These high-resolution images bring vivid detail to the fetus at various stages in early development.
See Baby Grow app video
The See Baby Grow app video depicts embryos and fetuses, alive in the uterus, throughout every stage of pregnancy. These preborn babies have been scanned using embryoscopy and fetoscopy medical imaging technology, as well as high-resolution, research-grade sonography. The narration describes developmental anatomy and physiology as it unfolds through all three trimesters of pregnancy.
Please share your comments at the end of this program and if you are a medical practitioner or science educator/researcher, or student, please consider offering an endorsement for this project.
Professional reviews neither state nor imply institutional endorsement:
“This video is amazing. It is a beautiful depiction of the wondrous journey of the growing baby in the womb from fertilization onward. As an OB/GYN, I find this video to be riveting and beautiful and have already shared it with others.”
Caroline Hedges, MD, MA, MPH
“ERF.Science gives us a stunning inside story on the miracle of human development from the one-in-a-million uniqueness of fertilization to the clear views of developing fingers, toes and a beating heart at a mere 4 weeks.”
Gregory J. Brewer, PhD
Professor of Neuroscience
Gwynn Rawding Patterson, MD
FACOG (Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)
Sierra Vista, AZ
“The See Baby Grow video is an example of the high-quality tool for education on human growth and development from the moment of conception until birth, according to modern science.
“I am convinced that it will be very useful in preconception care, in the preparation for family life in schools, and in prenatal classes. It may be used also in pre and postgraduate teaching of medical personnel.
“I would like to recommend this beautiful and persuasive visual aid.”
Bogdan Chazan, MD, PhD
Former Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
MaterCare International, Saint John’s Canada
“The See Baby Grow app video is excellent and would enhance medical education and the understanding of embryological growth from a perspective that has not been available in combined form with contact embryoscopy, 3D ultrasonography and computerized graphics that allow the learner to fully understand and appreciate the complex developmental and structural changes throughout intrauterine development up until birth. The video depiction of fertilization involving sperm and egg are also well done. I cannot recommend this video more highly to others to watch and change their perspective on life that we cannot see and appreciate. Amazing.”
Scott L. Stringfield, MD
American Board of Family Medicine
Associate Director, Via Christi Family Medicine Residency Program
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Kansas Medical School – Wichita, KS
“Exceptional graphics and videography make this a ‘must see’ video for anyone wanting to know more about the incredible journey from fertilized egg to newborn. A great learning tool for those in the healthcare professions as well. Beautiful work!”
Jeffrey A. Keenan, MD, HCLD
Professor, Dept. of OB/GYN
Director, Division of Reproductive
Endocrinology and Infertility,
Univ. of Tennessee Medical Center
“What a great video! As both a physician and homeschool mom of two teenage sons, I highly endorse the See Baby Grow app. It provides clear scientific evidence of the growth and development of a unique human being. Mothers can now effectively show even their youngest children the amazing beauty of a developing human ….”
Jeannine C. Kofford, MD
“The video is simply breathtakingly beautiful. In a world where we are bombarded with images that both intentionally and unintentionally distort truth, (leaving the viewer worse off for having looked), here are images that are honest, and accurate—making the video a valuable teaching tool. However, the video is also valuable simply because it is beautiful. This blend of truth and beauty leaves the viewer better off for having looked.”
Robin Pierucci, MD, MA
Medical Director, NICU
Bronson Children’s Hospital
Clinical Assistant Professor
Western Michigan University, Homer-Stryker School of Medicine
“This video is absolutely amazing! See Baby Grow is a most beautiful and accurate depiction of life from conception through birth and demonstrates scientifically the intricacies of human development. As a pediatrician for the past 40 years, I confess I learned new facts about human development, including the concept that fetuses who hear loud noises in utero can experience hearing loss. I highly recommend the use of this video to teach human development – in both scientific and nonacademic settings.”
Jane E. Anderson, MD
Clinical Professor of Pediatrics – retired
University of California, San Francisco
Richard H. Sandler, MD
Gwynn Rawding Patterson, MD
FACOG (Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)
Sierra Vista, AZ
“This excellent production is a scientific portrayal of the beginning of human life and its continuum of growth and development through birth and the neonatal period. This app, “the biology of Prenatal Development”, is intuitive. I use this tool when I counsel patients and when I teach students. I highly recommend and endorse its distribution and usage in the classroom, examination room and hospital.”
Patrick Marmion, MD, MPH
Associate Clinical Professor
Medical Education and Clinical Sciences
Washington State University
College of Medicine
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“The combination of exquisite images and a clear, carefully researched text makes this video an unparalleled resource for all who are interested in the mysteries of life before birth.”
“The Biology of Prenatal Development provides an amazing view of human embryonic and fetal development. It would be a great supplement to developmental biology courses at the undergraduate, graduate, and medical school level.”
Deborah J. Andrew, Ph.D.
Department of Cell Biology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
“The Biology of Prenatal Development is an excellent overview of key features of human embryonic development. It contains amazing video sequences of human embryos combined with helpful animations and very understandable narration. It reveals the mystery of embryonic development without removing the wonder.”
David L. Bolender, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy
Graduate Faculty, Program in Cell & Developmental Biology
Medical College of Wisconsin
“The developmental period before birth is increasingly understood as a time of preparation during which the developing human acquires the many structures, and practices the many skills, needed for survival after birth. As our understanding of early human development advances, so too will our ability to enhance health––both before and after birth.”
The Biology of Prenatal Development, a documentary film originally distributed by the National Geographic Society.
