The Prenatal Development process is nothing short of a miracle. The way in which humans grown in the womb is a process that has awed doctors and scientists alike since the beginning of time. Even though through the years the decision process of whether to start a family and the way society looks at families with babies has changed, the prenatal development of a baby has remained the same, and just as remarkable as ever before. Prenatal Development has been broken down into three stages: First Trimester, Second Trimester, and the Third Trimester.
Conception marks the beginning of the First Trimester. The women releases an Ovum from her Ovaries, and within a 24 hour period, the Ovum must be fertilized by the man’s sperm or else it will die. This normally occurs in the Fallopian Tubes. Once this occurs a Zygote is formed. The Zygote’s cells will begin to multiple and create a Blastocyst. The Zygote must now make its journey through the Fallopian Tubes in order to attach itself to the women’s Uterus where it begins to grow remarkable fast. This is normally a 2 week process. Once attached to the body,
Structures that feed and protect the developing organism begin to form-amnion, chorion, yolk sac, placenta, and umbilical cord. The first 6 weeks of development is called the embryonic stage. During these brief six weeks, the most rapid prenatal changes take place, as the groundwork is laid for all body structures and internal organs. This includes the beginnings of the nervous and circulatory systems-the muscles, internal organs, the heart, spine, eyes, ears, and nose. The second trimester, or months 4 to 6, marks a remarkable moment for mothers as well. The fetus can now be felt moving around in the womb.
The fetus is covered in Vernix, a wax like substance that protects the baby from the amniotic fluid, as well as, tiny white hairs called Lanugo. During this stage sight and hearing also begin to develop. There are many studies’s that aim to prove that the baby can recognize the mother and fathers voice from this early in the womb. It is recommended to play soft classical music to stimulate the baby. …if a doctor looks inside the uterus using fetoscopy, fetuses try to shield their eyes from the light with their hands, indicating that sight has begun to emerge.
At this point much of the brain has been developed; however, a baby could not survive if born at this stage of development. By this point the fetus has grown from the size of a grain of sand to up to 12 inches long. If growth occurred at this rate outside of the womb we would be as tall as buildings. The third trimester consists of weeks 25 to 38. Though delivery before 38 weeks can be very risky for the fetus, the fetus would have a chance of survival at the age of viability state, between weeks 22 and 26.
However, due to the fact that the lungs have not fully developed the infant would need to be put on oxygen. Studies also show that during this period the fetus can differentiate between male and female voices, there mother and other females, as well as, between people speaking their native language versus a foreign language. In the final three months, the fetus gains more than 5 pounds and grows 7 inches. The weight gain will assist the fetus when born to help regulate their body temperature. As he fetus’s head grows, the increased weight will cause the baby to flip upside down in preparation for birth.
Prenatal development is a natural process, and should be kept natural to prevent dangerous affects to the fetus. Outside Teratogens introduced to the fetus can be detrimental if not fatal. The period when the fetus is most susceptible to teratogens is between weeks 3 and 20. Teratogens can cause many side effects ranging from physical to mental. The use of prescription, as well as, illegal drugs can cause mental retardation, improper growth of the extremities, and some can even be born addicted to drugs. Mothers who drink during pregnancy run the risk of having an infant with Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).
Symptoms of this include facial deformities, slow physical growth, as well as brain deformities, which cause learning and behavior disabilities. Nutrition and age of the mother also play an important roll in the health of the fetus. Mothers who are malnourished during pregnancy run the risk of having a miscarriage or have babies with physical birth defects. As the child grows many times learning problems will present themselves. This is due to the inability for the brain to grow to its full size during the third trimester. The prenatal development process is an amazing, awe inspiring occurrence.
All of the wonders of the world cannot compare to the wonders of human. The development of a fetus is a very complex process, which if left to nature, needs very little assistance from humans. Though much has changed over time in our world, this beautiful miracle has remained unchanging.