After an initial showing earlier this month, the documentary “In the Womb,” which chronicles the development of a child from fertilization to birth, will be aired at least five more times on the National Geographic channel.
The two-hour film, which uses the latest high-tech 4-D ultrasound images to capture a developing girl in the womb, first aired on Sunday. National Geographic reportedly received thousands of calls in support of the documentary, prompting the rescheduling for tonight, tomorrow and March 18.
Besides seeing images of the developing baby, viewers witness a rare fetoscope operation performed in the hope of correcting life-threatening complications before birth.
At end of the first trimester, the film features the baby exhibiting reflex movements. The last trimester explores the baby’s ability to hear loud noises and deep tones through the fluids of the body, and even experience REM sleep.
The 4-D technology includes the traditional three dimensions and adds action sequences in real-time.
While New York Times television reviewer Virginia Heffernan ridiculed pro-life activists in her piece on the documentary, she admitted it was good TV.
“‘In the Womb’ is actually a cool, beautiful movie, a celebration of computer imaging and the 4-D ultrasound,” she wrote. “It exhibits a minimum of politics, probably because it appears to have been made in England, where the acknowledgement that humans in the womb are complex, dreaming, pain-experiencing, memory-having, walk-practicing, music-enjoying entities does not instantly put you in the same camp as doctor assassins and purveyors of ‘The Silent Scream.'”
Heffernan notes the film demonstrates that “babies can recognize their mothers’ voices prenatally, and even reflect an appreciation of their mothers’ rhythms in their own postnatal cries.”