Having a baby is a beautiful experience. Forty weeks seems
like forever, but the times flies by quickly. Pregnancy is a
beautiful experience that will change you as person forever.
The way you observe life, the way look at family and friends.
When your child is born you will be able to see yourself
through your children’s eyes.
Having a baby live, grow and breathe inside of you, relying on you for survival is amazing in its self. The experience is miraculous, these nine months will be a precious time for you that will help you grow spiritually, emotionally, and as we all know physically.
At the beginning of your cycle, around 20 ova begin to develop and live in fluid-filled sacs called follicles. One of these follicles matures and ruptures, releasing an egg that will travel down the fallopian tube, where it awaits fertilization. This all takes place about 14 days before the end of your cycle. This is the time you're most fertile.
After you conceived and you have a pregnancy test to confirm your pregnant, then you should probably contact your ob-gyn and neurologist. Most ob-gyn will calculate when your pregnancy began by calculating the first day of your last menstrual period. This technique is called the menstrual age and is about two weeks ahead of when conception actually occurs.
Your fertilized egg grows when you become pregnant, a watertight sac forms around your egg, gradually filling with fluid. This process is called the amniotic sac (The fluid-filled sack that lines the uterus. Prior to delivery, the sack breaks and the amniotic fluid leaks or gushes out. Many pregnant women use the phrase, “My water broke,” they’re referring to the burst of the amniotic sac.), and it helps cushion the growing embryo. The placenta also develops. (The placenta is the organ created during pregnancy to nourish the fetus, remove its waste, and produce hormones to sustain the pregnancy. It is attached to the wall of the uterus by arteries that supply it with maternal blood and oxygen.)
The fetus is attached to the placenta by the umbilical cord (The umbilical cord is the cord with blood vessels, which attaches the baby to the placenta. The placenta is attached to the uterine wall. Blood vessels inside the placenta transport blood, oxygen and nutrients to the baby and carry waste products and carbon dioxide away.) Through this, the fetus receives blood, nourishment, and oxygen and expels waste. On one side of the placenta, the mother's blood circulates, and on the other side, fetal blood circulates. Mother's blood and fetal blood usually do not mix in the placenta.
The fetus begins to develop a face. The fetus’s eyes like to dark circles. The mouth, lower jaw, and throat are beginning to develop. Blood cells are forming and taking shape, and circulation will soon begin. By the end of the first month, your baby is about 1/4 inch long.
In the beginning of pregnancy, you’re still in shock that you’re actually pregnant and your going to become a mommy! The actuality that you’re pregnant hasn’t hit yet! It's a hard to imagine that you’re pregnant because you don’t feel pregnant and you haven’t experienced any physical changes yet.
At week three if your egg and your partner's sperm have attached successfully, your embryo is really there, even though it's very small -- about the size of the head of a pin. Pretty small huh! It doesn't look like a fetus or baby; it's just a group of about 100 cells multiplying and growing quickly. The outer layer of cells will become the placenta, and the inner layer will become the embryo.
At week four, your baby is still very small, only about 0.014 inches to 0.04 inches in length. The embryo, probably in about its second week of development, has multiplied to about 150 cells. Secretions from the uterine lining are nourishing your baby. Layers of cells already are specialized according to functions. The outer layer will become the nervous system, skin and hair; the inner layer will be the breathing and digestive organs; and the middle layer will become the skeleton, bones, cartilage, muscles, circulatory system, kidneys and sex organs.
Your baby's facial features continue to develop. Each ear begins as a little fold of skin at the side of the head. Tiny buds that eventually grow into arms and legs are forming. Fingers, toes and eyes are also forming.
The neural tube (brain, spinal cord and other neural tissue of the central nervous system) is well formed. The digestive tract and sensory organs begin to develop. Bone starts to replace cartilage.
By the end of the second month, your baby, now a fetus, is about 1 inch long, weighs about 1/3 ounce, and is virtually all head (1/3 of its body is head).
