|What Your Baby Looks Like|
(Yes. lt's a Baby.)
|Day 1: Fertilization |
The sperm joins with the egg to form one cell. This single cell contains the complex genetic makeup for every detail of a new human being - the child's sex, hair and eye color, height, skin tone, etc. After fertilization, nothing new is added but oxygen, nutrition, and time.
|1st Month (1-4 Weeks)|
The first cell divides in two, and cell division continues as the newly formed individual travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus. More than 500 cells are present when this tiny embryo reaches the uterus 7 to 10 days after fertilization. Foundations of the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system are already established, and by day 21 the heart begins to beat in a regular fashion with a blood type often different from the mother's. Muscles are forming, and arms, legs, eyes, and ears have begun to show.
|2nd Month (5-8 Weeks)
By six weeks, brain waves can be detected by electroencephalogram, and the brain is controlling 40 sets of muscles as well as the organs. The jaw forms, including teeth and taste buds. The baby begins to swallow amniotic fluid, and some have been observed hiccupping. During this time, the stomach produces digestive juices, and the kidneys begin to function. Fingers and toes are developing and at seven weeks the chest and abdomen are fully formed. Swimming with a natural swimmer's stroke in the amniotic fluid, she now looks like a miniature human infant.
|3rd Month (9-12 Weeks)|
Unique fingerprints are evident and never change. The baby now sleeps, awakens, and exercises her muscles by turning her head, curling her toes, and opening and closing her mouth. Even though mom cannot feel movement yet, the baby is very active. She breathes amniotic fluid to help develop her respiratory system. The gender can be visually determined, and family resemblances may appear as well. By the end of the month all the organs and systems of her body are functioning.
|4th Month (13-16 Weeks)|
By the end of the fourth month, the baby is 8-10 inches in length and weighs about one-half pound. Her ears are functioning and she hears her mother's heartbeat, as well as external noises like music. Mom begins to feel baby's movement--a slight flutter at first that will become stronger. Lifesaving surgery has been performed on babies at this age.
|5th Month (17-20 Weeks)
If a sound is especially loud, the baby may lump in reaction to it. Thumb-sucking has been observed during the fifth month.
|6th Month (21-24 Weeks)|
Oil and sweat glands are functioning. The baby's delicate skin is protected in the amniotic sac by a special ointment called vernix. She grows rapidly in size and strength while her lungs become more developed. In a recent study, 70% of babies born between 22 and 26 weeks lived past age one, thanks to modern medicine.
|7th Month (25-28 Weeks)|
The baby can now recognize her mother's voice. She exercises by stretching and kicking as she grows even bigger. She uses the senses of hearing, touch, and taste, and she can even look around with open eyes at her watery home. If the baby is a boy, his testicles descend from the abdomen into the scrotum.
|8th Month (29-32 Weeks)
The skin begins to thicken, with a layer of fat stored underneath for insulation and nourishment. The baby swallows a gallon of amniotic fluid per day and often hiccups. Though movement is limited, due to cramped quarters, the baby's kicks are stronger, and mom may be able to feel an elbow or heel against her abdomen.
|9th Month (33-36 Weeks) |
Gaining one half pound per week, the baby is getting ready for birth. The bones in her head are soft and flexible to more easily mold for the journey down the birth canal. Of the 45 generations of cell divisions before adulthood, 41 have already taken place. Only four more come before adolescence. Ninety percent of a person's development happens in the womb.