First Trimester (The Beginning)
Cell: the smallest unit of life – 1 to 30 days
Every life developed from a cluster of cells to form a living being. The baby begins to grow also from a number of cells that float in the uterus after conception must have taken place. Conception occurs when spermatozoa penetrates into an egg released from female ovary. The conception makes the egg to become fertilized as cells. The cells are known as Zygote ready to be attached to the uterine lining. After the attachment, Zygote is called Embryo which later develops into a foetus. The cells disintegrate to many groups of cells for different purposes which include: forming part of the baby’s body - skin, bones, tissues etc., formation of placenta and the baby’s home (i.e. amniotic sac) in the uterus. The sac is filled with liquid for the baby’s safety and warmth etc.
At the beginning of pregnancy, the uterus is very small equivalent to the size of a closed fist. As the foetus develops, the uterus stretches. The umbilical cord grows out from the placenta as a connector and transporter between the baby and the placenta itself. Their main function (umbilical cord and placenta) is for nourishment (to the baby) while the placenta singly protects the fetus by filtering out germs or harmful chemical drugs that may endanger the life of the baby. The cord helps to transport oxygen and food nutrients needed by the foetus from the mother. It also transports waste products from the baby which are then sucked up and discarded by the mother’s body. The growth of the baby in the first month comes with the development of a big head, a body and a tiny tail which eventually disappears to form part of the baby’s backbone.
Almost all body organs will also begin to form and by the end of the first month, the embryo would have developed a functioning heart, pumping and circulating blood. The embryo at this very beginning is only one fourth of an inch in size.