Social Work 227
Social workers must have a broad range of knowledge when it comes to prenatal as well
as pre-pregnancy issues. Social workers are normally the first person that people talk to when
they find out they are pregnant. Proving these pregnant mothers with information regarding their
pregnancy may prevent complications that could occur. Pregnancy is broken down into three
trimesters (13 weeks), lasting 38 to 40 weeksThe first trimesters is considered the most critical
stage of development There are two different ways to figure out your babies’ age. One being the
gestational age (which doctors go by), it is not the actual date of conception but the first day of a
women’s last menstrual cycle. Another way is the conception age, based on the actual day the
fetus was conceived.
Babies that are born three or more weeks early are called preterm. Babies are able to
survive being born prematurely, but usually 25 or 26 weeks survive. Premature babies tend to
have a low birth weight, low birth weight is when a baby is born under 5 ½ pounds. Very low
birth weight, babies weigh less than 3 pounds, and extremely low birth weight babies
less than 2 pounds. Low birthrate can be caused by smoking, disease, young or old age, etc.
Being born at a low birth rate can cause death, asthma, diabetes, malnourishment, heart disease,
learning problems, etc.
The social worker must be the advocate, educator, and mentor when dealing with the
client individually. Many clients are confronted with unplanned pregnancies, and each client has
their own personal opinion on pregnancy options. Social workers must understand that the client
has the right to self-determination and even if the social worker does not agree with the clients
choices they are her choices.
. More and more older adults are deciding to have children; social
workers must deal with helping a client with infertility, emotional aspects, economic challenges
to the health care system, potential birth defects, as well as changing societal roles. There are
many dilemmas when dealing with older parents, but there are positives such as maturity and
economic stability. Men and both older women face the same complications in trying to
conceive. As people get older they can face fertility issues, not only do older people face fertility
issues but approximately 10 to 15% of United States couples have problems with conception.
There are methods in which one may have children which include surgery, medication, sperm
donation, hormone therapy, in vitro fertilization, artificial insemination, and the use of surrogate