Inside the uterus, the fetus is surrounded by a protective, fluid-filled bag known as the amniotic sac. Nourishment is provided through the placenta, an organ attached to the wall of the uterus and connected to the fetus by the umbilical cord. As the fetus grows, the uterus increases in size and weight and gradually expands into the mother’s abdomen. Many of the mother’s organs, such as the bladder and the intestines, are pushed out of their normal positions by the enlarging uterus. By the end of pregnancy, the fetus is usually tightly curled up with its head pointing downwards towards the mother’s pelvis.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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