Birth Pangs.
Compiled by Ivor Hughes.
Images and text from Fishbeins �Medical and Health Encyclopedia.
Cartoon by Mike Adams

The process of conception, embryonic development, and birth is one of the most extraordinary phenomena in nature. The mechanism by which a single fertilized cell develops into a fully organized human being with countless cells of highly differentiated type and purpose is still very imperfectly understood. The process of fertilization itself is not well understood. All we know is that the union of a single sperm cell with the nucleus of the ovum produces a new individual.

The fertilized ovum is shown in thirteen stages as it passes from ovary to implantation in the uterus.

The three models show the uterus with the embryo at four, six, and seven weeks.


The embryo in the uterus at ten and fourteen weeks respectively. The placenta and cord are now visible.



The photograph above shows a model of a uterus with a fetus of 18 weeks.



A seven-month fetus. If born prematurely, its chances of survival are good.



Full-term pregnancy.



A fully developed baby of nine months rests in the uterus with head downward. 
The cervix is closed and the bladder is pushed up. The process of delivery has just begun, 
but the mother has yet to experience actual labor pains.



The uterus is shown contracting and the baby's head pressing downward.


The process or delivery is shown in progress.
The baby's head is now deep in the vagina, resting on the pelvic floor.
The cervix has dilated, but the amniotic sac has not yet ruptured.


The head emerges. The mother's coccyx is bent back to facilitate delivery.


The head of the baby is lengthened and turns upward.
This stage of delivery normally occurs hours after the onset of labor.
The shoulders emerge. The doctor's hands support the baby's head.

Breath begins with first cry.

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