9. What Your Baby Looks Like

[feed name="When Life Begins"]

Month 0: Fertilization    
On the first day of life, the sperm joins egg to form 1 cell, with complex genetic makeup for the child’s sex, hair and eye color, height, skin tone, etc. 

Month 1 (1-4 Weeks)    
The 1st cell divides as the newly formed individual travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus. More than 500 cells are present when this tiny embryo reaches the uterus 7-10 days after fertilization. Foundations of the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system are already established. By day 21 the heart begins to beat and the child has a blood type often different from the mother’s. Muscles, arms, legs, eyes, and ears are forming.

Month 2 (5-8 Weeks)    
By 6 weeks, brain waves can be detected and the brain is controlling 40 sets of muscles as well as the organs. The jaw forms, including teeth and taste buds. The baby begins to swallow amniotic fluid, baby hiccups. The stomach produces digestive juices, kidneys begin to function. Fingers and toes are developing, and at 7 weeks the chest and abdomen are fully formed. Baby swims in womb, she now looks like a miniature human infant.

Month 3 (9-12 Weeks)    
Unique fingerprints form and never change. The baby now sleeps, awakens, and exercises her muscles by turning her head, curling her toes, and opening and closing her mouth. Even though mom cannot feel movement yet, the baby is very active. She breathes amniotic fluid to help develop her respiratory system. The gender can be determined, and family resemblances may appear as well. All the organs and systems of her body are functioning.

Month 4 (13-16 Weeks)
By the end of the 4th month, the baby is 8-10 in. in length and weighs about 1/2 pound. Her ears are functioning and she hears her mother’s heartbeat, and sounds like music. Mom begins to feel baby’s movement—a slight flutter at first that will become stronger. Lifesaving surgery has been performed on babies at this age.

Month 5 (17-20 Weeks)
Baby may jump in reaction to sound and suck her thumb.

Month 6 (21-24 Weeks)
Oil & sweat glands function. The baby’s delicate skin is protected in the amniotic sac by a special ointment called vernix. She grows rapidly in size and strength while her lungs become more developed. In a recent study, 70% of babies born between 22 and 26 weeks lived past age one, thanks to modern medicine.

Month 7 (25-28 Weeks)
The baby can now recognize her mom's voice. Baby exercises with stretches & kicks as she grows bigger. Baby can hear, touch, taste, and can even look around in womb. In males, testicles descend from the abdomen into the scrotum.

Month 8 (29-32 Weeks)
The skin begins to thicken, with a layer of fat stored underneath for insulation and nourishment. The baby swallows a gallon of amniotic fluid per day and often hiccups. Though movement is limited, due to cramped quarters, the baby’s kicks are stronger, and mom may be able to feel an elbow or heel against her abdomen.

Month 9 (33-36 Weeks)
1/2 pound is gained per week, the baby is getting ready for birth. The bones in her head are soft and flexible to more easily mold for the journey down the birth canal. 41 of 45 cell divisions before adulthood, have already taken place. Only four more come before adolescence. Ninety percent of a person’s development happens in the womb.