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Tutorials » Developmental Biology » Birth of a Human Baby

Birth of a Human Baby
- Developmental Biology

Continued from the previous page looking at fertilisation and growth of an embryo.

The baby soon outgrows the energy requirements that the placenta previously met, and is time to be conceived into the open world by the mother. There are four main stages of birth process

Stage 1 - Between 8 to 10 Minutes

The release of oxytocin, a hormone, instructs the mothers body that the food supply for the baby can no longer be met, which bring about contractions in the mother and soften the tissue of the cervix where the baby will pass through.

The 'waters then break' caused by the pressure of the contractions, the amniotic fluid which once surrounded the foetus is released.

Stage 2 - Delivering the Baby - 30+ Minutes

This is where the baby is pushed down the cervix through the vagina, out to the open world. This is the hardest stage of labour, and it involves the mother 'pushing' with the contractions to force the baby out. This is a natural behavioural response in the mother due to the pain involved in getting the baby out.

Stage 3 - Afterbirth

This is where the placenta is excreted after the newly born baby, as it is no longer required in the body and has served its function. The newly born baby must survive in the open world with its maternal parents there to help them learn, grow up healthily and care for.

The next page investigates contraception, used to prevent pregnancy which although is morally disputed, can be beneficial depending on your point of view. Contraception is not accepted in all parts of the world due to cultural and religious beliefs, but are a way to prevent intercourse leading to pregnancy.


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