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Embryonic and Fetal Facts

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 them.

  • 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 of conception.
  • 3. Each egg chooses the sperm it mates i.e. the egg opens its shell and welcomes the sperm it is attracted to.
  • 4. Even at the embryonic stage the human being is a vertebrate
  • 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 the brain.
  • 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 sounds.
  • 22. At 6 months after conception, the unborn child is a human being in terms of sensing, feeling, awareness and remembering.
  • 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 sleeping.
  • 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 swallows.
  • 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 balloon.
  • 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.

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Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.
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