Fetal Development Month by Month

Month 1: Your first month of pregnancy your baby will accomplish many things, first and foremost, conception, fertilization, and implantation. After a woman ovulates, the egg is normally fertilized within 24-48 hours. The single fertilized cell begins to rapidly divide and at this point in time is called a zygote. Many amazing things happen at fertilization. Your baby's entire physical attributes are determined including gender, hair color, and eye color. Between days 7-10 from fertilization implantation usually occurs. Implantation should occur within the uterus if it does not this is considered an ectopic pregnancy. The amniotic sac, umbilical cord and yolk sac are already beginning to form. By the end of this month your baby is approximately 2mm long and beginning early stages of development.

Month 2: Your baby is now considered a fetus. Her heart, neural tube, arms and legs, liver and other major organs begin to form. By your 6th week, her heart will be beating and visible via ultrasound. The placenta also begins to form as well as the eyes, ears, mouth, and bones. In this month, your baby's fingers and toes will become present, however, they may still be webbed. Her brain and cranial nerves will also begin to form this month. Baby's sex organs begin to become visible. Your baby is approximately 1/2 inch - 3/4 inch long and weighs about 1-2 grams by the end of this month.

Month 3: If given an ultrasound now, you would be able to see your baby's arms and legs moving. Baby's heartbeat can be detected by doppler beginning in your third month. Development of the heart and all major organs is complete by the end of the third month. Baby's sex organs continue to develop, but it is still too difficult to differentiate gender. Baby's muscles in trunk, limbs, and head are developing. Baby's face is well formed and your baby looks like a baby. By the end of your third month, your baby is 3-4 inches long and weighs about 1 ounce.

Month 4: During your fourth month your baby's hair and teeth begin to form. Your baby will be moving and active now and you may begin to feel baby's movement this month, however, not feeling movements till next month is perfectly normal as well. Your baby's digestive system is forming and the intestines are present. Meconium, your baby's first stool, is present in the intestines as well. By the end of this month it may be possible to determine baby's gender. Your baby is approximately 5-6 inches long and weigh 5-8 ounces by the end of the month.

Month 5: Your baby is developing a fine hair, called lanugo, which covers the body. Likewise, her eyelashes and eyebrows are developing. Her fingerprints and footprints are now developed. She begins to suck and swallow and may even be found sucking her thumb. Vernix, a white lanolin-like covering, appears on baby to protect her skin. Her ears are developed as well and she may be able to hear you now. Your baby is approximately 7-8 inches long and weighs 3/4-1 pound by the end of this month.

Month 6: Your baby's immune system is developing and she is beginning to create her own antibodies. She has developed a hand grip reflex and startle reflex. Her lungs are beginning to develop and alveoli are forming. She is growing and filling out. She looks more and more like the person she will be when she is born. By the end of this month, she is approximately 9-10 inches long and weigh in at about 1 1/2-2 1/4 pounds.

Month 7: Your baby's eyes are open and she is able to cry. She may be very active now and others may be able to see her movements. She may have hiccups which will feel like a jumpy movement. She is increasing in body fat and her bones are fully developed now. By the end of this month, she is approximately 11 inches long and weighs around 3-3 1/2 pounds.

Month 8: At this point of your pregnancy, there is not a whole lot of new development. However, your baby is growing and maturing and preparing for life outside the womb. Your baby sleeps most of the time now and has periods of REM sleep. Baby is becoming increasingly cramped for space, but she is still very active. Your baby is approximately 13 inches long and weighs around 5-6 pounds at the end of this month.

Month 9: In your 9th month, which actually extends a little further than 9 calendar months, your baby is preparing for birth. She will spend a lot of time resting, but she should still have plenty of active periods. She should be facing head down in preparation for birth. Babies weight and length vary considerably at birth, but a typical range would be between 7-8 pounds and 19-21 inches in length.

Teresa Redmond is a wife and mother to 5 children. She is also co-owner of Justmommies.com. She has taken many health related classes including obstetric & gynecological nursing, pharmacology, and medical terminology. She has written numerous parenting and health articles. If you would like to know more about what is happening during pregnancy please see our pregnancy calendar at http://www.justmommies .com/pregnancy_calendar.php

How do I Calculate My Pregnancy Due Date?

You're pregnant! The next question is: When is the baby due? Calculating the pregnancy due... Read More

The Pregnancy Glow and Other Myths of Motherhood

It happened during the ninth month of my first pregnancy. I was going through a... Read More

Smoking During Pregnancy

If you have been drinking up until the point when you become pregnant or smoking... Read More

Alcohol And Pregnancy

If you have been drinking up until the point when you become pregnant or smoking... Read More

Chill Out, Mama! Four Tips on Managing Stress in Pregnancy

One of the best gifts you can give your baby and yourself is a calm,... Read More

The Developing Child

We know the fetus is experiencing whatever is going on with the mother. This is... Read More

When Your Nipples Need Band-Aids - A Breastfeeding Problem

In the olden days, mothers were told to toughen their nipples to avoid pain when... Read More

Abortions After Fetal Viability

Abortion is without a doubt one of the hottest and most politically divisive topics, as... Read More

Baby Essentials - A Guide For First Time Mums

Are you a first time expectant mum wandering around the shops wondering do I really... Read More

You Might Be Pregnant If

Your breasts are now twice their normal size.One of the early trademarks of pregnancy are... Read More

Is Pregnancy Changes You?

