Medical Illustrations by Joanna Culley of Embryo and Foetal Development
Medical illustrations of foetal development are a popular choice for those wishing to share in the amazing development of the human foetus from a single cell to a fully formed baby ready for survival outside of the womb. Joanna’s illustrations have been created for a range of clients, from foetal development illustrations for a Pregnancy app, to accompany a book written by midwife Christine Just, to mother and baby websites and those expectant parents who want to learn all about their growing baby, to a midwife in Australia who commissioned pregnancy charts to represent women of colour. To commission these types of illustrations then contact Joanna here.
The Embryonic Period of Foetal Development
The process of prenatal development occurs in three main periods. The first two weeks after conception are known as the germinal period, the third week through to the eighth week are known as the embryonic period and by the beginning of the ninth week of gestational age the third period has started where embryo has acquired its basic form and is referred to as a foetus and thus termed the foetal period.
The second stage, the embryonic period, is characterised by the growth and maturation of tissues and organs from a single fertilised cell. The cells divide and form a blastocyst that embeds into the uterine wall of the uterus. The blastocyst reaches the uterus at roughly the fifth day after fertilisation where the embryo becomes embedded in the endometrium in a process called implantation.
The embryo continues to develop anatomical features even in its first few weeks. The embryo only reaches the size of a kidney bean at eight weeks measuring just 1.6cm but the organs and muscles have already begun to function and where circulatory, excretory, and neurologic systems have also begun to develop.