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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 the fertilized egg cell get to the uterus?

As the ball of cells is dividing it moves along the fallopian tube toward the uterus. Although the fallopian tube is only about 5 inches long it takes the developing cells which is the start of a baby about 4 to 5 days to travel to the uterus. The egg cell moves about one inch per day. The movement of the egg cell is caused by two factors. First, the tiny muscles that surround the fallopian tube gently squeeze the egg cell pushing it along slowly. Second, are the millions of cilia (microscopic hairs) inside of the fallopian tube that gently sweep the egg toward the uterus.

uterus

placenta

umbilical cord

fallopian tube

fertilization

How does a baby get it's food when it is inside of the mother?

When the baby is inside of the fallopian tube it draws its food from a cloud of nutritive (feeder) cells that surround the ball of cells as it travels toward the uterus. These nutritive cells supply enough food for a few days so it is important that the baby continues it's journey and attaches to the inside lining of the uterus where it will get it's nutrition over a nine month period of time.

The lining of the uterus changes each month in case a fertilized egg cell arrives. These changes are part of the mother's menstrual cycle. The uterine lining becomes thicker and full of nutrition for the fertilized ball of cells. When the ball of cells reaches the uterus it has to attach itself to the inside lining of the uterus. This is an important time for the developing baby because it has to grow roots to anchor itself inside the uterus, just like the roots of a plant anchor the plant into the soil. A plant uses it roots as support and to get nutrients from the soil in order to survive, a baby needs to get nutrients and oxygen from the lining of the uterus in order to grow.

In the middle of your abdomen is your belly button, or navel. It is the scar that was formed from the tying and cutting of the umbilical cord after you were born. When you first arrived in your mom's uterus you attached yourself to the inside lining. From the lining grew a spongy mass of cells called the placenta. The placenta was your immediate source of food and oxygen. But the food and oxygen couldn't get into your body unless you were connected to it in some way. So, a tube called the umbilical cord was formed from your abdomen and connected to the placenta. Inside the tube was an artery and a vein. They carried in food and oxygen and carried out waste products. It was your lifeline to your mom that kept you alive.

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Is it true that babies actually live underwater while they develop inside of their mother ?
How long does it take for a baby to grow and develop inside of mom?
How is a baby born?

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

Male Reproductive System | Female Reproductive System | Review