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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 Feb 19, 2014

 

Obesity during pregnancy is common, affecting approximately 50% of women.
However, providing advice and assistance in adopting a healthy diet and
regular exercise during pregnancy — led to an 18% reduction
in the chance of a baby being born over 4kg (8.8lbs).






WHO Child Growth Charts

 

 

 

Study leads to fewer high birth weight babies

The world's biggest study of healthy eating and exercise advice to overweight or obese pregnant women, has shown a significant reduction in babies born over 4kg (8.8 pounds) in weight.

The LIMIT Study, led by researchers from the University of Adelaide's Robinson Institute and the Women's and Children's Hospital, involved more than 2200 pregnant women from 2008-2011.

In the first major results from the LIMIT Study, published this week in the British Medical Journal, researchers say that providing advice and assistance to adopt a healthy diet and regular exercise during pregnancy has led to an 18% reduction in the chance of a baby being born over 4kg.

"This is a very important finding," says the lead author of the study, Professor Jodie Dodd from the University's Robinson Institute and the Women's and Children's Hospital.

"We know that babies who are born over 4kg have a two-fold increased risk of being overweight or obese as children, which often carries into later life, bringing with it a range of health concerns such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. So we're pleased to see that the study has led to a significant reduction in the risk of a baby being born over 4kg.


Professor Dodd says overweight and obesity during pregnancy are common, affecting approximately 50% of women, and until now there has been little evidence about the benefit of dietary and lifestyle interventions on clinical outcomes in this group of women.

About half of the women who took part in the study were provided with dietary and lifestyle advice promoting healthy eating and exercise, consistent with current Australian recommendations. The remaining women continued to receive routine antenatal care.


"Our focus was on providing simple, practical lifestyle advice that is very achievable in the real world. It wasn't about going on a diet, but focused on healthy eating and increasing activity levels on a daily basis," Professor Dodd says.

"There were no differences in the amount of weight women gained during pregnancy between the two study groups. It will be very important to look in more detail at the changes women have made to their diet and physical activity, and that will be the subject of a future paper."

Abstract
Objective To determine the effect of antenatal dietary and lifestyle interventions on health outcomes in overweight and obese pregnant women.

Design
Multicentre randomised trial. We utilised a central telephone randomisation server, with computer generated schedule, balanced variable blocks, and stratification for parity, body mass index (BMI) category, and hospital.

Setting
Three public maternity hospitals across South Australia.

Participants
2212 women with a singleton pregnancy, between 10+0 and 20+0 weeks’ gestation, and BMI ≥25.

Interventions
1108 women were randomised to a comprehensive dietary and lifestyle intervention delivered by research staff; 1104 were randomised to standard care and received pregnancy care according to local guidelines, which did not include such information.

Main outcome measures Incidence of infants born large for gestational age (birth weight ≥90th centile for gestation and sex). Prespecified secondary outcomes included birth weight >4000 g, hypertension, pre-eclampsia, and gestational diabetes. Analyses used intention to treat principles.

Results
2152 women and 2142 liveborn infants were included in the analyses. The risk of the infant being large for gestational age was not significantly different in the two groups (lifestyle advice 203/1075 (19%) v standard care 224/1067 (21%); adjusted relative risk 0.90, 95% confidence interval 0.77 to 1.07; P=0.24). Infants born to women after lifestyle advice were significantly less likely to have birth weight above 4000 g (lifestyle advice 164/1075 (15%) v standard care 201/1067 (19%); 0.82, 0.68 to 0.99; number needed to treat (NNT) 28, 15 to 263; P=0.04). There were no differences in maternal pregnancy and birth outcomes between the two treatment groups.

Conclusions
For women who were overweight or obese, the antenatal lifestyle advice used in this study did not reduce the risk delivering a baby weighing above the 90th centile for gestational age and sex or improve maternal pregnancy and birth outcomes.

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