Your Life Before Birth - Read the Story

A word about prenatal age

All prenatal ages on this page are referenced from the start of fertilization, not the beginning of a woman's last menstrual period (LMP). To calculate the equivalent prenatal age referenced from a woman's LMP, add two weeks to the fertilization ages provided here.

A time of preparation

The nine months of pregnancy truly is a time of preparation for life after birth. With rare exception, virtually everything that a newborn baby can do has been practiced over and over again for weeks or months before birth.

A bond like no other

From the time of fertilization (or conception), the developing baby and mother seamlessly work together and communicate with one another in numerous and complex ways that are still not fully understood. Pregnancy is the ultimate expression of selfless teamwork as mother and child do everything, share everything, and experience everything together as they jointly pursue a healthy full-term pregnancy and safe delivery.

As you might expect, a mom's health and well-being are closely intertwined with the health and well-being of her child. With few exceptions, what is good for mom is good for her baby, and what is good for her baby is good for mom. Likewise, what is harmful to mom is harmful to her baby, and what is harmful to her baby is harmful to mom.

The exceptional teamwork between mother and child begins almost immediately. The first pregnancy hormone, called early pregnancy factor, appears in mom's blood as early as 24 hours after fertilization. This hormone starts preparing her body to meet her baby's needs.

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