At week five, your embryo still hasn't grown much. It's about 0.05 inches long. Heart, brain, spinal cord, muscle and bones are beginning to develop. The placenta, which will nourish your baby, and the amniotic sac, which provides warm and safe surroundings where the baby can move about without difficulty, are still forming, too.
At week six, the embryo is starting to look like a tadpole. It's about 0.08 inches to 0.16 inches -- the size of a baby pea -- from the top of the head to buttocks. (This crown-to-rump length is used more often than crown-to-heel length because the baby's legs are most often bent and hard to measure). The eyes and limb buds also are forming. A heartbeat can sometimes be detected by an ultrasound around now. This is also an extremely important time in the development of your baby, since between 17 and 56 days the embryo is most susceptible to factors that can interfere with its normal growth.
By seven weeks, your baby has grown into an embryo about 1 inch long and has a tiny beating heart. Your embryo makes great strides in size this week, growing to between 0.44 inches and 0.52 inches from crown to rump by the end of the week, or about the size of a small raspberry. Leg buds are starting to look like short fins, and hands and feet have a digital plate where fingers and toes will develop. The heart and lungs are becoming more developed, as are the eyes and nostrils, intestines and appendix. By now the brain and spinal cord are growing from the neural tube. In the next few weeks the baby will be developing quickly.
At week eight, your embryo, now about in its sixth week of development, is about the size of a grape tomato-- 0.56 to 0.8 inches from crown to rump. Eyelid folds and ears are forming and even the tip of the nose is visible. The arms have grown longer and bend at the elbows. Places where fingers and toes eventually will grow are becoming uneven.
When you are around 8 to 12 weeks pregnant you should a CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling) can be done. This test can detect genetic abnormalities earlier than the amniocentesis test.
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The Chorionic villi are small cylindrical extensions on the placenta, which have the same genetic make-up as the fetus. Using ultrasound as a guide, a fine tube is passed through the cervix, or sometimes through the abdomen, to remove a sample of chorionic tissue.
The risks include infection, maternal bleeding, miscarriage and birth defects.
CVS can detect a number of genetic problems in the fetus but not all of them. If a diagnosis of a genetic problem is made, parents must then face a decision about what action they will take, and whether to terminate the pregnancy.
By two months the embryo is now about 1 to 2 inches long and has distinct, slightly webbed fingers. You are able to see the baby’s veins. The heart has divided into right and left chambers.
At nine weeks, the embryo measures about 0.9 inches to 1.2 inches from crown to rump, or the size of a lime. The arms and legs are longer, and the fingers might be a little swollen where the touch pads are forming. The head is getting straight and neck is more developed. Your baby now moves its body and limbs, and this movement can be seen during an ultrasound, unfortunately you won't be able to feel the baby yet.
At ten weeks, your baby is now officially called a "fetus." It looks a little like a medium shrimp, measuring 1.25 to 1.68 inches from crown to rump, and weighing a little less than two-tenths of an ounce. You might be reassured to know that most physical malformations, when they occur, have occurred by the end of this week, so the most crucial part of your baby's development is safely behind you. The baby’s features relating to their intelligence and behavior will continue to develop throughout the pregnancy. The baby’s eyes are covered by skin that will eventually split to form eyelids.
At ten weeks a Nuchal Scan Test can be done to screen for Down's syndrome.
Using an ultrasound scanner, the depth of a dark fluid-filled space behind the baby's neck is measured. The deeper this space is the greater the risk of Down's syndrome.
Minimal, although this test is not diagnostic and only predicts risk so it may cause uncalled for worry.
An approximation of the risk of Down's syndrome can be made. During this test no other condition is tested for only for Down syndrome.
At week eleven, your fetus, about the size of a large lime, measures about 1.75 to 2.4 inches from crown to rump and weighs about three-tenths of an ounce. About now the rapid noises of the heartbeat can be heard through a Doppler sound-wave stethoscope. Fingernails and external genitalia are showing distinguishing characteristics, and the baby is swallowing and kicking. Unfortunately, at this point of the pregnancy you still won’t feel any kicking or movements.
