Monday, June 13, 2005

Ossification

Ossification is the gradual transition of your baby's skeletal bones from a fibrous or cartilage template to hard bone. This process takes place at different rates and is completed at different stages depending on what part of the body is developing and growing.

By week 12 of pregnancy the development of your baby's bones is complete, and now the baby's main task is to grow strong and healthy during the next six months. Almost all ossification takes place before your baby is born, however, there are two areas that will not complete ossification until the time of your child's second birthday. These areas are the fontanels of the skull.

The fontanels are the two soft spots on a baby's head that, during birth, enable the soft-bony plates of the baby's skull to flex allowing the head to pass through the birth canal with relative ease in most cases. The rear fontanel takes about four months to close, while the front one takes between nine and 18 months.To help your baby develop and grow strong bones, make sure your pregnancy diet is rich in a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and meats with high levels of the following vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin D - Vitamin A - Vitamin C
  • Riboflavin
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Calcium
All of these are essential to provide optimum health for you and your baby during pregnancy. Getting these nutrients will help ensure the proper bone development and bone growth of your baby.