Pregnancy is the carrying of one or more offspring, known as a fetus or embryo, inside the uterus of a female human. In a pregnancy, there can be multiple gestations, as in the case of twins or triplets. Human pregnancy is the most studied of all mammalian pregnancies. Obstetrics is the surgical field that studies and treats pregnancy. Midwifery is the non-surgical field that cares for pregnant women.

Childbirth usually occurs about 38 weeks from fertilization (conception), i.e., approximately 40 weeks from the the last normal menstrual period (LNMP) in humans. The date of delivery is considered normal medically if it falls within two weeks of the calculated date. The calculation of this date involves the assumption of a regular 28-day period. Thus, pregnancy lasts about nine months, although the exact definition of the English word “pregnancy” is a subject of controversy.


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