By three months the fetus is 2 1/2 to 3 inches long from crown to rump and weighs between three-tenths of an ounce and half an ounce. The fetus is entirely formed, from tooth buds to toenails, and your baby's is continuing to get bigger and stronger for the rest of your pregnancy. The baby has begun swallowing and kicking. You probably still won’t feel the fetus at this point. The organs and muscles are beginning to work. The chance of miscarriage drops a great deal because the most important part of the baby’s development is finished at this point of the pregnancy (end of the third month).
By the end of the third month, your baby is fully formed. Your baby has arms, hands, fingers, feet and toes and can open and close its fists and mouth. Fingernails and toenails are beginning to develop and the external ears are formed. The beginnings of teeth are forming. Your baby's reproductive organs also develop, but the baby's gender is difficult to distinguish on ultrasound. The circulatory and urinary systems are working and the liver produces bile.
At the end of the third month, your baby is about 4 inches long and weighs about 1 ounce. Your baby's fingers and toes are well defined; eyelids, eyebrows, eyelashes, nails and hair are formed. Teeth and bones become denser. Your baby can even suck his or her thumb, yawn, stretch and make faces.
The nervous system is starting to function. The reproductive organs and genitalia are now fully developed, and your health care provider can see on ultrasound if you are having a boy or a girl. Your baby's heartbeat may now be audible through an instrument called a Doppler.
At week thirteen, your fully formed fetus, now in about its 11th week of development, measures 2.6 to 3.1 inches from crown to rump and weighs between half an ounce and seven-tenths of an ounce -- about the size of a peach. The head is still bigger than the body, but the rest of the body is starting to catch up. In fact, your baby is growing very quickly at this point. The face is starting to look more human, with eyes moving closer together. Toes and fingers are clearly separate, and ankles and wrists have formed. External genitalia are becoming visible. Intestines are shifting into their proper place, too.
At week fourteen, your baby measures about 3.2 to 4.1 inches from crown to rump now and weighs almost an ounce. The ears are shifting from the neck to the sides of the head, and the neck is getting longer and chin more prominent. Facial features and unique fingerprints are all there. Your baby is beginning to respond to outside noises such as movements, sounds and voices. If your abdomen is poked, the fetus will try to wiggle away.
From 14 to 18 weeks an amniocentesis test may be done if your doctor and you feel its necessary.
A sample of the amniotic fluid that surrounds the unborn baby, is removed via a needle passed through the abdominal wall, using ultrasound as a guide. The fluid contains some cells from the fetus, which can be examined in the laboratory.
There are serious risks to consider, including miscarriage, although the risk is generally lower than that for CVS.
If the results are normal the parents may be reassured although no test can guarantee a healthy baby. But if the results show an abnormality, the parents may face a difficult decision about whether to continue the pregnancy.
Blood tests can be done at about 14 weeks into the pregnancy to look for chemicals, which may indicate certain problems with the fetus.
A sample of blood is taken from the mother and analyzed. Levels of chemicals including alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) are measured.
Minimal, although the tests are not very accurate and can cause a lot of pointless concerns.
These tests do not confirm a specific diagnosis but simply estimate the risk of certain conditions, especially conditions known as neural tube defects (which include spina bifida) and chromosomal troubles such as Down's syndrome. If the risk is high then the woman may be offered a diagnostic test such as amniocentesis.
At week fifteen, your 13-week-old fetus now measures about 4.1 to 4.5 inches from crown to rump and weighs about 1.75 ounces. An ultra fine hair, called lanugo, which is usually shed by birth, covers its body. Eyebrows and hair on the top of the head are beginning to grow. He may even be sucking his thumb by now. Bones are getting harder.
By four months, your baby is covered with a layer of thick, downy hair called lanugo. His heartbeat can be heard clearly. In a few weeks you may feel your baby's first kick. By the end of the fourth month, your baby is about 6 inches long and weighs about 4 ounces.
