Pregnancy stages: Stages of development of baby’s growth

Pregnant Couple

Pregnancy is a beautiful thing and it’s quite empowering for women to experience the process. Many women dream of having children and going through that journey even if it is riddled with extra inconveniences like morning sickness or swollen feet can be an uplifting experience. The stages of pregnancy are broken up into trimesters. During each stage, baby grows from a single cell to eventually become a full-term baby born after nine months! It’s amazing to watch your body change into one that’s capable of carrying this little one changing right along with it. Things to look out for are kicking, hiccups, and maybe even hearing the baby’s heartbeat!

You can be known to go through many emotions during pregnancy. You may feel sad one day, happy the next and then concerned the day after that. When you feel sick in the morning, you might even wish that you were just faking it and yet on other days you will expectant with wonderful anticipation of your due date when your bundle of joy will arrive.

Eggs are fascinating to study in the kitchen as they undergo certain changes before they hatch and become little chicks! There’s a lot going on within the embryo that can be very interesting to observe. From the fertilized egg, through her metamorphosis to unborn baby, while the rest of your family sits near in anticipation.

First Trimester: Week 1- Week 12

Conceive

Fertilized egg

Blastocyst

At 4 weeks:• Brain and Spinal cord begins to form

• Heart begins to form

• Arm and leg buds appear

• Baby is now embryo with two layers of cells from which all the organs and body parts will develop and 1/25 of an inch long.

At 8 Weeks:• Major organs and external body structure will begun to form

• Heart beats with regular rhythm

• Arms and legs grow and on them fingers and toes begun to form

• Sex organs begun to form

• Eyes moves forward on face and eyelids too forms

• Umbilical cord is clearly visible

• At the end the embryo is fetus: looks more human and 1 inch long, weighs 1/8 of an ounce

At 12 Weeks:• Baby can make fist: nerves and muscles begin to work

• External sex organs, now clearly shows if the baby is boy or girl

• Eyelids shut tight- to protect developing eyes. Will not open till 28th week

• Head growth is slowed and baby gets longer

• Length: 3 inches long

• Weighs almost an ounce

Second Trimester: Week 13- Week 28

At 16 Weeks:• Completing skeleton structure and bones and muscles tissues form

• Skin begins to form

• Meconium: this is developed in baby s intestinal tract and is baby s first bowel movement

• Sucking reflex: baby starts making sucking motions with mouth

• Length: 4 to 5 inches

• Weight: 3 ounces

At 20 Weeks:• Feel fluttering as baby is active

• For protecting the growing skin, baby is covered by fine and downy hair called lanugo and waxy coating called vernix

• Baby scratches itself: fingernails and toenails forms

• Baby hears you

• Also swallow

• Length: 6 inches

• Weight: 9 ounces

At 24 Weeks:• Bone marrow- makes blood cells

• Baby gets its taste buds on baby s tongue

• Fingerprints and footprints forms

• Baby now has real hair

• Lungs are formed but they don t work now

• Startle reflex develop

• Usage of hands

• Baby now sleeps and wakes regularly

• If boy: testicles begin to move from abdomen into scrotum

• If girl: uterus and ovaries and in ovaries lifetime supply of eggs!

• Also now baby gains weight as it stores fats

• Length: 12 inches

• Weight: 1 and ½ pounds

Third Trimester: Week 29- Week 40

At 32 Weeks:• Bones are fully formed but are soft

• The kicks are now forceful

• Eyes open now and also close, sense changes in light

• Lungs now practice ‘breathing movements occur

• Baby s body stores vital minerals like iron and calcium

• Lunugo falls off

• Now baby is on gaining weigh spree by gaining some half pounds every week

• Length: 15 to 17 inches

• Weigh: 4 to 4.5 pounds

At 36 Weeks:• Vernix gets thicker

• Body fat increases

• Baby gets bigger and bigger

• Less space to move around and so you feel stretches and wiggles

• Length: 16 to 19 inches

• Weight: 6 to 6.5 pounds

At Week 37- Week 40

• Week 37 means baby is full term ie baby s organs are ready to function on their own

• Baby turns into a head down position for birth

• Contractions

• Labor

• Baby is delivered

• Baby wails and now breathes first time in the environment outside womb.

The birth of baby will definitely make you happy but it’ll also be hard work. You’ll find that there are sleepless nights, worries about the little one’s health and first steps for instance. However, this is just a small part of what makes it such an intense and joyful experience.

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