Preparations for the First Breath
After birth the most important thing for the baby is
to breathe; it is necessary that the lungs, which had
never known air before, fill with it and start to breathe.
The baby, who had previously received oxygen from the
mother's blood, must now take it from the air with his
own lungs. And in a miraculous way, the lungs, when
had never taken a breath before the first moment of
birth, begin to breathe quite normally.
At the moment the baby is born, God creates everything
in readiness and ensures that the preparation of the
lungs has been completed as required. For the preparation
of the lungs, the diaphragm comes into play; it is located
between the stomach and the rib cage. The diaphragm
begins to function towards the sixth month of pregnancy.
At first it expands and contracts intermittently several
times an hour, but after birth it will do this continuously.
It can be seen from this that the baby is constantly
under special protection, but it must be remembered
that this is not the mother's protection. As the foetus
develops, the mother carries on her normal life; none
of the changes in her body are under her control. Even
if she wanted to intervene, she could not. All these
developments occur by the eternal power of our Lord.
God has created all the things required for a child
to come into the world as a normal human being in the
most wonderful way. All the needs of the baby while
it is in the foetus stage are met, and the mother is
spared the necessity of thinking about what she must
do to bring the baby into the world and ensure that
the baby will survive.
Even if she thought about doing something to this end,
there is nothing she could do. For example, taking waste
material from the body of the foetus into her own kidneys,
purifying it and discharging it are things which no
mother could do on her own. It is God Who determines
all the needs for a new human being to come into the
world and constructs the system in the way that will
best respond to these needs.
The Preparations Are Completed
As the foetus gradually gets prepared for life in the
outside world, an extraordinary team of workers is organized
among the organs. The work that will be done is determined
according to the conditions in the outside world. The
eyes, unused in the mother's womb, are constructed for
the intensity of the world's light; the ears are made
for the world's sounds. In the same way, the stomach
and the other digestive organs are equipped with a physiological
system designed to function in relation to this world's
nutrient material. The cells of the digestive system
are programmed and adjusted so as to digest food they
have never encountered. Along with their ability to
analyse carbohydrates and fats, they are programmed
to know which nutrients are required by which organs
and to ensure that these nutrients are sent to the relevant
cells in the body. So, the foetus is prepared for the
outside world in a planned and programmed way. Here
we must point out again that these organs and cells
that constitute the body of a new human being make these
preparations for an environment that they have never
seen, heard of or otherwise experienced. They develop
as if they were aware of the environment that was waiting
for them after leaving the mother's body. Certainly
it is impossible to claim that these cells accomplish
these acts by their own prescience. The conscious and
deliberate preparations made by the cells in forming
a baby's body, inspired in them by God, must be considered
as an important proof of creation.
It is possible
with today's technology to observe the development
of the baby in the mother's womb with ultrasound.
In the final months, the foetus begins to gain weight.
Certain cells produce a fat layer which is named "brown
fat" because it has a brownish colour. The special brown
fat develops in particular areas of the foetus such
as the nape of the neck, around the kidneys and behind
breastbone. In addition to providing insulation, brown
fat itself produces heat. The special function of this
fat layer is to keep the baby warm in the early weeks
after birth.43 The
fact that these cells which produce this fat layer flawlessly
perform the duties that have been inspired in them is
another proof of creation.
In the meantime, the skin of the foetus undergoes important
changes resulting in the development before birth of
skin surface which is critical for survival after birth.
The skin of the foetus produces an oily surface covering
which confers a water repelling property to the surface
of the skin in contact with the amniotic fluid. This
oily surface layer has an important effect to promote
maturation of the underlying skin cells and the formation
of a skin barrier before birth.44
In earlier sections, we mentioned that in the early
stages of the embryo, the mother's defensive cells are
not permitted access to the baby's blood. These cells
see the baby as a foreign intrusion and could kill it.
But in the ninth month, this situation changes suddenly
and antibodies (a protective protein produced by the
immune system) in the mother's womb pass to the foetus
through the placenta. When we examine the reason for
this, we are struck by something very surprising. In
the first six months after birth, the cells in the baby's
immune system do not develop, but the baby will need
antibodies to protect it from the germs in the world.
So, in the last month, the mother's antibodies, which
are permitted access to the baby's blood, will be ready
to protect the baby from contracting infectious diseases
when it is first born.45 In
the subsequent months, as the baby's immune system begins
to produce its own antibodies, the mother's antibodies
will cease functioning.
As in what we have said before, this operation too,
as outlined above, is an example of the perfect plan
in the creation of human beings. The details in every
month, every day, every minute of the formation of a
human being are minutely calculated. Flawless systems
prevent harmful material from reaching the foetus, but
when these materials are needed, the old system is removed
according to the same perfect plan, and a new one is
put in place. Certainly, this perfection does not come
about by the deliberate decision and will of the cells
which make up a human being. All these things are proof
of the incomparable creation of Almighty God.
As can be seen in the examples given, every stage in
the development of a human being is controlled and occurs
according to a perfectly ordered plan. And every human
being, while in the foetus stage, undergoes this controlled
development and grows into maturity. The special plan
and perfect design in the development of a human being
is a manifestation for aware individuals of the eternal
knowledge and wisdom of God
CREATION FROM A DROP
During the nine months in the mother's womb, growth
continues perfectly. The foetus first enters the womb
as a drop of fluid and gradually turns into a human
there were the slightest lack of coordination in this
development, the foetus would surely die. For example,
if the brain grew more quickly than the bones of the
skull, the brain of the foetus would be compressed and
suffer damage. This coordination is also important for
the formation of the eyes, the liver and heart, as well
as other organs and the bones which surround them. The
ordered development of the organs is also very important
because, if the kidneys were slow to develop and the
circulatory system had already formed, the blood would
not be purified and the body would be poisoned.
But this does not happen and the baby about to open
his eyes to the world is created by passing perfectly
from one stage to another.
The only power that creates a complete human being
from what was at first just a drop of fluid is that
of Almighty God, the Lord of the universe.
The Qur'an tells how God created human beings:
Does man reckon he will be left to
go on unchecked?
Was he not a drop of ejaculated sperm,
then an alaq (embryo) which He created and shaped,
making from it both sexes, male and female?
Is He Who does this not able to bring the dead to life?
(Qur'an, 75: 36-40)
Certainly, an individual confronted by this truth will
always be thankful to his Lord for creating him from
a drop of fluid and making him a seeing, hearing and
Say: "It is He Who brought you into
being and gave you hearing, sight and hearts. What little
thanks you show!" (Qur'an, 67: 23)
Geraldine Lux Flanagan, Beginning Life, Dorling Kindersley,
London, 1996, p. 87
44. 1999-2003, Cincinnati Children's
Hospital Medical Center (http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/svc/dept-div/skin/medical.htm)
45. Laurence Pernoud, J'ettends un
enfant, Pierre Horay, Paris, 1995, p. 135