What is an embryo?
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The placenta is the embryo's life-support system. It is a red, flattened organ that becomes deeply embedded in the wall of the womb. The placenta extracts food substances from the mother's blood and passes waste material from the embryo back to the mother for disposal.
The placenta is connected to the developing baby by a thick umbilical cord, which contains large blood vessels.
After five weeks, the embryo has a pumping heart and tiny limbs and is about 1 cm in length. By nine weeks it has become a foetus, and is recognizable as a tiny baby. It begins to move. For the rest of its development, the foetus will increase in size until it is born.
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Date Added: 23 December '11
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