Incredible photos of the conception and growth of a child photographed from inside the womb

Renowned photographer Lennart Nilsson documented the incredible developmental process of the human embryo over 10 years of careful observation from conception to birth.

Lennart Nilsson was first featured in LIFE magazine in 1965, when his photos exhibiting human embryos were published. The shots were instantly reproduced in ‘Stern’, ‘Paris Match’, ‘The Sunday Times’, and other publications.

©Facebook | Lennart Nilsson

Microscopes and the cameras were Nilsson’s main passion. His ambition was to show the world the beauty of the human body at the micro level. His first shots of the embryo were taken in 1957.

Nilsson attached a camera together with a tiny light to a cystoscope which is an instrument used to examine the inside of the bladder and took thousands of photos recording the life of the embryo in its mother’s womb.

For for the first time, people were able to see with their own eyes the conception and development of human life.

The spermatozoon moves along the fallopian tube towards the egg.

The egg

The crucial moment

One of the father’s 200 million spermatozoa penetrates the membrane of the egg.

The spermatozoon’s point of view. The head contains all of the genetic material.

A week later, the embryo migrates to the womb by floating downwards through the fallopian tube.

The embryo at 22 day’s development. The grey area will become the child’s brain.

By the 18th day of development, the foetus’ heart begins to beat.

28 days after fertilisation.

At five weeks, the foetus is 9 millimeters long; it’s already possible to see the face with its openings for the mouth, nostrils, and eyes.

40 days of development. The exterior cells of the foetus join with the loose surface of the uterus wall to form the placenta.

At 8 weeks of development.

10 weeks. Its eyelids are already half open. Within several days they will be completely formed

At 10 weeks, the embryo already uses its hands to study the environment.

16 weeks.

 The lines of blood vessels are visible through its skin.

18 weeks. The foetus can now detect sounds from the outside world.

20 weeks. The foetus is now 20 centimeters long. Hair starts to appear on its head.

24 weeks.

6 months.

36 weeks. In a month, the baby will be born.

Nilsson’s book, ’A Child is Born’, was published in 1965. It sold out and has been republished many times, becoming one of the most popular photography books of all time.

Lennart Nillson is now 91. He’s still interested in science and photography.

Photos credit to: Lennart Nilsson