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How much control does an fetus have over its development?

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September 18, 2013 10:08PM

depends - conscious? none, a fetus isn't conscious as we know it. genetically? a fetus's genes impact how it develops into a baby, weather it has a genetic disease or not... but a fetus is also impacted by the environment, the womb and the hormones of the mother. Everything the mother eats and drinks and smokes goes into the baby - that's how some babies end up being born addicted to stuff.

While the above is partially true, the fetus CAN contribute to its own development.

  • more active fetuses are very often also more active children
  • fetuses drink the amniotic fluids - the swallowing of these fluids not only helps organs to mature properly, but also contribute to the development of a normal palate due to the tongue movements associated with this drinking and swallowing
  • by moving its chest walls in and out, the fetus is practicing breathing. while it is not actually breathing, but instead inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluids, respiratory readiness is still being promoted