Pregnancy is the process of the fertilization and growth of one or more babies in humans. The sperm of the male unites with the egg of the female to form an embryo, which remains in the woman’s uterus for approximately nine months, at which time the baby is expelled from the uterus through the birth canal into the world.
Pregnancy is an amazing process where a human being begins with the joining of two individual cells to the multi-faceted human being. Early on in the initial stages of the pregnancy there is little doubt as to what the embryo is going to be as the little human like shape begins to take form. You can see the development of the head, torso, arms and legs.
The fact that the embryo continues to grow all of the many body parts, and for the most part grow them perfectly is a miracle, without a doubt. The egg and the sperm cells make their union in one of the two fallopian tubes of the female. The egg, now fertilized then moves down toward the uterus which can take up to a week to take place.
Once the fertilized egg reaches the uterus, it attaches itself to a wall of the uterus. The single cell egg begins to divide into a multiple cell organism from 24 to 36 hours after fertilization, and continues at a fast pace.
Once the growing baby reaches the implantation stage on the wall of the uterus it continues to grow and during the first 10 weeks of growth, the cells begin to isolated themselves into the groupings that form the different systems of the body. This is where the distinctive features such as fingers, toes arms and legs become very apparent. Also the placenta and the umbilical cord are developed, important to nourishment, waste elimination an gas exchange.
A new stage called the fetal stage then commences and the heart can be detected beating and movement of the fetus can be seen. Sexual organs are beginning to form and the weight and length continues to grow.
The mother goes through many changes during pregnancy as well as her baby. Now the mother is feeding two people and her body goes through the process of accommodating that fact. Blood sugar increases, and increased breathing efficiency and cardiac output is required.
During the period of the pregnancy, the uterus will expand up to 20 times its normal size to accommodate the growing baby, and as early as the fourth month, she will be able to feel the movement of the baby, called ‘quickening.’
The pregnancy is divided into time elements, called trimesters, or the three time periods of the development of the baby. During the first two trimesters, the baby and the uterus are held higher in the abdomen of the mother, but during the third trimester, the baby and the uterus drop to prepare for the coming birth of the baby.
Pregnancy and the development of the baby, and the ensuing birth of the child is one of the most exciting times there is, as a new life comes into the world.