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Welcome to The Visible Embryo, a comprehensive educational resource on human development from conception to birth.

The Visible Embryo provides visual references for changes in fetal development throughout pregnancy and can be navigated via fetal development or maternal changes.

The National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development awarded Phase I and Phase II Small Business Innovative Research Grants to develop The Visible Embryo. Initally designed to evaluate the internet as a teaching tool for first year medical students, The Visible Embryo is linked to over 600 educational institutions and is viewed by more than one million visitors each month.

Today, The Visible Embryo is linked to over 600 educational institutions and is viewed by more than 1 million visitors each month. The field of early embryology has grown to include the identification of the stem cell as not only critical to organogenesis in the embryo, but equally critical to organ function and repair in the adult human. The identification and understanding of genetic malfunction, inflammatory responses, and the progression in chronic disease, begins with a grounding in primary cellular and systemic functions manifested in the study of the early embryo.

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Pregnancy Timeline by SemestersFetal liver is producing blood cellsHead may position into pelvisBrain convolutions beginFull TermWhite fat begins to be madeWhite fat begins to be madeHead may position into pelvisImmune system beginningImmune system beginningPeriod of rapid brain growthBrain convolutions beginLungs begin to produce surfactantSensory brain waves begin to activateSensory brain waves begin to activateInner Ear Bones HardenBone marrow starts making blood cellsBone marrow starts making blood cellsBrown fat surrounds lymphatic systemFetal sexual organs visibleFinger and toe prints appearFinger and toe prints appearHeartbeat can be detectedHeartbeat can be detectedBasic Brain Structure in PlaceThe Appearance of SomitesFirst Detectable Brain WavesA Four Chambered HeartBeginning Cerebral HemispheresFemale Reproductive SystemEnd of Embryonic PeriodEnd of Embryonic PeriodFirst Thin Layer of Skin AppearsThird TrimesterSecond TrimesterFirst TrimesterFertilizationDevelopmental Timeline
CLICK ON weeks 0 - 40 and follow along every 2 weeks of fetal development
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Home | Pregnancy Timeline | News Alerts |News Archive Sep 9, 2013

 

"Asthma and smoking are separately linked during pregnancy to increased risk
of bleeding from the birth canal before labor, urinary tract infections, premature rupture
of membranes, low birth weight and preterm birth (less than 37 weeks of pregnancy)."

Research also uncovered another worrying statistic:
about a quarter of pregnant women with asthma are smokers.

Nicolette Hodyl, PhD, lead author








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Smoking + asthma + pregnant = DANGER

New research from the University of Adelaide has shown for the first time that pregnant women who smoke as well as having asthma are greatly increasing the risk of complications for themselves and their unborn children.

In the first study of its kind in the world, researchers from the University's Robinson Institute compared data from more than 170,000 Australian women over 10 years.

The results have been published online ahead of print in the European Respiratory Journal.


"We know that being pregnant and having asthma poses risks to both the mother and the baby. We know that smoking poses risks to both the mother and the baby. But now we also know that the combination of these conditions represents a very dangerous situation.

"Asthma and smoking are separately linked during pregnancy to increased risk of bleeding from the birth canal before labor, urinary tract infections, premature rupture of membranes, low birth weight and preterm birth (less than 37 weeks of pregnancy).

"The combination of asthma and smoking greatly increases the risk of these complications during pregnancy.

"For asthmatic women, the preterm birth rate increased to 6.5%. Among smoking women, 9.4% experienced preterm birth. And for asthmatic women who also smoked, the rate of preterm birth jumped to 12.7%, which is more than double the normal rate.

"This is an alarming statistic. We hope that pregnant women begin to understand the seriousness of this situation to their health and the health of their child,"

Nicolette Hodyl, PhD, lead author


Dr. Hodyl adds for comparison, 5.8% of pregnant women who were not asthmatic and non-smokers experienced a preterm birth. She says the research also uncovered another worrying statistic: about a quarter of pregnant women with asthma are smokers.

"While the rates of smoking have been decreasing in recent years, it is very concerning to us that many pregnant women with asthma are also smoking," she says.

"Quitting smoking during pregnancy is very difficult, and therefore pregnant women need as much support as possible from family, friends and health professionals. Our results show that even a reduction in the number of cigarettes women smoke per day can lead to some improvement to the risks to their child. However, the potential for poor health outcomes for both the mother and child should not be underestimated."

Abstract
Does cigarette smoking in pregnancy explain the increased risk of adverse perinatal outcomes that occur with maternal asthma or does it compound the effect?

Using population based birth records, a retrospective analysis was conducted of all singleton pregnancies in South Australia over ten years (1999–2008; n=172305), examining maternal asthma, cigarette smoking and quantity of smoking to estimate odds ratios.

Compared to non-asthmatic females who did not smoke during pregnancy, both asthmatic females who smoked and those who did not smoke during pregnancy had a significantly increased risk of gestational diabetes, antepartum haemorrhage, polyhydramnios, premature rupture of membranes, emergency Caesarean section, small for gestational age and congenital abnormalities. These associations suggest that asthma independently of maternal smoking increases the risk of these adverse perinatal outcomes. Maternal smoking was itself associated with an increased risk of a number of poor neonatal outcomes, with a dose-response relationship observed. Notably, maternal asthma combined with cigarette smoking significantly increased the risk of preterm birth and urinary tract infections to a greater degree than with either exposure alone.

Maternal asthma and cigarette smoking during pregnancy are both independently associated with adverse perinatal outcomes and, combined, compound the risk of preterm birth and urinary tract infections.

This research has been funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Original press release:http://www.adelaide.edu.au/news/news64442.html