Conception++and+Prenatal+Development

Conception++and+Prenatal+Development - Conception and...

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Conception and Prenatal Development A New Beginning
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Did You Know? Many of the most critical developmental changes in the unborn child occur before the mother even realizes she is pregnant. The most rapid period of growth is the first month of prenatal development. Women should be in good health before planning to become pregnant!
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Nutrition is Important! Women of childbearing age should have a good diet that includes proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and trace minerals. Lack of B vitamins can cause neural tube defects (NTDs), mental retardation, and paralysis. Women should eat a good diet before planning to become pregnant in order to prevent NTDs and other birth defects.
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Fertilization The first step to conception is the fertilization of the large ovum by a single tiny sperm . Why millions of sperm? The other sperm prepare the way using various biochemical signals in a team effort! Once a single sperm has penetrated the zona pellucida covering the ovum, the chemistry of the membrane changes, keeping out all other sperm.
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First Cell Divisions in the Germinal Stage Once conception occurs, the fertilized ovum, now called a zygote , divides many times. These cell divisions occur in the germinal stage (left) which lasts for two weeks after conception. Extra cell divisions at this stage result in identical twins, triplets, or quads.
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The Germinal Stage 3 to 4 days after conception, the cells of the differentiate into 3 tissues; endoderm, ectoderm, and mesoderm.
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