Reproduction: How are babies born?

By: Team TeenBook

Want to know how you came into this world? Here is a simple guide to decode this topic for you. Learn more here.

The big question

Mummy, papa, I have a question that I have meaning to ask for a while. Can you please tell me how did Ishi happen and please don’t say she was gifted by God! I know it is much more than that! Isn't it?

Yes, it is time I tell you how babies are born. I’m so glad you came to us to talk about this. So let’s do it  and if at any point you feel uncomfortable or don’t understand something then we can stop and address whatever it is that you’d like. Fine?

I have also got some posters for you. We will refer to these as we explain about reproduction. It can be a bit complicated to understand. So don’t lose patience! Ok?

As girls and boys reach their teens, they begin to experience puberty and that means their bodies begin to change. Some of the key changes take place within our reproductive organs - that is the organs that are required for having a baby.

This means developments within the ovaries and the associated organs in females and in the testicles and the associated organs in males. Both in males and females, these organs are located near or alongside our urinary organs - from where we pass our urine. 

Now, once a month the female body releases reproductive cells called an ovum or an egg, from the ovary. 

In males, the testicles produce reproductive cells called sperms. The sperms are found in semen, a fluid that carries millions of tiny sperms, and is produced by glands just behind the urinary bladder. If the egg is fertilized by a sperm, a pregnancy occurs.

Oh, it's quite complicated. It may take me a while to understand this. But tell me something, how do the sperm and egg meet?

First let’s understand what is a penis and what is a vagina. The penis is a male organ, used to pass urine outside a male body, but it is also used as a sex organ and helps carry sperms out of a male body.

A vagina is the passage between the vulva (the part of the body that you can see from on the outside when you pee) and the uterus where the baby grows. It’s where menstrual (period) blood leaves the body and where a baby comes out when it's born.


So back to your question. How does the sperm meet the egg? This takes place through sexual intercourse or sex. During sex, the penis of the male goes inside the vagina of the female and if they want to have a baby, the male ejaculates semen from his penis inside the vagina of the woman. The sperm swims up the vagina and meets the egg in the uterus. 

The egg is released only once a month from the ovary. So it is not necessary that a sperm will always find an egg. If the sperm does meet the egg, they fertilize to form a foetus. The foetus implants itself on the wall of the uterus and develops into a baby over the next nine months. You remember how big my belly got towards the end of my pregnancy when I was carrying Ishi?

When the baby is ready, it comes out of the vagina through a process called labour. The vagina stretches to let the baby through and this is called a normal delivery. Some women may need a Caesarean or C-section operation, in which a small cut or incision is made in the lower abdomen and the baby is delivered out by doctors.  

The process is carried out by doctors who specialise in obstetrics and gynaecology, fields  of medical practice that focus on pregnancy, childbirth and the female reproductive system.

But what happens when there is no sex or the egg doesn't meet any sperm? What happens with the ovum in that case?

Well if there is no meeting of the egg and sperm, the egg and the blood that the body prepares for the fertilization process, comes out of our body. And you know what that is called?

Periods! I hate them so much. But didn’t they have this much science behind them. And the whole pregnancy thing sounds like a real tough one Mumma!

Well having a baby is not half as exhausting as raising them. It is a huge responsibility and must be taken on with full preparation. Also men and women need to be physically and mentally ready before they have sex. It can be a wonderful experience only when you are fully ready for it. But can cause extreme stress if you aren’t. Also, in India as a woman one has to be 18 before you have sex, get married or have children. And that’s 21 for men.

Thank you so much for explaining everything in such detail. Now I know how babies are born!

I am glad you asked us about it.  It is essential to have correct information and your health and safety should come first, always. And you can come to us anytime, especially if you have any doubts.

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