The following science documentaries, medical textbooks, and medical journal articles are among the many educational resources which provide useful information regarding the biology of prenatal development:
Medical Journal Articles
See Baby Grow pregnancy tracker
Follow your baby's gestational development through all 266 days comprising the 38 weeks of the 9 months of your pregnancy.
Get notified when the pregnancy tracker feature launches!
Subtitles in 92 languages for ERF video "The Science of Life Before Birth"
We have prepared the script of “The Science of Life Before Birth” in 92 different languages. You can download a PDF of each of those captions by following the links below.
See 12 of your baby's vital organs depicted in embryonic, fetal, and adult age stages and illustrated as 3D models which you can rotate about their vertical, horizontal, etc. axes
THE INTRICATE ORIGINS OF PRENATAL & GLOBAL IMAGERY, FROM ENDOSCOPES TO TELESCOPES
ERF’s embryo and fetus pictures are derived from many smaller images “stitched” together in much the same manner NASA uses to combine satellite photo “tiles” to form a large “mosaic.”
The Education Resource Fund’s (www.ERF.Science) human embryo and fetus imagery was initially derived by teams of physician researchers and clinicians employing endoscopy (and its subsets, embryoscopy and fetoscopy) to diagnose and treat prenatal disorders in utero. Endoscopes are medical imaging devices which permit the minimally invasive, high resolution observation of tissues inside the human body. At the distal end of these instruments is an objective lens designed for imaging. At the proximal end is an eyepiece, or sensor, which enables viewing.
HOW THEY WORK
These scopes generally consist of a tube which encloses a relay lens system (in rigid endoscopes) or a fiber bundle (for fiber-optic, or flexible, endoscopes) for illumination and to transmit an image from the objective lens inside the body to the proximal end outside.
Said differently, endoscopes use optical elements to direct light to the area sought to be illuminated and transmit the resulting image to the eye or detector. Rigid endoscopes generally offer superior resolution or magnification. But an endoscope’s objective lens is only approximately 1/5 of an inch in diameter, and this relatively small size substantially narrows the observer’s field of view (even with the addition of supplemental lenses such as “negative” or “prism” optics, etc.).
This limitation is further compounded by the need to use the scope in very confined spaces, with only short distances separating the objective lens from the anatomical structures being imaged. As a consequence, only a small segment of the embryo or fetus is observable at any point along the timeline of the scan. An endoscope’s construction must also accommodate frequently conflicting design considerations. The resulting compromises can involve not only fields of view, but depths of field (meaning thickness of the plane of focus) and image illumination and magnification, as well as distortion issues (i.e., stretched or compressed perspective), etc.
So to depict a high quality, single image of the entire embryo or fetus, large numbers of smaller, more detailed pictures must be joined together in a manner suggestive of the process by which puzzle pieces are assembled to form a completed picture.
This technique employs a complex proprietary process which combines segmental scans to create a final composite image. The resulting picture is digitally adjusted to preserve each segment’s original color, resolution, contrast, illumination, etc. Technicians also correct for vignetting (image degradation or loss at the periphery of the frame).
MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING & ULTRASOUND
The British medical journal Lancet has published a prenatal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study involving the creation of 3D pictures to diagnose and treat congenital heart problems afflicting fetuses still in the uterus. The BBC reports that “A series of 2D pictures of the heart are taken from different angles using an MRI machine” to image the fetus.
The story explains that “Sophisticated computer software pieces the images together, adjusts for the beating of the heart and builds … [a] 3D image of the heart.” A pediatric cardiologist describes the resulting 3D images as “beautiful.”
This MRI research is part of a fetal diagnostic project which is also exploring scans using “four ultrasound probes at the same time – current scans use one – to get a more detailed picture.” This process produces a more wholistic composite image.
NASA COMPOSITE IMAGERY (SINGLE MEDIUM)
ERF’s imaging process is conceptually similar to the technologies used by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to produce wide-area satellite images of the earth’s surface. Until the launch of the Deep Space Climate Observatory Satellite (DSOVR), which now orbits one million miles from earth, NASA had no camera positioned sufficiently far from earth to capture the globe’s entire sunlit surface in a single photograph. As previously noted, an endoscope’s objective lens must also operate too near to an embryo or fetus to permit its entire anatomy to be imaged in a single frame. This is the same constraint which complicates the capture of satellite imagery. Previous pictures of the earth could, therefore, only be created using digital stitching technology to make one large composite image from smaller segments. Scientists sometimes describe this final image (or “data set”) as a “mosaic,” comprised of many individual tiles.
HYBRID IMAGERY (MULTI-MEDIA)
A satellite picture can also be augmented by aerial photography (cameras on aircraft platforms) to improve resolution. Hybrid images of this sort can be created by superimposing black and white imagery (for still higher resolution) over color pictures of the same area, the latter to optimize chromic (color) fidelity.
The scientific press, for instance, reports that the Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA) “combined over one thousand precise, calibrated satellite images with other data from the continent’s surface to create a single picture of the entire continent.” The high magnification factor (think telephoto lenses which enlarge image objects) of each of these puzzle pieces yielded a composite picture depicting more detail than would have been visible in a single photo shot with a wide angle lens.
Behind the Scenes of the App Development
Below you see the motion menu chapter thumbnails that will be utilized in the upcoming See Baby Grow app. These chapters also preview video in the feature length video.
Stock Image Resources
Many stock image resources are available across the internet. These links provide quick access to embryonic and fetal imagery available for free or for purchase.
The Education Resource Fund is a, non-profit, 501(c)3 charity, which facilitates the creation and distribution of a broad range of instructional materials authored and produced by individuals and organizations whose branded and copyrighted projects (domestic and international) advance the state of knowledge in subject areas vital to the public interest.