The Stages of Fertilization, Embryo, and Childbirth Essay

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AC 2.3 THE STAGES OF A DEVELOPING EMBRYO
An embryo is an unborn baby in the process of development, this development process lasts 8 weeks and is called the embryonic stage. An embryo turns into a foetus after the eighth week of development. Below is a table showing the weekly development of the embryo. AC 2.4 THE ROLE OF THE PLACENTA
THE PLACENTA
The Placenta is an organ which is attached to the uterine lining during pregnancy. The placenta begins its development from implantation of the blastocyst into the mother’s uterine lining. It connects to the foetus via the umbilical cord and resembles a piece of liver with its reddish brown hue and meat-looking exterior. It is usually delivered after the birth of the baby through the
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The baby may be delivered through the vagina or by a surgical operation called caesarean section. Birth usually occurs in the 38th week of pregnancy and commences with labour. Labour is the rhythmic contractions of the uterine wall, bought on by changes in the blood. There are 3 main hormones which assist childbirth, they are: Endorphins, Adrenaline and Oxytocin.
ENDORHINS
This is a hormone produced to alleviate the stress and pain that accompany labour. Oxytocin stimulates strong contractions and aid in dilating the cervix. As labour escalates endorphins help the woman maintain alertness and attentiveness and help the woman through the delivery of her baby.
ADRENALINE
The adrenaline hormone is secreted in reaction to fear, stress and intense pain. The surge of adrenaline the woman experiences during labour provides her with bursts of energy, hence, stimulating contractions and fetal ejection reflex. It is also known to slow down or completely stop the labour process.
OXYTOCIN
During labour, oxytocin induces contractions, as each contraction takes place, the pain the woman experiences signals the brain to release more oxytocin and this in turn increases the contractions. The measured flow of contractions aids cervical dilation, delivery of the baby and delivery of the placenta. Oxytocin is also referred to as the hormone of love due to the love, nurturing and bonding emotions it creates. This may be bought on by skin to skin

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