A woman’s good health is very crucial for fetus development and having healthy pregnancy. Fetal development begins with sperm fertilizing the egg in the fallopian tubes to form a zygote that develops into multicelled called blastocyst.
The blastocyst continue to travel down the fallopian tubes and implant itself to the wall of the uterus about one week after fertilization has taken place. The blastocyst will develop into an embryo and the growth process begins. Fetal development takes nine months or forty weeks that are divided into 3 segments called trimester.
First Trimester (1 to 12 weeks)
During 5 to 8 weeks of healthy pregnancy the fetus is about 0.5 to 1 inch long.
• Brain and spinal cord begins to develop.
• Heart and kidneys begins to develop.
• Arms and legs begin to develop.
• Hands and feet begin to develop.
• Fingers and toes begin to develop.
• Ears, eyes, and nose begin to develop.
During 9 to 12 weeks of healthy pregnancy the fetal heart beat can be heard using ultrasound.
• All major organs have fully developed.
• The arms and legs have grown longer.
• The external sex organs begin to develop.
• The eyes that started on the side of the head have moved forward to the face.
• The ears and eyelids have fully developed.
Second Trimester (13 to 28 weeks)
During 13 to 16 weeks of healthy pregnancy the sex of the baby can be determined. In week 13 the baby is grown to about 3 inches long and the internal organs such as the liver, intestines, kidneys, and lungs have developed.
• Hair begins to grow all over the body and on the head.
• The body is covered by fine downy hair (lanugo) that protects the skin.
• Eyebrows, eyelashes, fingernails, and toenails begin to grow.
• Muscle tissues and bones continue to grow.
During 17 to 20 weeks of healthy pregnancy the baby is grown to about 1 pound.
• Your baby’s eyes look forward instead of to the sides.
• Your baby can feel, hear, and swallow.
• Your baby continues to grow and put on more weight.
• Your baby is grown to about 6 inches long.
During 21 to 24 weeks of healthy pregnancy the baby is grown to about 12 inches long and weighs about 1.5 pounds.
• Eyebrows and eyelids are fully developed.
• Fingernails and toenails are fully grown.
• Teeth begin to develop beneath the gum.
• The lungs begin to develop.
• Taste buds begin to develop.
• If your baby is a boy, the testes begin to descend from abdomen into the scrotum.
• If your baby is a girl, the uterus and ovaries are developed.
During 25 to 28 weeks of healthy pregnancy the baby is grown to about 15 inches long.
• Your baby’s senses begin to develop fast.
• Your baby’s eyes begin to open.
• Your baby sleeps and wakes regularly.
• Your baby is able to suck a finger or thumb.
• Body fat begins to develop.
Third Trimester (29 to 40 weeks)
During 29 to 32 weeks of pregnancy the baby continues to grow and gain weight quickly.
• Your baby can sense changes in bright light.
• Your baby can open and close eyes.
• The brain is growing rapidly.
• The lungs and internal organs continue to develop.
• Body fat continues to develop.
• The downy hair begins to disappear.
• The skin is covered by waxy protective coating (vernix caseosa).
• Your baby weighs about 4 pounds.
During 33 to 36 weeks of pregnancy, as the baby grows bigger movement becomes restricted and the baby are not moving around as much as before.
• Body fat and weight continues to increase.
• At this stage most babies are in head down position.
• The lungs are fully developed.
• Your baby weights about 6 pounds.
During 37 to 40 weeks of pregnancy your baby is considered full term which means the due date is near and your baby can be born any day now.
• The waxy protective coating covering your baby begins to disappear.
• Body fat continues to increase.
• All internal organs are fully developed.
• At birth, your baby may weigh between 6 to 9.5 lbs.
There are chances pregnancy may go wrong that are cause by birth defects, early termination, or maternal death may occur. Many of these problems are caused by genetic that cannot be prevented but you can maximize your chance of healthy pregnancy by maintaining optimal health with good nutrition, exercising, resting, consulting with health care provider, and educating yourself about childbirth.
Getting physical examination before getting pregnant is also
important to be certain you don’t have STDs that can be transmitted to
the baby during pregnancy. You should also be tested for rubella, a
virus that can cause severe fetal defects when transmitted from infected
mother to the unborn during pregnancy.
Return from Healthy Pregnancy to Conception
Return to Homepage Self Help Sexuality