Pregnancy is one of the most special experiences in a woman's life. It is a time when her body undergoes incredible changes, with the most miraculous being that which occurs within her womb where a brand new human brain begins to form. The development of this organ is nothing less than extraordinary and occurs at an astonishing rate. Let's delve further into how this miracle takes place.
Conception: A Tiny Start With Great Potential
The brains we are born with starts developing right from conception when two complementary cells unite to form what will become our whole selves! Within weeks, the tiny bundle of cells transforms into a rapidly growing fetus.
First Trimester - Booting Up!
During this stage, your baby’s neural tube – which eventually morphs into their spinal cord and brain – forms. Early nerve cells multiply quickly establishing the foundations for eye lenses, nose membranes and auditory hair cells; forming hundreds-thousands neurons every minute as they reach out electrically-wisewards looking for connections all over your babies’ nervous system!
Next comes cortical folding; remember those creases on top of a walnut? Your little ones' cortical ridges start to fold & twist thinking it’s trying its hand at origami (best not show them my terrible crane attempt) , gradually transforming into newly formed gyri(folds) & sulci(valleys), these folds help accommodate more surface area for stretchy-space (the cortex); basically providing increased capacity compared to a smooth cerebral would offer.
At 12 weeks gestation both hemispheres connect via bridge-like fibers called commissures enabling inter-hemispheric communication right away starting basic electrical messaging between different parts of the cortices through excitatory / inhibitory signalling systems increasing efficiency by removing unecessary or 'foggy signals'. Some commonly known hormones that work during this phase include: insulin like-growth factor or IGF, Brain-Derived Neutro Tropic Factor (BDNF),Neuropilin-1(NRP1) and Pleiotrophin which prompts proliferation & thickening of neural circuitry(Helps build stronger network)!
Second Trimester - Where All the Fun Happens
Here's when things get a lot more thrilling! Synaptogenesis starts producing brand-new synapses at an exponential rate whizzing past their predecesors to make way for highly accurate communication. Imagine building hundreds of little streets within your brain with equal width & space allowing smooth traffic flow 101%efficiency!
Your baby’s sensory organs begin to form in this stage including taste buds, eyes and ears enabling them sense multiple things. Interestingly enough, new research has found that you can teach/muscle memory some senses even during pregnancy so dont hesitate t turn the radio up a notch or two...
Gene expression occurs differently across each cell — both environment(Womb) and genes shape how they choose what type of cell they will become from generation point; neurons might start shaping into pyramidal cells among others.
By around 16 weeks pregnant(emphasis on “approximately”), the fetus shakes its booty via dancing movements as it literally flexes developing bones helping increase bone mineral density by over 30%! It won’t be long before belly button gets all wacky seeing jabs, kicks and other movements whether early bird morning or midnight owl because hey who doesn’t like practicing right?
At this point in time projections from other areas outside cortex(organelles called thalamus), creep their way inside transferring different electrical maps with lots fun imagery tucked alongside like buttons ,textures , colours et cetera implanted deep down w/in basal ganglia where it later guides movement patterns such as walking,speaking etc.
A site not often discussed is Schwann Cells found just under your skin(don't worry they aren't attacking) related to Neurons in embryonic stage shape the peripheral nervous system connecting brain w/ rest o'body via neuromuscular junctions, basically think 'postman of neural signal messengers ~helpin' each signal safely reach its neurona destination courier and all.
Third Trimester - The Brain Wraps Up Its Final Touches
The cortex’s expansion plates shift toward extremities during this final trimester;Neuronal migration slows down around midway gestation crystallizing into a definitive position. A covering develops over the cortex called myelin sheath allowing more rapid messaging between nerve cells by wrapping electrical wires with layers of fat!
On the brink of delivery, specially named “brain waves” which resemble daydreaming or come-down state appear— theta specifically — representing thoughts purely unconscious until you're fully aware such as dreaming .
At 35 weeks post conception mostly every cortical neuron is wired making sure that there are sufficient connections if any one should fail due to damage passing signals through another neuron without rendering it completely blocked off effectively being termed as neuronal redundancy ; also adding personal assurance mechanism where damaged channels dont slow us down much as before whilst still maintaining stable cognitive functioning.
It's awe-inspiring just how remarkable human development can be. From a single-cell zygote, humans develop into complex beings guided by an intricate mix of genetics and environment. Pregnancy is but only among multiple wonders our species has developed over several eons’ worth evolution which definetely won’t stop anytime soon!