About Bone Development of a Foetus

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Sep 01, 2011

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Bones protect the vital organs inside the body and provide the leverage for muscles. Development of bones start right from the time the foetus is in mother’s womb and continues till adulthood.  Bone development of a foetus is a complex process and mothers should be encouraged to know more about it.

There are certain facts to be borne in mind regarding bone development of a foetus:

  • Bone development of a foetus starts around the thirteenth week of pregnancy and continues till the time the child is born.
  • Mother’s nutrition is important for the foetus’s bone development. The carrying mother should have enough calcium so that it is passed on to the foetus during pregnancy. Milk, fish and meat are rich sources of calcium.
  • Radiation has an adverse reaction on bone development of a foetus. Care should be taken to avoid radiation through x-rays during pregnancy.
  • Alcohol should be strictly avoided during pregnancy. It is known that alcohol adversely affects bone development of a foetus.
  • Vitamin D deficiency in foetus prevents calcification of bones. This leads to the bones remaining soft in the foetus. Mothers’ diet plays a pivotal role in providing the essential nutrients to the foetus inside the mother’s womb. Therefore, generous exposure to sunlight for about fifteen minutes daily along with a vitamin D rich diet is important for pregnant ladies.
  • Bones form in two types. The flat bones such asskull bones form through intramembranous ossification. The long bones such astrunk bones are formed through endochondral ossification. 
  • A genetic disorder of bones called Osteogenesis Imperfecta can afflict a child right from the time it is in the foetal stage. It is a defect in a protein called collagen I. In this condition, the cartilage is affected and bone development of a foetus is hampered. In extreme cases, bone fractures might be formed during foetal stage itself. The long bones are usually affected by this condition.

A foetus in mother’s womb depends on the mother for all its needs. Hence, it is important for the mother to gain information about bone development of a foetus, proper nutrition intake and avoidance of harmful substances such as alcohol. Bones perform a significant function throughout their lifecycle and it is extremely necessary to aid proper bone developmentfrom the time the foetus is in the mother’s womb. 


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