8 Factors that Have Influence Over Your Baby’s Development


Expectant mothers are usually eager to learn about their baby’s physical characteristics. Will the baby look like mom or will they look more like dad?

Parents are always curious to know who their baby will resemble, from eye color, hair, or even gender.

An ultrasound will help you learn about your baby’s health and gender, but not other physical characteristics. Even though you cannot tell the exact combination of genes your child could inherit you can have an educated guess about it. Below is a list of factors that could influence your baby’s appearance and development.


A baby inherits genes from both parents, but the dominant ones usually help determine things, such as hair color, eye color, and height. You’re probably also wondering whether your baby will be born with a full hat of hair or not.

Well, the DNA in your cells is responsible for that and all of the other physical traits that your child will inherit. Even though eye color is one of the physical traits determined by a combination of DNA, a Baby Eye Color Calculator could help you predict the color.

On the other hand, babies inherit DNA from parents that play a role in determining hair color and complexion.

Family History

Chromosomes contain the blueprint of your baby’s look, but sometimes, a baby can surprise the parents with unique physical characteristics because of family history.

Family history will determine your baby’s look if dormant inherited genes in both parents play a role in determining some physical characteristics. If your baby has a unique physical feature that is not present in both parents, it might be because of a gene that has been dormant and skipped generations.


Expectant mothers should not take alcohol because of the increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and low birthweight. But, studies show a correlation between a baby’s development and alcohol consumption.

Alcohol consumption leads to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Alcohol can also potentially cause your baby to develop unique physical appearances, such as small eyes, thin lips, and smooth philtrum. In addition, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome affects a baby’s cognitive and developmental abilities.

Healthy Habits

Regular exercise and a healthy diet during pregnancy improve posture and reduce common pregnancy-related discomforts, such as fatigue and backaches. In addition, routine exercise will help determine your baby’s look and at-birth weight.

The height and weight of the baby can be influenced directly by the mother’s eating habits. If you followed a poor diet there is a possibility that the baby can be born underweight or the opposite could occur.

There are instances where the babies are too large for the mother to deliver naturally. This can lead to the need for a cesarean section in order to keep ensure the mom’s safety during the delivery of the baby.

According to scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy can alter a baby’s genes, resulting in unique physical characteristics.


Prenatal vitamins, such as folic acids and iron, help expectant mothers get nutrients that help maintain a healthy pregnancy. In addition, prenatal vitamins are engineered to help reduce the risk of a baby developing spina bifida and neural tube defects.

Even though taking prenatal vitamins has immense health benefits, studies continue to determine the relationship with certain birth defects. Folic acid is necessary for developing neural tubes, and deficiency is associated with spina bifida. In addition, folate will contribute to your baby’s appearance as it helps form the spine.

Caffeine Consumption

Caffeine consumption during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of fetal growth restriction because of reduced blood supply to the fetus.

In addition, caffeine consumption could result in birth defects, such as preterm delivery, premature labor, and increased risk of low birth weight, which forms part of your baby’s physical traits.

Limiting caffeine consumption will ensure that the parents’ DNA strictly contributes to your baby’s look. Caffeine consumption while pregnant can also cause restlessness for the baby, you would be able to notice an increase of movement within the womb.

Womb Accommodations

A baby’s misshapen, flat, or asymmetrical health might be because of womb compression. Even though babies’ bones are highly pliable, they cannot be broken easily because of womb compression but can be deformed with time.

Pliable and squishy bones allow them to be molded based on their positioning in the stomach.

Also, your baby is likely to be born with a cone-shaped head because of the compression through the birth canal, but the shape might fade as the baby grows.

However, if the shape does not seem to fade away there are actions you and your physician can take to correct the shape. Speak to your doctor and they should be able to refer you to a specialist who can prescribe corrective headwear.

Recessive Genes and Race

Sometimes, a baby might have physical characteristics not present in both parents. Recessive genes are responsible for these unique physical traits and conditions like albinism.

However, in the case of albinism, both parents must have the gene, which is quite common. On the other hand, race and ethnicity could affect your baby’s look because genes in your body will reach your baby.

Red hair is also a recessive gene. This trait tends to skip between 2 and 4 generations before making itself present again in the family.


If you wonder what your unborn baby will look like, you should know that various factors, besides DNA, play a role. Try your best to lead a healthy lifestyle during your pregnancy, since your health is crucial for the development of your baby.

And if you’re really curious to know what your baby looks like you can always opt for a 3D ultrasound, which can help you get a pretty good look at your baby’s features and development.

You might not be able to see the hair or eye color, but your can attempt to predict those. Nonetheless, even if the baby does not take to your physical traits, you should know that they have inherited 50% of your DNA.

PROFESSIONAL HIGHLIGHTS. She has been trained in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease, Critical Care Medicine, and Anxiety Medicine. In addition, she was also trained in Thoracic Transplantation Medicine and Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. CERTIFICATIONS Dr. Sarah Edwards is Board Certified in the following: • Internal Medicine • Child Diseases • Critical Medicine • She is also a Diplomate of The American Board of Anxiety Medicine. EDUCATION Postgraduate: • University of Nevada School of Medicine • Residency: Internal Medicine