Embryonic And Fetal Development Essay

1658 Words 7 Pages
Development is occurring every day in thousands of pregnant women. From the time of conception to the actual birth, development takes place. There are many different stages of development before birth and if one process goes wrong there is a possibility of a defect in the offspring. This includes all of the different stages of the embryonic and fetal development. It is very important that each step goes smoothly in the development process in order to have an offspring as healthy as possible. Fertilization, the union of a sperm and an oocyte to create a zygote, is the first step in the early stages of development (Mader and Windelspecht, 437). During sex, many sperm are released from the male and into the female. Many sperm end up dying off …show more content…
In the third and fourth months, the head begins to slow down in growth as the rest of the body gets bigger and the limbs become more defined, but the nose remains flat and the eyes are far apart (Mader and Windelspecht, 449). The arms and feet actually now have defined fingers and toes at this time instead of just numbs. Although the baby is more defined it still has a low survival rate if born at this time. During about the fourteenth week the parents are finally able to determine the sex of the baby, whether it will be male or female (“Stages of Development”). Since you are able to figure this out, that means that either the male or female hormone starts to produce in the baby, making the offspring receive those certain body parts. The heart beat begins to be a lot more distinguished in these months as well. The fifth through seventh months or sixteen to twentieth weeks is when the mother begins to feel movement (“Stages of Development). These movements start off as little fluttering feelings and then move into more of a jabbing and kicking feeling. You also may even be able to see the kicks when looking at the mother’s stomach. The body of the baby then becomes coated in a substance called vernix caseosa, which is white, greasy and cheeselike (Mader and Windelspecht, 449). This is what is on them when the mother gives birth to them, before the doctors clean the the “cheesy substance” off of them. The coating is to protect the baby’s sensitive skin from the amniotic fluid. If the baby were to be born during this time, it is highly likely that the baby will survive (Mader and Windelspecht, 449). Although the baby would survive it would most likely need lots of care and need to be watched at all hours, due to being born early and most likely prematurely. When the third trimester starts this is when contractions begin, and the closer and closer you get to having the

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