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Consider Jada, a young woman who hopes to become pregnant. Jada understands how important a healthy pregnancy environment is and wants to ensure that she is fully prepared for the glorious task at hand. Since she and her husband started trying, Jada has cut down on her social drinking and also started taking prenatal vitamins. Jada does have a history of unhealthy eating, as she suffered from anorexia when she was in college. However, with help from her husband, she has not had a relapse in more than 5 years and has since come to flourish in her workout routines and healthy eating behaviors.

Jada is now going to the doctor to get her blood drawn for carrier screening. Carrier screening is a type of genetic testing that identifies any abnormalities in a mother’s genes. Jada is hoping this screening will identify whether her baby is at risk for certain diseases, and she is prepared to take necessary precautions if an abnormality is found.

Though Jada’s story mirrors a large percentage of the positive behaviors in which today’s prospective mothers engage, many unborn babies are still affected by unhealthy prenatal risk factors. For example, if Jada had not won her battle with anorexia, what harmful consequences might she have visited unknowingly upon her unborn baby? If Jada’s carrier screening were to find a genetic abnormality, what potential effects could that have on the baby both before and after birth?

In this Discussion, you explore prenatal risk factors that can affect the healthy development of young children. Specifically, you consider how these factors can affect language acquisition and development. You also share one reliable website that further elaborates on your selected risk factor.

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