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Understanding The Month By Month Fetal Development

Following is a brief description on how the fetal development progresses month by month during pregnancy.

1st Month

During the first month of pregnancy, some of the important things that are accomplished include conception, fertilization, and implantation. Fertilization is an important stage where the physical attributes of your baby are determined, such as the eye color, hair color, and of course the gender. Implantation usually occurs in the uterus during the period from seventh to the tenth day. At the end of the first month of pregnancy fetal development, the baby is approximately 2mm long.

2nd Month

Now, your baby takes the form of a fetus. This is the stage when all her major organs, including liver, arms and legs, neural tube, and heart begin to form. The ultrasound can detect the heartbeats during the fetal development by week 6. Now, the formation of placenta takes place, where bones, mouth, ears, and eyes begin to form. At the end of the second month, your baby weighs about 1-2 grams and is about 1/2 inch - 3/4 inch long.

3rd Month

Your baby's arms and legs start moving. The sex organs continue to develop, but the development of all major organs is complete. The face is now well formed. However, gender differentiation is not possible at this stage.

4th Month

During this stage of fetal development, the teeth and hair begin to form. The baby starts moving and you can feel the moves.

5th Month

The development of lanugo [body hair] takes place that starts covering the body of the baby. The footprints, fingerprints, eyebrows, and eyelashes start developing. The ears however are completely developed, and your baby can now listen. The baby can now suck and swallow as well. Sucking the thumb at this stage is very common for the baby.

6th Month

The fetal development during this month includes the development of the immune system and the formation of alveoli. The lungs also begin to develop. The startle reflex and a handgrip reflex are also fully developed in this month.

7th Month

Your baby can now wink, as eyes are fully developed. The baby is very active now and can even cry. The bones are fully developed and the body fat is also increasing. The baby may even have hiccups, which the mother feels as if the baby is jumping inside.

8th Month

The last stages of fetal development are not actually the development of the body parts. You can say that this is the stage when your baby starts maturing and growing. The baby sleeps most of the time but is still very active.

9th Month

The last month is the stage when the baby is preparing for birth. In usual cases, in the process of this preparation, the baby faces head down. However, the sleep and resting continues.

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