At week sixteen, your baby now measures about 4.3 to 4.6 inches from crown to rump and weighs about 2.8 ounces. Fingernails are well formed and the fine hair, lanugo, may be growing on the head. Arms and legs are moving. The nervous system is functioning and muscles are responding to stimulation from your baby's brain. You may be able to hear the baby's heartbeat in your OB-GYN office.
Hair is beginning to grow on your baby's head and lanugo, a soft fine hair, covers his or her shoulders, back, and temples. This hair protects your baby and is usually shed at the end of the baby's first week of life.
Your baby's skin is covered with a whitish coating called vernix caseosa. This "cheesy" substance, thought to protect baby's skin from long exposure to the amniotic fluid, is shed just before birth.
You may begin to feel your baby move, since he or she is developing muscles and exercising them. This first movement is called quickening.
At seventeen weeks, your baby, now about in its 15th week of development, measures about 4.4 to 4.8 inches from crown to rump and has doubled in weight in the last two weeks to about 3.5 ounces. Fat begins to form, helping your baby's heat production and metabolism. The lungs are beginning to exhale amniotic fluid, and the circulatory and urinary systems are working. Hair on head, eyebrows and eyelashes is filling in.
At eighteen weeks, your baby measures 5 to 5.6 inches from crown to rump and weighs about 5.25 ounces. The baby’s growth is beginning to slow down, but the baby’s reflexes are getting stronger. The baby can yawn, stretch and make facial expressions, even frown. Taste buds are beginning to develop and the baby can tell the difference between sweet from bitter tastes. The baby will suck if its lips are stroked and it can swallow, and even get the hiccups. The retinas have become sensitive to light, so if a bright light is shined on your abdomen, baby will probably move to protect its eyes.
At week nineteen, your baby measures about 5.2 to 6 inches from crown to rump and weighs about 7 ounces. Skin is developing and clear, appearing red because you can see the baby’s blood vessels. Creamy white protective coating, called vernix, begins to develop.
At week twenty, the fetus measures about 5.6 to 6.4 inches from crown to rump and weighs about 9 ounces. Your baby can hear sounds by now -- your voice, heart and your stomach growling, as well as sounds outside your body. It will cover its ears with its hands if a loud sound is made near you, and it may even become scared and do a little hop, skip and jump inside of you. The baby is moving often -- twisting, turning, wiggling, punching and kicking. Isn’t a wonderful experience, you have a little life growing inside of you!
By five months the vernix caseosa (The vernix is a protective, grease-like, substance that covers the baby while the little one is in the uterus. The oil-secreting glands of the skin produce it.) begins to form on baby's skin. By the end of this month, your baby will be about 11 inches long and weigh almost a pound.
At twenty-one weeks, your baby measures about 7.2 inches from crown to rump and weighs about 10.5 ounces. The fetus is steadily gaining fat to keep warm. Growth rate is slowing down but organ systems, like digestion, are continuing to mature. A waxy film, called the vernix caseosa, is being produced by your baby's oil glands and covers the skin to keep it supple in the amniotic fluid. Buds for permanent teeth are beginning to form.
When the fetus is about 21 weeks and older, an ultrasound scan may be used to help detect visible abnormalities in the baby.
An ultrasound is usually used to keep an eye on the progress of your pregnancy, checking the baby's position and maturity, or to verify a multiple pregnancy simply by rolling a scanning device over the mother's abdomen. The device bounces ultrasound waves through the abdomen to build up a picture of the fetus.
The risks of ultrasound are minimal.
The scan may notice abnormalities of the spine, limbs, and organs such as the heart.
If the results are comprehensible, then parents can be free from worry. However, ultrasound scans cannot detect every problem and a 100% guarantee that the baby will be healthy is not possible.
At twenty-two weeks, your baby measures about 7.6 inches and weighs about 12.3 ounces. The muscles are getting stronger every week now, and the eyelids and eyebrows are developed. Your baby's movements are pretty stable, and since the baby responds to sound, rhythm and melody, you can try singing and talking to the baby. After baby is born, the same sounds will calm the baby.
