What is birth? Birth is the biological process or act of bringing forth or bearing live offspring, and sometimes referred to in medical contexts as pregnancy. In mammals, conception is initiated by reproductive hormones that cause the female uterus to rapidly contract, allowing the developing fetus to slip through the birth canal where it is able to breathe and feed. From the time of conception right up until the end of pregnancy, new life continues to evolve inside the womb, constantly changing and growing. From the moment a woman gives birth, though, she is a living, breathing person, whose life is continuously threatened and controlled by the physiological changes that pregnancy brings with it.

What is birth? For a definition of this word, we need to know what the experience of pregnancy is like for a woman. The experience of birth is frightening for most women, who have experienced nothing else like it, and it begins with major physical changes that occur before her eyes. The cervix, which is the lower portion of a woman’s uterus, expands and gradually becomes coated with blood; the walls close together and form the outline of the uterus. Within the cervix, blood begins to circulate, filling and protecting the organs of the reproductive system. Within a few days, a woman will be able to tell her doctor that she is pregnant.

The next phase in what is birth is the contraction of the Fallopian tubes, which connect the ovaries to the uterus, and which allow the eventual implantation of a fertilized egg. When ovulation does not take place, as it inevitably does at some points in a woman’s life, the egg will be swallowed by the body, which transports it to the uterus, where it implants in the lining of the uterus, ready for the arrival of a child. The entire process of what is birth takes about a week.