Wonderous miracle of pregnancy

Alan Greene, MD, explains the miraculous miracle of pregnancy and how babies develop from one cell during conception to the time that they're born
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Wonderous miracle of pregnancy

Time and again, the magic begins the same way. There's a sperm and an egg that come together and create an absolutely unique new cell. And then that cell divides in 2 identical cells. And then 4 identical cells. And then cells that are completely identical to each other. But then there's this dizzying array of development, and just a few weeks later, these cells have gone off to wildly different destinies. The baby has eyes and a tongue and hair follicles and tiny little toes, and elbows and knees, and toe prints that are on each toe that are different. Have you ever wondered, how in the world do you go from this little ball of completely identical cells to cells that go in all these different directions. It turns out the answer is the environment. It's the simplest environmental cue. The cells that are on the inside have a slightly different environment than the ones that are on the outside And fetal cells are designed to be exquisitely sensitive to environmental cues. That's what makes the difference. So it matters what's going to be in the womb, what's in the amniotic fluid. You can make a big difference to protecting your kid. The good news is that it's fairly easy to do. It's just protecting what goes in your mouth, what goes in your nose, and what goes on your skin. Thankfully, development happens in almost all kids astoundingly well. This dizzying orchestration of things that we would never be able to consciously manage happens. As the mom, all you need to do is provide a safe, nurturing environment - good food, help get the waste away. And it happens without your even being conscious of it. And the cool thing is, after the baby's born, it doesn't change that much. The baby's development is going to keep on happening naturally. You just need to provide a safe, nurturing environment, attention, good food, clean up the messes, and the development's going to happen naturally. You don't have to understand it all. You just need to be there.

Alan Greene, MD, explains the miraculous miracle of pregnancy and how babies develop from one cell during conception to the time that they're born


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Alan Greene, MD

Founder, DrGreene.com

Dr. Alan Greene founded his website, DrGreene.com, in 1995, cited by the AMA as "the pioneer physician web site." In 2010 he founded the WhiteOut Now movement to change how babies are fed from their very first bite of solid food, and in 2012 he founded TICC TOCC – Transitioning Immediate Cord Clamping To Optimal Cord Clamping. He is an author of several books including Feeding Baby Green and appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, TODAY Show, Good Morning America, the Dr. Oz Show, and is a regular columnist for Parenting magazine. He is a practicing pediatrician and the father of four.

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