People say pregnancy is a fun and exciting time. Probably they are right, but don't... Read More

How Can I Make Sure Im Exercising Safely During My Pregnancy?

Unless your practitioner gives you specific restrictions or instructions, you should keep active during pregnancy.... Read More

Glutathione for a Healthier Pregnancy

All parents-to-be nurture the dream of a healthy pregnancy and baby.But the modern environment and... Read More

What If Your Teenager Get Pregnant?

What if you received a letter from a 13 years old girl telling that she... Read More

Womens Health - Pregnancy Nutrition is for All Women of Child Bearing Age

During pregnancy your nutrition needs are going to increase. Even before becoming pregnant it is... Read More

10 Pregnancy Risk Factors that Every Pregnant Woman Should be Aware of

Many factors affect the development of a fetus into a healthy child, some which are... Read More

Am I Pregnant?

Am I pregnant? This is often one of the most important questions a women can... Read More

The First Warning Signs of Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be exciting or daunting, depending on the circumstances. Do you suspect you're pregnant?... Read More

How Do I Date My Pregnancy?

Accurate dating of pregnancy is one of the most important steps in your prenatal care.... Read More

Fetal Development Month by Month

Month 1: Your first month of pregnancy your baby will accomplish many things, first and... Read More

Planned Parenthood Prevents Teen Pregnancy

Planned Parenthood is an alternative for teenagers when they do not know where else to... Read More

Very Early Symptoms of Pregnancy - Do You Know These Very Early Pregnancy Signs?

Very early symptoms of pregnancy -- what are they? If asked, most women remember their... Read More

Is a Healthy Pregnancy Possible After Gastric Bypass Surgery?

When a woman in the child bearing years undergoes gastric bypass surgery to lose weight... Read More

Folic Acid - An Overview of Its Importanace Before and During Pregnancy

FOLIC ACID ? AN OVERVIEWFolic Acid, also know as Vitamin B9, assists in preventing certain... Read More

Is A Baby Allowed To Play In Its First Month?

What should you do to have a happy pregnancy? Many things you could do, but... Read More

Can a Woman With PCOS Get Pregnant?

One of the most common questions I get from women who are newly diagnosed with... Read More

Dealing With Common Pregnancy Complaints

Pregnancy is not without its side effects. During pregnancy your body will undergo many hormonal... Read More

What Would I Do Without My Doula?

By the time my husband and I finally got pregnant the first time, I had... Read More

Pregnant Women Dont Just Stay at Home; Go Shopping!

Most women like to go shopping. However, sometimes pregnant women reluctant to go out because... Read More

Vacation Is One Way To Run Away From Stress During Pregnancy

What should you do to have a happy pregnancy? Many things you could do, but... Read More

Pregnancy Fashion - Look And Feel Great During Your Pregnancy!

Have you ever wondered what makes women tick? Well among other things it is good,... Read More

Dietary Precautions During Pregnancy

When you are pregnant, you should be sure to wash all raw vegetables prior to... Read More

Coping With an Unplanned Pregnancy

Your period is late and you start to think maybe you might be pregnant. Maybe... Read More

Pregnant? Did You Know You Can Begin Bonding as Early as 8 Weeks into Pregnancy?

Maybe someone you know has rented or purchased a fetal doppler from one of the... Read More

Homebirth Midwifery

What is Homebirth Midwifery? Homebirth Midwifery is prenatal care that may include homebirth care, newborn... Read More

Successful Weight Loss After Pregnancy

How fast you lose weight will depend on a number of factors, including the amount... Read More

Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Choosing The Right Foods

So you need to gain weight but don't want to gain too much weight during... Read More

How To Eat A Healthy Diet During Pregnancy

Perhaps the number one complaint of women trying to watch their weight during pregnancy is... Read More

Sex During Pregnancy

It is important that you nourish your relationship as much as your nourish your unborn... Read More

How do Pregnancy Tests Work?

Pregnancy tests identify a special hormone in the blood or urine produced during pregnancy. This... Read More

Pregnancy Preparation: Who is a Baby Whisperer?

A baby whisper is a Dr. Mommy who inspires and instructs new Moms on building... Read More

Train While You Gain - Why a Personal Trainer Can Make a Difference During Your Pregnancy

The average woman will gain between 25 and 30 pounds during her pregnancy, but how... Read More

Obesity And Pregnancy

If you are overweight when you become pregnant, your physician will likely recommend that you... Read More

Why Shouldnt I Smoke During Pregnancy?

There are a lot of good reasons to quit smoking, but isn't your baby the... Read More

How to Lose Weight After Pregnancy

Weight control is a prevalent concern for many women after pregnancy. Although common during pregnancy,... Read More

Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Selecting a present for a new mom or dad can be a challenging task. Baby... Read More

Pregnancy Exercise

One of the best things you can do to prepare for pregnancy is start exercising... Read More

Pregnancy and Pre-natal Vitamins

Pre-natal vitamins are important to the health of a growing baby. They are also important... Read More

Just How Soon After Having A Baby Is It Realistic To Try And Fit Into Those Pre-Pregnancy Jeans?

That depends, say the experts, on a number of things including how high your body... Read More

Pregnant Running: Expectant Runners Share Stories and Advice

When I became pregnant I planned to run throughout my pregnancy. I was addicted to... Read More