WEFOUNDBirthing the Elephant The Woman's Go-For-It Guide to Overcoming the Big Challenges of Launching a Business

Birth is the act or process of bearing or bringing forth offspring . [1] In mammals, the process is initiated by hormones which cause the muscular walls of the uterus to contract, expelling the fetus at a developmental stage when it is ready to feed and breathe. In some species the offspring is precocial and can move around almost immediately after birth but in others it is altricial and completely dependent on parenting. In marsupials , the fetus is born at a very immature stage after a short gestational period and develops further in its mother's wombs pouch .

It is not only humans and mammals that give birth. Some reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates carry their developing young inside them. Some of these are ovoviviparous , with the eggs being hatched inside the mother's body, and others are viviparous , with the embryo developing inside her body, as in mammals.

Most smaller mammals have multiple births, producing litters of young which may number twelve or more. In these animals, each fetus is surrounded by its own amniotic sac and has a separate placenta. This separates from the wall of the uterus during labor and the fetus works its way towards the birth canal. [ citation needed ]