6 Fingers are Better than 5 and Other Interesting Tidbits from ‘9 Months That Made You’

Good things come in groups of eight, right?

Santa’s reindeer, suggested hours of sleep at night, abs on an eight-pack (thank you Ryan Reynolds), and the amount of weeks featured in the premiere episode of 9 Months That Made You. This three-part series is packed with stories of people who all have had unique experiences in the womb, resulting in genetic and biologic conditions changing the way they experience the world around them.

Episode one highlights the critical first eight weeks in the womb, and since great things come in groups of eight, here are eight interesting tidbits from the premiere episode of the series.

1. Think you might be pregnant? Eat leafy greens and your kid will live forever.

According to Dr. Matthew Silver, a scientist doing a 70 year study about life expectancy in Gambia, certain genes can be stimulated based on foods eaten in the first week of pregnancy. Eating green veggies in the first week of pregnancy can strengthen the immune system for the child and will help fight infections down the road, leading to longer lives.

2. At five weeks you are the size of a bean.

Although, we should probably ask Chipotle if they mean black or pinto.

3. Six fingers are better than five.

A family from Brazil has a genetic mutation where almost the entire family has six fingers on each hand. Basically they are better at sports, swimming, and playing piano, than us five fingered muggles.

4. We can (or for me cannot) balance on things, due to a system inside our ear. 

It’s called the vestibular system and it’s one of the main contributors to our sense of balance and spatial orientation.

5. Models don’t always feel confident in their bodies.

Melanie Gaydos is beautiful, she has swagger, and is fierce in a way only Beyoncé can understand. She also happens to have a form of Ectodermal Dysplasia, a condition that causes abnormal skin, hair, and enamel development. Melanie grew up feeling strange, like something was wrong with her. In her segment of the episode, she talks about how she has struggled simply with finding a will to live. However, she has been able to see beyond that concluding by saying, “I do feel beautiful, it’s not something that’s easy for me, but it is something that grows stronger and stronger each day.”

6. Babies are adorable.

Okay, this might not be new information, but the constant cuteness of little bald heads crawling around in this series is a constant reminder that babies are beautiful.

7. People are mostly the same.

All in all, the entire first episode clearly shows that despite a few minor physical differences humans can develop in the first eight weeks of life, we all go through the same stages in the womb. Contrary to what many may think, we are more similar than we are different.

8. Episode two premieres Wednesday, July 6th!

The nine month countdown continues in episode two, where featured stories will explore skin pigmentation, personality, gender, and more!

Watch 9 Months That Made You, on your local PBS station or the PBS app.