A new app shows the development of a baby at every stage of the pregnancy in amazing detail.
The ‘See Baby Pregnancy Guide’ app explains the baby’s development from conception all the way through to birth, demonstrating the size of the baby week by week.
As early as five weeks, remarkable footage of a tiny baby, dubbed “Baby Chris” – at this stage only about the size of a pea – shows his heart beating through his transparent skin.
The app helps mothers track their own pregnancy and to visualise what their own child looks like at that stage.
Its imaging is created by placing a small camera against the amniotic sac to see the baby moving around in full-colour.
The resulting images go far beyond what can be achieved through ultrasound.
The baby’s journey is also documented on the website www.babychris.org, where further educational resources are available for download.
In the UK, another technological advancement has allowed doctors to examine the hearts of unborn babies.
By scanning pregnant mothers in an MRI machine, computers were able to build a 3D image of the babies’ hearts to check for signs of defects.
The team of researchers from King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’s hope it will improve care for babies with heart conditions.
Kirbi-Lea Pettitt went for a routine ultrasound at 20 weeks, only to discover her daughter had developed life-threatening heart problems.
While she said it was “very scary”, it allowed the doctors to plan out how to care for the baby once she was born, and she is now a healthy eleven-month-old.
In the UK, abortion is permitted up to 24 weeks for most reasons, but unborn babies with disabilities can be aborted up to birth.