NOVA Online (see text links below)
Life's Greatest Miracle  

Windows on the Womb Go to "Windows on the Womb"

Flash required

Windows on the Womb
by Lauren Aguirre

Perhaps you or a loved one is pregnant. If the pregnancy is far enough along, mom's belly is getting bigger, and the baby is kicking—both good signs. In the past, these external cues were practically the only measures of how the pregnancy was progressing. Today doctors have myriad techniques for tracking the growth and health of a baby throughout pregnancy. Some tests are commonly used during the course of most pregnancies; others have risks, and doctors turn to them only during high-risk pregnancies. Some tests give peace of mind, or force parents to make agonizing decisions, or provide information that can save a baby's life. Here, explore many of the currently available screening techniques that are changing the nature of pregnancy and parenthood.

Flash is a plug-in that allows for increased interactivity. If you can see the animated boxes at left, the plugin is already installed. If you do not see the boxes, you can install the Flash plugin, or select this feature's non-Flash version.

Lauren Aguirre is executive editor of NOVA Online.

Photos: (1) Corbis Images; (2-3,8) WGBH/NOVA; (5) Joshua A. Copel, MD Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine; (6) Adam Anderson, PhD. Diagnostic Radiology and Applied Physics, Yale University School of Medicine; (4,7) Courtesy of the Fetal Medicine Foundation.

Printer-Friendly Format   Feedback

Watch the Program | The Stem-Cell Debate | Windows on the Womb
Great Expectations | How Cells Divide | How is Sex Determined?
Resources | Teacher's Guide | Transcript | Site Map | Life's Greatest Miracle Home

Search | Site Map | Previously Featured | Schedule | Feedback | Teachers | Shop
Join Us/E-Mail | About NOVA | Editor's Picks | Watch NOVAs online | To print
PBS Online | NOVA Online | WGBH

© | Updated November 2001
Shop Teachers Feedback Schedule Previously Featured Site Map Search NOVA Home Life's Greatest Miracle Home Site Map