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Life in the Womb

Contact Embryoscopy Photos

These pictures give you a window to the womb - a view of the child inside his mother. In the world, yet hidden from the world for the first nine months of life.

This is what you and I looked like during our first 9 months. Consider it a photo album of the early stages of your life and your baby's.

See also: photos from our Fetal Development Demonstration on campus.

Click an image for full size

At the moment of conception, the baby, scientifically termed a blastocyst at this stage — or more generally, an embryo — has its own 46 chromosomes. This new human individual needs nothing more than shelter and nourishment to grow and develop as a normal human being - the same things that newborns, adolescents, and adults need to survive and develop.

Seven Weeks from Conception

The baby's heart has been beating since about 21 days after conception. The brain has been functioning since about 42 days.

By seven weeks, the lips are sensitive to touch. The baby's mother is about to miss her second period.

Eight Weeks from Conception

By now, every organ is complete. The baby is about 1-1/8" (2 cm) and weighs 1 gram.

The kidneys begin to function, and taste buds are forming. He/she can feel pain and respond to touch.

Eleven Weeks from Conception

At eleven weeks, the baby urinates,
makes complex facial expressions,
and even smiles. :-)

Muscle movements are becoming more coordinated.

Twelve Weeks from Conception

Features are becoming more defined. Fingernails are growing.

The baby can kick, turn feet, curl his/her toes, make a fist, open the mouth.

The baby practices breathing.

Fourteen Weeks from Conception

Baby's heart pumps several quarts of blood through his/her body each day.

Sex organs are apparent. The growth of the head slows down and the rest of the body catches up.

Fine hair grows on the head.

Sweet Sixteen

At sixteen weeks from conception, the baby is nearly 6 inches long!

He/she now occupies all the room in the mother's pelvis, and the body curves to follow the uterine cavity.

The face could melt your heart. :-)

Twenty Weeks from Conception

The baby sucks his/her thumb to prepare for feeding after birth. The baby may respond to loud noises.

The mother definitely feels the baby moving by now, as he/she makes crawling movements and does somersaults.

The mother will also feel the baby's hiccups.

All images provided courtesy of Life Issues Institute, and copyright Life Issues Institute. Sources for fetal development:; "Milestones of Early Life" by Heritage House '76, Inc.; Dr. and Mrs. J.C. Willke.

In the world,
yet hidden from the world
for the first 9 months.

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About These Images

These beautiful images were taken using a technology called embryoscopy, under the direction of:

Professor Andrzej Skawina of Collegium Medicum Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland,


Antoni Marsinek, M.D. of The Czerwiakowski Gynecological and Obstetrics Hospital in Krakow, Poland.

An embryoscope is a tiny camera the size of a pen tip, which is inserted through an incision in the mother's abdomen and gently placed on the amniotic membrane. This allows pictures to be taken without harming either the mother or her child.

For more information on these images, contact Life Issues Institute.