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Cord Blood Stem Cells

Hey, mom! Do you know just how amazing your pregnant body is and what a miracle it is that you will carry and nourish your baby for nine months and then give birth to a beautiful new little person? Many expectant mothers find that they read more during the nine months they are pregnant than they will for the next 18 years! Hard to believe but true! You will find that you have a need to know everything about the changes your body is experiencing as well as what is going on behind the scenes inside your belly!

Being pregnant truly is the "Mt. Everest" of life for many women. Most expectant mothers are more aware and "tuned in" to their bodies during this time than any other time in their life. We all read about the aches and pains of being pregnant and how big the baby is at such and such week. We learn how to sleep to alleviate heartburn and about why we have to go to the bathroom so much. As for the development of the baby, most mothers are really fascinated once they can feel a kick or punch. You may read about your baby's development during those first few weeks and you may think, "Hey, this looks more like a tadpole than a baby." That's okay, everyone thinks that a baby looks more like a tadpole than anything else those first few weeks but during the first 21 days post-ovulation is when the miracle of development happens. In fact the medical world doesn't even refer to it as a fetus or baby yet. During the early weeks of development your baby is commonly referred to as an embryo. There is so much going on with your baby that it will truly boggle your mind if you look beyond the tadpole.

The magic begins as early as three days after ovulation if you've conceived. You don't even know you're pregnant yet! The sperm and egg have joined (not an easy task considering that only 1% of sperm even make it to the fallopian tube for fertilization). By day five post-ovulation (you still don't know you are pregnant), the blastocyst enters the uterus and implantation begins. Up until now the fertilized egg has simply been growing and dividing cells. With implantation there is a need for increased circulation on your behalf as this tiny mass of cells begin to develop into your baby. From here on out, the development of your baby is utterly amazing and happens in the blink of an eye.

At 13 days post-ovulation, the placenta has begun to develop and has attached itself to your uterus. The formation of blood and blood vessels of the embryo begins in this stage. The blood system appears first in the area of the placenta surrounding the embryo, while the yolk sac begins to produce hematopoietic blood cells. These blood cells are also referred to as stem cells. These are the building blocks of the blood and immune system. Stem cells are the "mother cells" that lead to the production of all the various types of cells in the blood. Stem cells reproduce into red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body, white blood cells that fight infection, and platelets that aid in clotting.

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