The growth of a baby in the womb is a magical process of nature. It is so precise and calculated that each thing is exactly how it should be. The baby is technically said to be conceived on the first day of your last period. But this is not entirely accurate because the actual conception would have happened only after 15 to 20 days of your last period. This is the time when the sperm fertilises the egg and the embryo starts making its journey towards the womb. A pregnancy is usually 9 months long and is divided roughly into 3 trimesters of equal length.
Each such trimester marks a different stage of development of the foetus. The baby has to grow from a microscopic egg to a full grown human baby. This means that the increase in size is in multiples of millions. It is advisable for all women to be aware of the growth stages of the baby in order to take the right steps for its well being.
Stages of Foetal Development
Here is a list of stages of development of the baby for each trimester of pregnancy.
The baby starts off as a minute cell structure that is not visible to the naked eye. Within four weeks the baby is half the size of a grain of wheat and the very first facial features start forming. It is said that most of the spinal and neural growth happens during the first six weeks which is why it is important to consume folic acid before you even conceive.
The bay’s heart beat will be visible in an ultrasound by the 7th week as well as the amniotic sac. The extremities like the hands and legs start forming in the second month and are clearly formed by the end of the first trimester. By the end of this period, the baby looks completely human with well formed internal organs like the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys.
This is the period of maximum development of the baby. Features like eyebrows, nose, eyes, hair etc. are now forming. The baby also starts depositing muscle mass as well as fat in its body.
You may also start noticing movements in your belly because the body tries to move its arms and legs by the end of the fifth month. Gender can usually be detected through an ultrasound scan by middle of the second trimester.
As the baby grows in size, the amount of amniotic fluid reduces. This is a time for great brain development and growth. It can also make more controlled movements like turning the head and grasping at something.
The baby now has a layer of fine hair all over its body which will be shed after birth. It will also respond to sharp lights directed at your stomach and even jerk at loud and sudden sounds. The lungs and the respiratory tract are fully developed by the beginning of the ninth month. Growth and development usually halts in the last two weeks before delivery.
Photo Credit: http://websitereported.com/fetus_developmentStages Of Fetus Growth During Pregnancy,