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Newborn Babies

In this worksheet, students will learn about the process of birth and the needs of newborn babies.

'Newborn Babies' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Biology: Structure and Function of Living Organisms

Curriculum subtopic:   Reproduction

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

In this worksheet you will learn about the process of birth and the needs of newborn babies.

 

The gestation period (or pregnancy) for humans is nine months (40 weeks). It is the time from fertilisation until birth.

 

When the baby is ready to be born, the uterus begins to contract and this is the start of labour. Contractions start gently but become more powerful. The muscles of the cervix ("neck of the womb") relax and make it wider, the amnion (or amniotic sac) breaks and amniotic fluid runs out of the vagina (a mum says her "waters have broken").

 

Once the cervix is 10 cm wide, the contractions push the baby out, usually with the head first. The umbilical cord is tied and cut and the scar becomes the navel (belly button). Within half an hour from birth, the placenta breaks away from the uterus and passes out of the vagina. This is called the afterbirth and marks the end of labour.

 

 

Newborn babies are very fragile and need a lot of care.

 

In the first few months, they need to be fed on milk. Mammary glands in the breasts produce milk. This milk contains nutrients to give the baby energy to grow. It also contains antibodies; these are substances that help to prevent diseases caused by microbes. This is why it is extremely important to breastfeed newborns for at least six months. After a few months, babies can eat semi-solid food.

Complete this sentence:

What marks the start of labour?

contractions of the uterus

contractions of the cervix

It this statement true or false?

 

Contractions start powerfully, but then become gentle.

true

false

What happens to the cervix while the uterus contracts?

 

female reproductive system

It contracts and becomes tighter.

It relaxes and becomes wider.

It contracts and opens wide.

What reproductive membrane breaks at some stage, while the uterus contracts and the cervix muscles relax?

Complete this sentence:

Once the baby has been born, what is "born" about 20 minutes later that marks the end of labour?

Where is milk produced in the mother's body?

anywhere in the breasts

mammary glands in the breasts

navel

uterus

What does milk contain that gives babies energy to grow?

What does milk contain that prevents diseases from microbes developing in the baby?

  • Question 1

Complete this sentence:

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Although it's generally known as "being pregnant", or simply "pregnancy", the proper term is the gestation period. If you had a dog that was expecting puppies, when the vet felt her abdomen to see how the developing puppies were doing, they'd tell you that she was at so many weeks "gestation".
  • Question 2

What marks the start of labour?

CORRECT ANSWER
contractions of the uterus
EDDIE SAYS
The cervix is the junction between the uterus (womb) and the vagina, which is why it's often called the "neck of the womb". It is the uterus itself that has the muscular wall that is going to have to contract to push the baby out during labour.
  • Question 3

It this statement true or false?

 

Contractions start powerfully, but then become gentle.

CORRECT ANSWER
false
EDDIE SAYS
This is false. The opposite is correct. Contractions start gently, but then become more powerful as labour progresses and the uterus pushes harder and harder to push the baby out into a waiting world.
  • Question 4

What happens to the cervix while the uterus contracts?

 

female reproductive system

CORRECT ANSWER
It relaxes and becomes wider.
EDDIE SAYS
The cervix is the junction between the uterus and the vagina and the baby's going to have to pass through it, so the cervix is going to have to relax and become wider, to allow the baby to pass. Indeed, the vagina is known as the "birth canal" at this point.
  • Question 5

What reproductive membrane breaks at some stage, while the uterus contracts and the cervix muscles relax?

CORRECT ANSWER
amnion
amniotic sac
EDDIE SAYS
During labour, as the contractions grow stronger and stronger, the amnion (or amniotic sac) that has surrounded the developing baby with fluid throughout pregnancy now has to break to allow the baby to be born.
  • Question 6

Complete this sentence:

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
As birth nears, the amnion ruptures and the amniotic fluid that surrounded and protected the fetus as it grew now flows out of the vagina - the mum's "waters have broken" and she knows that it won't be long now until she meets the little one she's been carrying for 9 months.
  • Question 7

Once the baby has been born, what is "born" about 20 minutes later that marks the end of labour?

CORRECT ANSWER
afterbirth
after birth
placenta
EDDIE SAYS
Once the baby is born, the placenta has now finished its job of nourishing the growing fetus and is no longer needed. It now breaks away from the wall of the uterus and passes out of the vagina. This is called the afterbirth (we'll accept "after birth", but it's actually one word!) and marks the end of labour.
  • Question 8

Where is milk produced in the mother's body?

CORRECT ANSWER
mammary glands in the breasts
EDDIE SAYS
Milk is produced in the mammary glands in the breasts. These are special organs within the breasts that produce a fluid which contains all the nutrients the growing infant needs. This is one of the key characteristics that identifies mammals (=mammary glands!) and the milk of different mammals is designed for the specific growth of their infants (e.g. seal milk is very high in fat as they quickly need a layer of insulating blubber under their skin to keep them warm).
  • Question 9

What does milk contain that gives babies energy to grow?

CORRECT ANSWER
nutrients
nutrient
EDDIE SAYS
In short, milk contains all the nutrients that give the baby the energy it needs to grow. Human milk has a good spread of carbohydrates (for energy), protein (for lots of growth) and fat. Whales produce high-protein milk and their calves grow rapidly as a result.
  • Question 10

What does milk contain that prevents diseases from microbes developing in the baby?

CORRECT ANSWER
antibodies
EDDIE SAYS
Extraordinarily enough, the mother's milk contains antibodies that prevent diseases from microbes developing in the baby. The first few days of a mother's milk is slightly different (it's called COLOSTRUM) as it contains a lot of antibodies. These are designed to give the newborn baby its first line of defence in preventing infection from viral diseases. It's a great first gift from mummy!
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