From Conception to Birth
Explore and uncover the miraculous story of a new life forming.
Conception begins when a male reproductive cell (sperm cell), successfully fuses with the female reproductive cell (egg cell). After the fusion of the sperm and egg is the fusion of their genetic materials. Cell division follows. The zygote (cell formed by the fusion of the sperm and egg) divides into two, four, eight, and so on.
Changes happen in every stage of embryonic development. At 25 days, the embryo curves into C-shape and the arches that form the face and neck are becoming evident under the enlarging forebrain. The primitive heart is beating. The development of the limb buds are also visible, and the hand plates are noticeable in day 44. At 56 days, the circulatory system is given an emphasis as well as the developed organs of the embryo: the brain, heart, umbilical cord, vertebrae, stomach, kidneys, lungs, and liver. At this stage, all the major organs are in place.
The genitalia of a 56 day old fetus inside womb is visible. Though the indifferent penis is visible, the sex of the baby is not clear from external appearance until week 12. At 7 months, it is noticeable that the fetus is in fetal position where the legs are drawn up, because of the limited space in the uterus. The arms, legs, and toenails are fully formed. At 9 months, the skull can be seen showing the unconnected bony plates called fontanels. These fontanels are significant for fetal brain's protection and they allow the head to elongate and mold during childbirth, then return to a rounded shape.
At 9 months, the baby is ready for delivery. The baby in position for birth, the baby then rotates down, pushes out and comes out headfirst. In order to squeeze the baby through the pelvic canal, the mother's bones pop open in the middle.