Prenatal and infant development is a particularly delicate and formative period of the life span. When genetic and environmental factors are good, the beginning stages of life can provide a solid foundation for later development. If hazards or risk factors exist, the development of the fetus or infant as well as the infant–parent bond can be greatly affected.
Discuss what steps can be taken to promote optimal development during prenatal, birth, and postpartum periods and examine individual differences between heredity and environment that may occur. What resources are available to expectant mothers to promote healthy early development? Consider both widely available resources (such as national programs) and those in your own community.
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