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How many weeks does a pregnancy last?
Most babies are born around 40 weeks' gestation
Compared to other primates, the limit of 40 weeks makes human babies be much more defenseless than other primates.
For example, a baby chimpanzee would be able to start moving by itself by crawling about a month after its birth, while a human baby would need about 7 months.
For a newborn human was born with a comparable level of development to a chimpanzee newborn, a woman would have to have a gestation of approximately 16 months.
Why do pregnancies in humans last only 40 weeks? There are several theories that explain why human pregnancies last 40 weeks:
• Size of the birth canal
If human gestation lasted longer, babies' heads would be Too big to go through the birth canal.
• Mother's metabolism
According to this theory, babies are born around 40 weeks of gestation because from that moment on a woman cannot bear to contribute more energy to pregnancy and fetal growth, since she has reached the physiological maximum of calorie consumption.
Jane Goodall Institute