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Foetal development defined

In this video Professor Jane Barlow discusses ‘foetal programming’ and the implications of such programming for the development of the unborn baby.

In this video we examine the three key stages of foetal development (i.e. the three trimesters of pregnancy). We describe the concept of ‘foetal programming’ and the implications of such programming for the development of the unborn baby. We examine what has been learnt about the impact of early natural disasters on the development of the foetus, and how this led to the epidemiological studies of Professor David Barker. His work developed our understanding about foetal programming on the long-term health and wellbeing of the child and adult particularly in terms of conditions such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

We describe the way in which this happens as a result of the environment programming the structure of the body and the functioning of key organs, during critical periods of development.

In the next block we will go on to examine recent research about the way in which the maternal mind can have both a direct and indirect impact on the developing foetus.

Every effort has been made to trace copyright holders for the image used in this film, and to obtain their permission for the use of copyright material. As we have been unable to do this, we would be grateful to be notified of any attributions that should be incorporated in future runs of this course.

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Babies in Mind: Why the Parent's Mind Matters

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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