Pregnancy is an amazing journey for women as every month brings unique changes in the growth and development of the child.  Conception occurs within 24 hours of ovulation and the fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus within the next seven to ten days. At this point, chemical signals are sent to your body and you are declared PREGNANT!

At the end of the fourth week of pregnancy, the baby measures only about 0.1-0.2mm, but gradually with every passing day the size of the baby increases. After 9 months of the baby’s growth in the uterus, the mother is ready to deliver a healthy child. The child at birth is completely helpless and totally dependent upon the mother for all its needs and demands. So why is it that the baby is delivered at this point as opposed to a longer pregnancy, possibly till the child is old enough to take care of its own needs?

After some research, I came across a few theories about the gestational period being only 9 months long. According to the conventional perception, if the pregnancy period increases from 9 months the baby’s head and brain size will get bigger. Although it could still fit through the birth canal to a marginally larger size, it will not allow the mother to walk properly towards the end of the pregnancy.  Although it might be true to a certain extent, a research done by Holly Dunsworth at the University of Rhode Island concluded that if the baby is born at a later stage, for example if it is about the size of a chimpanzee, it would only stretch the birth canal only an inch in diameter. This difference is not that large and it would not affect the walking pattern of the mother.

A better explanation about the length of the pregnancy is provided by researchers who monitor the metabolism of a pregnant woman. By the beginning of the ninth month the gestational women’s metabolism is substantially higher than normal, approximately about 2.1 times higher. This metabolism rate is quite high, and extending the pregnancy period even by a month is considered beyond the mother’s metabolic capacity. This explanation is far more likely to be the reason behind the length of pregnancy being only 9 months as opposed to other theories provided. Therefore at the end of the 9th month, the water bag breaks and the digestive system of the baby starts working on its own, allowing the child to be born growing out of the uterus.

So what is your opinion about pregnancy lasting for 9 months??