From the moment you realize that you are pregnant, you would start to develop a heavenly feeling that can be established as the magical bond between a mother and her baby. The mere feeling of harboring a life inside you, protecting it, enriching it with your blood and finally welcoming it into the world, can leave you on cloud heaven.
As a new mother, it is imperative that you know how your baby would start growing inside your body as the days progress. You would need to understand the basic growth stages of a baby in order to make sure that your little one is safe and sound inside. Understanding the complete growth process from a tiny embryo to a baby would also help you point out abnormalities or discrepancies if any as your pregnancy progresses.
Baby Growth Stages During Pregnancy
This would usually be the time when implantation occurs, i.e. the fertilized egg would attach itself to the uterine wall followed by the development of the placenta. This would also be the time when you start experiencing the first signs of pregnancy, including implantation spotting.
This would be the time frame when the most important organs of the body would start to develop. This would include the brain, heart and spinal cord etc. As the pregnancy progresses into the 5th week, the heart would start pumping (you would be able to hear a fairly strong thumping during your medical checkup). The 5th week would also be the time when the stomach, eyes and ears start developing.
Enter the 6th week and your baby would start developing an upper lip and would also start developing the most important chambers of the heart, the two atria and ventricles.
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With the 7th week, the umbilical cord would be fully developed and would attach itself to the baby, providing the latter with essential nutrients which would flow from the mother to the developing fetus via the placenta. It is by this time that your baby starts developing legs and arms, including toes and fingers; and starts to look more like a baby.
From the 9th week onwards, the reproductive organs would start taking shape and your baby would start developing a skeleton in addition to developing the ability to move around a bit. By the end of the 11th week, the reproductive organs would have been fully formed and by the end of the 12th week, your baby would have become bigger by 3 inches.
This is when you would start to feel an odd movement inside your body at regular intervals. Don’t be alarmed for your baby would have learned to kick by week 13. A thin layer of skin starts to develop around your baby’s body. By the start of the 14th week, your baby’s hormonal activities start perking up.
Enter week 16 and your baby would start giving cute facial poses when you go in for a scan. You would also be able to notice clenched fists at this time and your baby’s size would have increased to somewhere around 5 inches.
Between week 17 and 20, your baby would have fully developed legs and arms, and would be able to hear faint sounds from outside, including your voice. The skin would have become thicker and stronger by now and the kidneys would be fully developed and functional. Your baby would start developing bodily hair and would also put on some weight.
A crucial stage in the development of the baby, the weeks 21-27 signify the end of the second trimester and are characterized by plenty of changes in the developing body. These include the formation of the blood cells (by the bone marrow), the development of vital senses like taste, partially developed lungs that are getting ready to begin the process of respiration, and the completion of strong bones that start to support the body.
By week 28, your baby’s nervous system would start functioning and the brain would be nearly complete at this juncture. The respiratory system starts functioning and so do the lungs (partially). Your baby can open and close his/her eyes and can grab onto things with his/her hand. Reflexes like sucking also strengthen at this point of time as your baby adds on more weight.
Week 40 is characterized by fully developed lungs that start to function properly, a functional immune system and a ‘ready to process anything and everything’ brain. Your baby would probably weigh around 8 pounds or more now and is almost ready to come out into the world.
It would be only a matter of time before his/her first screech fills your ears inside the hospital’s labor room. Till then take the time to enjoy the entire journey so far. And wait with bated breath to start a new innings in your life with a joyous bundle to give you company.
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