This page contains some interesting Embryonic
and Fetal Facts
, compiled from various sources
and arranged in random order. We hope to add more
of such fascinating facts and get this page growing
so that prospective parents-to-be like can enjoy reading
1. A baby begins life as a single cell, barely visible
to the naked eye. Before birth baby becomes 2 hundred
million cells which weigh 6 billion times more than
the fertilized egg.
2. Despite numerous research and attempts to separate
X and Y chromosomes, to date no one has succeeded.
Mother Nature still remains the only force able to
determine the sex of an embryo at the very moment
3. Each egg chooses the sperm it mates i.e. the egg
opens its shell and welcomes the sperm it is attracted
4. Even at the embryonic stage the human being is
5. Although genes may provide the blueprint for basic
brain development, the final location, pathway and
interrelationships of individual neurons are to a
greater extent determined by early nutrition, maternal
well being and moods, and the avoidance of toxins
such as alcohol or cigarette smoke.
6. Genes determine about 60% of brain development;
environment in the uterus determines about 30% and
10% is influenced by your diet.
7. You need 75,000 calories to create a baby, of which
sufficient amount are already stored as fat in your
body to get you through the first trimester without
the need to increase your calories.
8. Findings show that more than one male cell can
enter the egg but only the first to reach the female
nucleus can complete fertilization.
9. Maternal feelings and moods are linked to hormones
and neurotransmitters that travel through the bloodstream
and across the placenta to the developing brain of
the fetus. These findings show that maternal emotions
and thoughts directly contribute to the wiring of
10. By the end of the first month the embryo completes
the period of relatively greatest size increase and
greatest physical change of a lifetime. A month old
embryo is ten thousand times larger than a fertilized
egg. By the end of the second month it will resemble
a tiny baby
11. Unborn babies feel pain as powerfully as those
outside the womb
12. Recent studies show brain cells develop in utero
grow in response to external sounds, especially when
brain maturation is rapid from week 24 onwards.
13. Scientists find that depressed mothers had babies
who cried excessively and were difficult to manage.
Elevated level of the stress hormones from the mother
reaches the bloodstream of the unborn child. The greater
the depression, the more irritable the baby.
14. Research shows that male offspring predominates
over the female; for every 100 girls born in the world,
106 boys are born.
15. A 7th week embryo has the features and all the
internal organs of the future adult although it is
only an inch long.
16. At 28 days the three primary parts of the brain
have already formed
17. At 2 months the palm prints and foot prints are
permanently marked on the fetus's skin
18. The fetal heart beats for the very first time
between days 22-25 after fertilization.
19. The appearance of the first bone cells between
days 46-48 mark the beginning of the fetal stage.
20. Vocal cords are completed in the third month but
because there is no air, no sounds can be produced.
The baby cannot cry aloud until birth although she
is capable of crying long before being born.
21. By the 4th month the unborn child's capacity to
explore is tremendous: she plays with her umbilical
cord, sucks her thumb and a month later is able to
shield her ears with her hands in reaction to loud
22. At 6 months after conception, the unborn child
is a human being in terms of sensing, feeling, awareness
23. A fetus's immune system begins to work by the
5th month of pregnancy (though it will take a long
time to be fully mature).
24. A well established fact points to male fetuses
being more prone to suffer from hazards of pregnancy
such as placenta previa, premature rupture of membranes,
prematurity and suffering from low birth weight more
frequently than female fetuses
25. In the 6th month the buds for the permanent teeth
form high in the gums behind the milk teeth
26. At least fifty thousand neurons are produced during
each second of intrauterine life. At birth your baby
will have 100 billion ready-to-use neurons.
27. Twins may share the placenta but most twins have
individual amniotic sacs.
28. Crown to rump measurements are considered an accurate
method to determine fetal age because fetuses grow
at a very predictable rate in the first trimester.
This can be obtained as early as 7 weeks of pregnancy.
29. At 6 weeks fetal heart beats at 125 beats per
minute (bpm); at 7 weeks it beats at 150 bpm and at
8 weeks the rate is 175 bpm. At 16 weeks the rate
settles to between 120-160 bpm (twice the adult heart
rate) for the remaining months of pregnancy.
30. Fetal hands develop prior to the feet. Researchers
link this to use: babies learn to use their hands
to hold things for example much before they learn
to walk. Alternative theory suggests that hands being
sense organs develop along with other sense organs
i.e. eyes and ears before feet development.
31. Premature babies have a lot of vernix on their
skins while overdue babies have almost none.
32. Babies shed cells into the amniotic fluid from
week 16. These cells contain information about their
chromosomes and can be used to test for abnormalities
33. Between weeks 28 and 32 your baby is capable of
feeling and remembering
34. Dreaming encourages fetal brain development and
that is why babies spend the majority of their time
35. Maternal genetic influence accounts for almost
entirely the baby's birth weight; fathers have very
little to do with it. The heavier and taller the mother
the bigger will be the baby's birth weight.
36. Boy babies are bigger than girl babies.
37. Second babies are bigger than first-borns.
38. Babies lung are the last major organ to mature;
it does not occur until at least 34 weeks of pregnancy
39. In the final three months in the womb, your baby
receives immunizations against a variety of illnesses
from his mother's blood in the form of antibodies
and to some extent from the amniotic fluid which he
40. The placenta provides gamma globulin, another
disease-fighting substance to both mother and baby.
41. Labor is thought to be triggered by hormonal signals
coming from the mother, the baby and the placenta.
42. Baby's condition at birth mirrors the mother's.
If she has a hard time with labor so will he. If she
is wide awake the baby will be too.
43. The first breaths of air are the hardest in life.
The effort put in is comparable to blowing up a rubber
44. During labor the maternal temperature is about
99.0°F. The temperature rises to about 99.3°F with
an epidural or spinal anesthetic.
45. 75% of all babies are born within 11 days of the
assigned 266 days.