How Are Babies Made?
When your child asks you how babies are made, it’s important to answer their question in an age-appropriate way. Answering these questions is difficult, but you can remain calm and confident.
You can explain that a man’s penis and a woman’s vagina are the parts of the body that make babies. This is a simple answer to most children’s questions about how babies are made.
Fertilization ( How are Babies Made )
In humans, fertilization occurs when a female egg (ovum) and sperm come together. It most often happens within 12-24 hours of an egg being released from the ovary, usually midway through the woman’s menstrual cycle.
Fertilization takes place within a fallopian tube and involves the following steps: chemotaxis, sperm activation/acrosomal reaction, and sperm/egg adhesion. The three stages ensure that only one sperm enters the egg and that the resulting zygote carries the right number of chromosomes for a healthy pregnancy.
When the zygote is ready, it travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus. Once it reaches the uterus, it sticks to the thickened lining of the uterine wall. This is called implantation, and it marks the beginning of a pregnancy.
Ovulation happens when your ovaries release a mature egg for fertilization. How are Babies Made, The egg travels down the fallopian tube to your uterus, where it can be fertilized by sperm and develop into a baby.
If the sperm doesn’t fertilize the egg, your body reabsorbs it. This is why ovulation is so crucial to getting pregnant.
During ovulation, the hormones in your blood, such as luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), change, prompting the ovary to release the most ripe egg. This egg will likely win over the competition among other follicles to become your next pregnancy.
A woman’s cervix also changes during ovulation, opening just a bit to allow sperm through to the egg. But this change can be hard for some women, so tracking your cervix and noting any changes is important.
Conception ( How are Babies Made )
In humans, babies are made when special cells called sperm (produced by men) combine with cells called ova (produced by women).
Fertilization happens when the two cells join together. The new zygote has all the mother’s and half the father’s genes.
Once fertilization is complete, the zygote divides into a ball of cells called a blastocyst. Its next job is to attach itself to the lining of the uterus.
The process of conception can be complicated and confusing, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be! Understanding your cycle and pinpointing when you’re most fertile is key.
A baby is made when special cells called sperm (produced by men) combine with cells called eggs (produced by women) in a process called conception. This makes a new cell, called a zygote, with all the information needed to make a new person.
The zygote is about the size of a grain of sand and has half the information of the parent’s cells. In a few days, it will grow to become a baby with its unique combination of cells.
After birth, a newborn’s skin will be blue and mottled, covered with amniotic fluid, blood, and vernix, a cheese-like white substance. This is normal and helps the newborn’s senses adjust to life outside the womb.
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