At twenty-three, your baby is about 8 inches from crown to rump and weighs almost 1 pound. The body is becoming proportioned more like a newborn, but skin is still wrinkled (like a little prune) because your baby still has more weight to gain. Lanugo hair on the body sometimes turns darker.
At twenty-four weeks, Your baby, now about in its 22nd week of development, is 8.4 inches from crown to rump and weighs about 1.2 pounds. It is starting to produce white blood cells, mostly for fighting disease and infection, and may respond to your touch or sounds. If you haven't felt the baby’s hiccups yet, you might feel some moving motion now.
By six months you’re able to see the eyebrows and eyelids. Your baby's lungs are filled with amniotic fluid, and he has started breathing motions. If you talk or sing, he can hear you.
By the end of the sixth month, your baby is about 12 inches long and weighs about 2 pounds. The baby’s skin is reddish in color, wrinkled, and veins are visible through the baby's clear skin. At this point you can see the baby’s finger and toe prints. The eyelids begin to part and the eyes open.
Your baby may respond to sounds by moving or increasing the pulse, and you may notice jerking motions if baby hiccups. If born prematurely, your baby may survive after the 23rd week with intensive care.
At twenty-five weeks, your developing baby now measures about 8.8 inches from crown to rump and weighs 1.5 pounds. The baby’s skin is now becoming thicker and the skin is not clear anymore. The baby’s body is still covered with extra skin that they will need to grow into during the developmental process of pregnancy. Heartbeat can be heard through a stethoscope or, depending on the position of the baby, by others putting an ear against your belly.
It’s week twenty-six, your baby measures about 9.2 inches from crown to rump and weighs almost 2 pounds now. It’s hearing is fully developed. As the fetus reacts to sounds, its pulse increases. Your baby will even move in rhythm to music. Lungs are still growing but are not yet mature. Patterns of your baby's brain waves appear like a full-term newborn. It also has patterns of sleeping and waking.
At week twenty-seven, your baby measures about 9.6 inches from crown to rump and weighs a little more than 2 pounds. Hands are active and muscle coordination is such that he can get his thumb into his mouth. Thumb sucking calms the baby and strengthens his cheek and jaw muscles. Your baby can cry now.
At week twenty-eight, your baby measures about 10 inches from crown to rump, or a total length of about 15.75 inches from head to toe, and weighs about 2.4 pounds. Brain waves show rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which means your baby may be dreaming. Eyelids are opening. Branches of lungs are developing, so there's a good chance that baby would survive if born prematurely now.
By seven months your baby weighs about 2 1/4 pounds and is about 15 inches long. The baby’s body is well formed. Fingernails cover his fingertips. During the last three month of pregnancy your epileptologist will put you on vitamin K. Vitamin K is important for the prevention of blood clotting. Anti-epileptic drugs can sometimes affect the level of vitamin K in your body. It is usually suggested to take 10mg of vitamin K1 daily during the last month of pregnancy. This helps to decrease the danger of bleeding problems in the baby during and after labor. It is important, and so suggested, that the baby is given an injection of 1mg of vitamin K1, when the baby is born.
At week twenty-nine, your baby measures about 10.4 inches from crown to rump, or a total length of about 16.7 inches from head to toe, and weighs about 2.7 pounds. At this stage a fetus's eyes are almost always blue and can distinguish bright sunlight or artificial light through the uterine wall. Baby is performing fewer movements because living conditions in the womb bare becoming more cramped. The baby is still doing a lot of kicking and stretching.
At week thirty, your baby measures about 17 inches from head to toe and weighs about 3 pounds. Baby is getting fatter and beginning to control its own body temperature. Eyebrows and eyelashes are fully developed, and hair on the head is getting thicker. Head and body are now proportioned like a newborn's. Hands are now fully formed and fingernails are growing.
At thirty-one weeks, your baby measures about 18 inches long from head to toe and weighs about 3.5 pounds. Rather than hearing vibrations, baby's nerve endings in his ears are connected now so that he can hear distinct sounds, like familiar voices and music.
