The Process Of Prenatal Development

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Prenatal development refers to the process in which a baby develops from a single cell after conception into an embryo and later a fetus (Meg, 2015). In other words, prenatal development is the beginning of the pregnancy process of a sperm joins with an ovum. The process of prenatal development is divided into three main stages which is known as the germinal stage, the embryonic period and lastly, the fatal period (Berk, 2009).
Germinal Stage
The germinal stage begins with conception. When the sperm and egg cell unite in one of the two fallopian tubes and within just a few hours after conception, the fertilized egg which is known a zygote begins making a journey down the fallopian tube to the uterus where it will begin the process of cell division and growth (Berk, 2009).The zygote first divides into two cells, then into four, eight, sixteen, and continue. According to Laura (2009), once the eight cell point has been reached, the cells begin to differentiate
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The beginning of the third week after conception marks the start of the embryonic period, a time when the mass of cells becomes a distinct human being. The embryo begins to divide into three layers each of which will become an important body system (Cherry, 2015). Approximately 22 days after conception, the neural tube forms. Cherry (2015) argues that this tube will later develop into the central nervous system including the spinal cord and brain. Around the fourth week, the head starts to form quickly followed by the eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. The cardiovascular system is where the earliest activity begins as the blood vessel that will become the heart start to pulse (Berk, 2009). During the fifth week, buds that will form the arms and legs appear (Berk, 2009). By the eight week of development, the embryo has all the basic organs and parts except those of the sex organs. At this point, the embryo weight just one gram and is about one inch in length (Cherry,