The Anatomy of Pregnancy and the Fetus

December 14, 2007

Your belly is getting bigger by the day so your baby must be developing just fine.  But, have you ever wondered what is really going on in there?  Have you ever wished that your belly had a little window so that you could watch how your baby grows and develops?  As a pregnant woman or the partner of one, you may be curious about the anatomy of a pregnancy - the fetus, and the special organs that keep it happy and healthy and connected to mom. These are all normal and natural questions and, in fact, knowing what your fetus looks like and understanding how s/he is developing may even help you feel closer to your growing baby.

From The Head Down: Baby Development

To get started on baby's growth and development inside the womb, you may want to start at the top - the fetal brain and skull. This is one of your baby's most important organs and you may be fascinated to find out when and how it develops.  Besides being such in important organ, the head is also the first part of baby that will come out of a women's body in a normal vaginal birth. Of course fetal position is important to birth as well, since this can have a large impact on the type of delivery needed in the birthing process.  Find out how your baby's position in the womb will impact the delivery process.

Baby Womb Survival

But how does the baby survive while still in the womb? This amazing feat is possible mainly because of special organs that only exist during pregnancy - those that connect mom and baby and surround the baby in the uterus - the umbilical cord, the placenta, and the amniotic fluid. Because of these organs and the way the baby survives during pregnancy, fetal circulation is actually different before and after birth!  Find out more about this exciting process and learn about how much a mother's nutrition really does impact her baby's development.

And how can we tell how the baby is doing during the pregnancy? By using the fetus's biophysical profile, in part determined by the amniotic fluid index.

The Extras: Fetal Development

Finally, it can also be interesting to learn about fetal development and vestigial organs - that is, how we become a boy or a girl and also why certain organs develop even though they are never used. And have you ever really contemplated the navel?  Why do we have one and what purpose does it serve in our survival in the womb?  Get the answers to these questions and many more by beginning to read now!

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