By the end of these four weeks, your baby will weigh as much as 5 pounds. Your baby continues to mature and develop reserves of body fat. You may notice that your baby is kicking more. Baby's brain is developing rapidly at this time, and he or she can hear. Most internal systems are well developed, but the lungs may still be immature.
At eight months, your baby is gaining about half a pound per week, and layers of fat are piling on. Because you are close to giving birth the baby will move head-down in preparation for birth. He weighs between 4 and 5 pounds.
At thirty-two weeks, your baby measures about 18.9 inches long from head to toe and weighs almost 4 pounds. It fills almost all the space in your uterus now, either lying with the head up or sometimes still with enough room to move around. A layer of fat is forming underneath the thin, wrinkly skin. Baby's practicing opening his eyes and breathing.
At thirty-three weeks, your baby measures about 19.4 inches from head to toe and weighs about 4.4 pounds. The next few weeks will mark lots of growth in the baby. The fetus will gain more than half its birth weight in the next seven weeks. Baby begins to move less now as it runs out of room and curls up with knees bent, chin resting on chest and arms and legs crossed.
At thirty-four weeks, your baby measures about 19.8 inches from head to toe and weighs about 5 pounds. Baby is probably settling into the head-down position, although it might not be final. Organs are now almost fully mature, except for lungs, and the skin is pink instead of red. Fingernails reach the ends of fingers, but toenails are not yet fully grown. Baby might have lots of hair. Movements are less frequent because of the tight fit.
At thirty-five weeks, your baby measures about 20.25 inches from head to toe and weighs more than 5.5 pounds. Lungs are almost fully developed, but if born now the baby would probably be put in an incubator. It still doesn't have enough fat deposits beneath its skin to keep warm outside your womb.
Your baby continues to grow and mature: the lungs are nearly fully developed. Your baby's reflexes are coordinated so he or she can blink, close the eyes, turn the head, grasp firmly, and respond to sounds, light and touch.
You should still feel movement every day. Your baby's position changes to prepare itself for labor and delivery. The baby drops down in your pelvis, and usually his or her head is facing down toward the birth canal.
By the end of this month, your baby is about 18 to 20 inches long and weighs about 7 pounds.
At week thirty-six week, your baby measures about 20.7 inches from head to toe and weighs about 6 pounds. The baby may drop lower in your abdomen, usually assuming the head-down position after having frequently assumed other positions during early pregnancy. The brain has been developing rapidly, and your baby is practicing blinking.
At nine months, your baby is a hefty 6 to 8 pounds and measures between 18 and 22 inches. As the baby gets bigger your womb will become more crowded causing the baby to move around less.
At thirty-seven weeks, your baby is about 21 inches from head to toe and weighs almost 6.5 pounds. Baby is getting rounder every day, and skin is getting pinker and losing its wrinkly appearance. Baby's head is usually positioned down into the pelvis by now.
At thirty-eight weeks, your baby is about 21 inches from head to toe and weighs about 6.8 pounds. Most of the baby's downy hair, lanugo, and whitish coating, vernix is disappearing. Your baby is getting its antibodies from you to protect against illness. Baby's growth is slowing down, but fat cells under skin get thicker for life outside the womb. Almost ready for birth, your would do well if born now.
At thirty-nine weeks, your baby is about 21.5 inches long from head to toe and weighs a little more than 7 pounds. Toenails and fingernails have grown to tips of toes and fingers. Muscles of your baby's arms and legs are strong, and he's practicing lung movements. Baby's head has dropped into the mother's pelvis if he's head-down, which allows you to breathe a little easier.
At forty weeks, your baby's length is about 21.5 inches from head to toe and it weighs about 7.5 pounds. Boys often tend to weigh a little more than girls. Reflexes are coordinated so the baby can blink, close his eyes, turn his head, grasp firmly and respond to sounds, light and touch. More lanugo falls out, but some may remain at birth on shoulders, folds of skin and backs of ears.
Questions to ask your doctor in the beginning of the ninth month of pregnancy:
1. Tell me how the baby and I will benefit from taking vitamin K.
2. What will happen to my baby and me if we do not take vitamin K?