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This site is designed to support and expand the Hillendale Health Curriculum.


Learning about how your body grows and develops and how to take care of your body is an important part of Hillendale Health class. The following information deals with the changes that occur to a baby as it grows and develops inside of the mother's body. Find information by reading the information below or click on the contents button to look for answers to specific questions.

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Baby Growth and Birth

How does a baby start to grow and develop?

Each person starts from a single cell the size of a tiny grain of sand. For a baby to be created one sperm cell from the father must join with an egg cell from the mother for fertilization or conception to take place. The sperm cell and the egg cell combine to form a single new cell which is the beginning of a baby. When fertilization or conception takes place a new life has begun. Fertilization or conception takes place in the fallopian tube of the mother.

Female Reproductive Diagram A

Female Reproductive Diagram B

fertilization

conception

egg cells

fallopian tube

ovulation

sperm cell



How does the sperm cell and egg cell get together?

The egg cell comes from the mother's ovary when it is released into a fallopian tube during the menstrual cycle, a process called ovulation. The sperm cell is made by the father's testicles and is ejaculated into the mother's vagina during sexual intercourse. Millions of sperm cells are released in a mixture called semen. One of these millions of sperm must find the egg by swimming up through the cervix into the uterus and finally up into one of the fallopian tubes.

How big is a baby when it starts it's life and how does it grow?

A baby starts it's life the size of a grain of sand inside of the mother's fallopian tube which is only as thick as two human hairs. About 12 hours after fertilization occurs the single cell begins to divide. The one cell splits into two cells. Then, the two cells split into four and the four into eight. At this time the baby is a tiny ball of cells no bigger than the period at the end of this sentence.

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How does the fertilized egg cell get to the uterus?
How does a baby get it's food when it is inside of the mother?

Puberty | Contents | Glossary | Phys Ed | Health | Site Map | Index | Being Born

Male Reproductive System | Female Reproductive System | Review