FETAL DEVELOPMENT

You're pregnant, and now you are curious how big your developing baby is, what your baby looks like as it grows inside you, and when you'll feel it move?  Take a peek inside the womb to see how a fetus develops from month to month.

8 Weeks

 

The baby is now a little over half an inch in size.  Eyelids and ears are forming, and the tip of the nose is visible.  The arms and legs are well formed.  The fingers and toes grow longer and more distinct.


12 Weeks


The fetus measures about 2 inches and starts to make its own movements.  You may start to feel the top of your uterus above the pubic bone.  Your doctor may hear the baby's heartbeat with special instruments.  The sex organs of the baby should start to become clear.


16 Weeks


The fetus now measures about 4.3 to 4.6 inches and weighs about 3.5 ounces.  The top of your uterus should be felt about 3 inches below your belly button. The baby's eyes can blink and the heart and blood vessels are fully formed.  The baby's fingers and toes should have fingerprints.


20 Weeks


The baby weighs about 10 ounces and is a little over 6 inches long.  Your uterus should be at the level of your belly button.  The baby can suck a thumb, yawn, stretch, and make faces.  Soon - if you haven't already - you'll feel your baby move, which is called "quickening."


24 Weeks


The fetus weighs about 1.4 pounds now.  It responds to sounds by moving or increasing its pulse.  You may notice jerking motions if it hiccups.  With the inner ear fully developed, it may be able to sense being upside down in the womb.


28 Weeks


The fetus weighs about 2 pounds 6 ounces.  It changes position frequently at this point in pregnancy. There's a good chance of survival if your baby is born prematurely now.  Ask your doctor about preterm labor warning signs.  Register for birthing classes.  Birthing classes prepare you for many aspects of childbirth, including labor and delivery and parenting the newborn.


36 Weeks


Babies differ in size, depending on many factors (such as gender, the number of babies being carried, and size of the parents), so your baby's overall rate of growth is as important as the actual size.  On average, it's about 18.5 inches and weighs close to 6 pounds.  The brain has been developing rapidly. Lungs are nearly fully developed.  The head is usually positioned down into the pelvis by now.  A pregnancy is considered "at term" once 37 weeks has been completed!

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