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What should I know about fetal development?

View a fetal development slide show.

Conception:


The egg is fertilized by a sperm and they form one cell smaller than a grain of sugar. This one cell contains the plans for every detail of the baby's development, including sex, hair and eye color, height and skin tone.

Day 5-9:


New individual burrows into the wall of the womb. Sex can be determined.

Day 24:


The baby's heart begins to beat.

Week 3:


The brain, spinal cord and nervous system develop.

Week 8:


All body systems are present. The lungs are forming, brain waves are recorded, muscles work together, and reflexes are present. The baby begins to respond to touch, can feel pain, and can move, kick, swim, jump & stretch.

Week 10:


The body is complete. Changes after this are primarily in size, rather than appearance.

Month 3:


Shows the lung and brain growth largely completed. The baby can hear, suck her thumb, and her fingers can grasp objects. Her fingerprints are already evident. The baby can even wrinkle her forehead!

By End of Month 4:


The baby is 8 to 10 inches long and weighs a half-pound or more. Her heart pumps 16 gallons of blood every day and her mother can now feel her moving.

Months 5-6:


The baby grows to be about 12 inches long and has a chance to survive outside the womb.

Months 7, 8 & 9:


The baby uses the 4 senses of vision, hearing, taste and touch. She can recognize her mother's voice. Eyelids open and close, eyes look around.

By End of Month 9:


The baby normally weighs 6-9 lbs. and is now ready for birth.


More Pregnancy Information:


What are some of the symptoms of pregnancy?

Call your health-care provider immediately if. . .

How to have a healthy pregnancy.

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