Fetal Development Photo Credits

Learn More about Life Before Birth

Many of the amazing fetal pictures shown at this site are from living children in the womb, taken by the famous Swedish photographer Lennart Nilsson. The photos were taken using a tiny camera and a technique called fetoscopy, or embryofetoscopy. The fetoscope is about half a millimeter (2 one-hundredths of an inch). It is inserted through the uterine wall and into the uterus by a small incision made in the abdomen. Fetal ultrasound is used to guide the placement of the fetoscope to protect the fetus. This procedure can often be done during an amniocentesis. The mother can watch the procedure and see her fetus on a screen. Visualizing the fetus in this manner can be used to diagnose problems in utero. No fetuses were harmed in the production of these photos.

More about how these beautiful photos were taken.

Sources for Fetal Photos and Facts

Photos appearing on this web site are reproduced under “fair use” terms for the purpose of public education. For permission to use these photos for commercial purposes, please contact the sources indicated below. No pages on this web site may be reproduced in their entirety without permission, but your links are appreciated.

Visit these Sources to Learn more

  • A Child Is Born by Lennart Nilsson (also in paperback). The pictures are truly amazing (if you are pregnant or even thinking about getting pregnant, you must see this book!).
  • Nova: The Miracle of Life this award-winning documentary includes a detailed account of how a baby is formed, from conception to birth, complete with prenatal footage.
  • In The Womb. Tallack, Peter. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2006.
  • From Conception to Birth. Tsiaras, Alexander. New York: Doubleday, 2002.
  • More books about pregnancy with selected reviews.

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