Fetal Development Description - 1 thru 9 Months
Month 1, My heart
started beating today! At fertilization a new human life begins, complete with his or her
own unique set of DNA, which is present from the first day of life. The
new little person's sex is also determined from the beginning. During
the first amazing month of life the baby grows to 10,000 times his size
at conception. By the third week the baby's heart begins to beat.
Month 2, I can
suck my thumb now!
The developing baby is now called a "fetus" which is Latin for "little
one." She is making rapid progress developing all her external and
internal organs. During the second month baby teeth form; fingers and
toes are developing. Ears, nose, lips and tongue can now be clearly
seen. Brain waves can now be recorded. The central nervous system is now
functioning, and so forty muscle sets begin their first exercises. The
skeleton changes from cartilage to bone. By 8 weeks all body systems are
present. This little one can now suck her thumb.
Month 3, I
grabbed my hand today! The baby
can now squint, swallow, and move his tongue. He sleeps and awakens.
Fingernails and toenails form. He now has his own unique set of
fingerprints. Sensitive to touch, he will lightly grasp an object placed
in the palm of his hand. He breathes amniotic fluid to help develop and
strengthen the respiratory system, but he gets the oxygen he needs
through the umbilical cord.
Month 4, I had a
dream today! The baby’s
brain has begun maturing—a process that will continue until she is about
14 years old. Her eyelids are now sealed shut and will re-open at 7
months. Her taste buds are now working. Nutrients consumed by her mother
are passed on to her within an hour or two. Three hundred quarts of
fluid a day are sent to the baby via the umbilical cord. Fine hair
begins to grow on head, eyebrows and eyelashes. Facial expressions
similar to the baby's parents can be seen at this time. This month rapid
eye movements have been recorded—a sign of dreaming.
Month 5, Mommy
felt me kick today! This month
marks the half-way point to birth, and the baby is very active. Sleep
habits develop and his mother can feel him move and stretch,
particularly when she is resting. He is big and strong enough to kick
hard against the outside uterine wall and dent it. Up to now, although
he swam with ease in his watery world, he was too small for her to
detect because the inside wall of the uterus has little feeling. Babies
born at this age have survived.
Month 6, I
rolled over today! The baby
can now roll over inside the womb. Her oil and sweat glands are
functioning. A white filmy layer called vernix covers the baby and
protects her delicate skin from the surrounding amniotic fluid. This
waxy substance will be quickly absorbed into her skin soon after she is
born. She can now respond to sound. Her lungs are fairly well developed
and she would stand a good chance of survival if born at this time.
Month 7, I looked
around today! Beginning
this month the baby uses all four senses. His eyelids open and close and
the eyes look around. The baby can taste, touch, cough, yawn, and
hiccup. He now recognizes his mother's voice. His grip is even stronger
now than it will be after his birth. The hair on his head is growing
longer and the downy covering on the rest of his body is disappearing.
During this time the baby will receive antibodies from his mother
providing him immunity to a wide variety of diseases.
Month 8, I like
to listen to my Mommy's voice! In the last two months the baby continues to gain weight. She is
developing a layer of fat that will keep her warm after she is born. In
the 9th month she will shift to a head-down position, preparing for her
birth. Her lungs are now fully developed and capable of making the
transition to breathing air. After birth she will continue the human
growth process for many years to come...
Month 9, Here I am!