregnancy, it can be very dangerous. If the mother becomes infected in this period of time, her baby may be born

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with impaired hearing or eyesight, or even a damaged heart. Most women are vaccinated against rubella in order to prevent this risk from happening. The biological influences before birth affect the quality of a person’s life will depend on the way in which the Deaf or disabled people are treated by others. If Angelina’s mother got infected during pregnancy, she would have had impaired hearing or eyesight.

Effects of Diet

The human life starts at conception, which is nine months before we are born. A child can be affected by what their mother eats during pregnancy and breast-feeding. According to some research on animals, it suggests that if a mother has a diet that is high in sugar and fat it can result in an increase of cholesterol and also a risk of heart disease for her children later in their lives. Malnutrition or a lack of healthy food during pregnancy may result in a lifetime of poor health for the child.

The Food Standards Agency recommends that pregnant women should eat plenty of fruit and vegetables; plenty of starchy foods such as bread and pasta and rice; foods rich in protein such as lean meat, chicken and fish; plenty of fibre; and foods which contain calcium such as cheese and milk. The Food Standard Agency also advises that women should avoid or limit alcohol and also avoid too much caffeine as this may result in a low birth weight. If Angelina’s mother had a diet that was high in sugar and fat it could have resulted in Angelina having cholesterol and also a risk of heart disease later in her life. Also if the Angelina’s mother malnourished herself during pregnancy, it may have resulted in a lifetime of poor health for Angelina

Environmental Influences

The location Angelina was born in and lived in for a few years with both her parents before they divorced is a safe and clean environment. The pollution there isn’t a lot, it’s reduced compared to other areas within the city. The economy of Los Angeles is driven by international trade, entertainment, such as television, motion pictures, video games, recorded music etc. It is the largest manufacturing center in the western United States. Los Angeles is also known as ” the valley of smoke”. This is because of the smog from native campfires. This city suffers from air pollution in the form of smog. The smog season lasts from May to October, unlike other large cities which rely on rain to clear smog. Los Angeles only gets 380mm of rain each year; pollution accumulates over many consecutive days.

Issues or air quality in Los Angeles and other major cities led to the passage of early national environmental legislation, including the Clean Air Act. The state of California has led the nation in working to limit pollution by mandating low-emission vehicles. Smog is expected to drop in the coming years due to aggressive steps in order to reduce it, electric and hybrid cars, improvements in mass transmit and other pollution reducing measures and air pollution can influence development and be a major source of ill health. A lack of sanitation and sewage can result to life-threatening diseases such as cholera. Motor vehicles can also cause pollution to the environment. Motor vehicles produce a range of pollutants, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter. People who live close to busy roads may be exposed to this pollution.

Improved vehicle technology such as the catalytic converter is educing air pollution. For example carbon monoxide emissions fell by 81percent between 1970 and 2006. Emissions of nitrogen oxides fell by 46 percent and particulate emissions by 50percent between 1990 and 2006. Power stations now burn less coal and this had contributed to a fall in sulphur dioxide pollution of 81 percent between 1990 and 2006. Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies. It occurs when pollutants are discharged directly and indirectly into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds.


Poor quality housing is often associated with poor health. Dampness and mould might increase the risk of allergic and inflammatory diseases including asthma. Poor housing is also likely to mean problems such as poor lightning, non-safety glass in windows, loose rugs and poor maintenance of stairs, which may result in accidents. Overcrowding housing may cause stress due to lack of privacy, noise and difficulties in relaxing and sleeping. It may also limit people’s ability to access washing facilities, TV programmes and internet and computing facilities and is likely to make it difficult to study.

People on low income will worry about the cost of heating in their homes. Older properties are often less well insulated than modern flats and houses so that people on low incomes might receive higher heating bills than people who are better off.

Angelina’s family was in the working class, because her parents got divorced so her mother had to make ends meet and tried her best to give her and her siblings the best in life. They are a working class so although they didn’t really have enough money, they could still afford to live where there is good housing facility. However, if they were short of money, they would have lived in a house with poor quality.

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