Recently I became aware of this animated infographic by Tabletop Whale. It shows a human embryo and fetus development from conception to birth. I think it’s a fascinating display and truly makes me marvel at the complexity of the human body. It made me consider just what happens during pregnancy, so here’s a week-by-week breakdown.
Week 1 - Mom isn’t pregnant yet, but things are in the works. The conception date is determined by subtracting two weeks from mom’s last menstrual cycle.
Week 2 - Mom’s body is ramping up progesterone, a hormone used to prepare her body for baby-making tasks.
Week 3 – Mom is officially pregnant when a sperm fertilizes the egg. The egg will implant itself on the uterine wall. During fertilization, some basic traits of your baby are determined, like sex and appearance.
Week 4 –The embryo will split into two parts; one is the placenta and the other is the baby.
Week 5 –The heart has started beating, but it can’t be heard yet. The embryo has divided into three layers that will develop into different organs.
Week 6 –Baby has tripled in size, the heartbeat can be heard (twice as fast as ours!) and brain activity has begun.
Week 7 –Baby is developing facial features (that look just like dark spots) and move slightly.
Week 8 – Baby has quadrupled in size and started to develop fingers and toes!
Week 9 –Baby’s organs are developing nicely.
Week 10 – Baby officially becomes a fetus. Bones are hardening and the kidneys are making urine.
Week 11 –Baby is breathing underwater (amniotic fluid).
Week 12 –Baby is flexing those muscles and giving gentle kicks, but they still can’t be felt.
Week 13 –Baby’s organs have formed and she may be sucking her thumb now!
Week 14 –Baby’s features are fleshing out. The eyes have moved from the side to the front of the head.
Week 15 – Baby is starting to experiment with facial features, but they don’t reflect her actual feelings.
Week 16 –Baby’s skeleton is maturing and umbilical cord is fully developed.
Week 17 – Sweat glands have developed and your baby is starting to produce fat, plumping her up.
Week 18 –Baby’s ears have developed to the point where she can hear mom. Loud noises may startle her, but she’ll be comforted by the sounds of your voice.
Week 19 – Baby has developed a cheese-like coating to protect her skin in the womb and her heart rate has become much stronger.
Week 20 – Baby has become very active, kicking and flexing her muscles. She is starting to develop hair and nails.
Week 21 – During this week babies go through a growth spurt from all the amniotic fluid they are swallowing.
Week 22 – Baby has developed a sense of touch, so she can feel the interior of the womb. She’s learning to be comforted by enclosed spaces.
Week 23 – Baby’s brain is working overtime, developing billions of cells. Also, the lungs are developing rapidly as well as sensory functions.
Week 24 – Baby is often responding to sounds from inside mom’s body and outside.
Week 25 – Baby’s first bowel movement is starting to form this week, but it will remain inside until after birth.
Week 26 – Mom will notice that baby is developing sleep patterns – times of activity and inactivity. Baby will have more hair and be able to distinguish between mom’s voice and others.
Week 27 – You’ll start to notice hiccups now!
Week 28 – Baby is learning to open and close her eyes, which are also gaining pigment.
Week 29 – Baby’s muscle strength is improving, as is her brainpower.
Week 30 – From this point on, baby will be seriously packing on the fat in order to protect her organs. She’ll gain about a half pound every week!
Week 31 – Baby’s reproductive organs have finished developing. She’s also so big now that she can’t stretch out much anymore. Ultrasound photos will show her in the fetal position.
Week 32 – Baby’s lungs are getting stronger, but they’re not quite ready yet.
Week 33 – Mom will feel fewer kicks and jabs at this point as baby can’t move much. She’s still developing fat and lung cells.
Week 34 – That cheese-like coating on baby’s skin is getting much thicker, moisturizing her for the big day of delivery.
Week 35 – If baby hasn’t positioned head-down by now, she’ll be inching there this week. The head-down position is important so she comes out of the birth canal smoothly.
Week 36 – Fat, fat, fat – baby needs lots of it!
Week 37 – Baby’s senses are sharpening! Also, the umbilical cord is sending special antibodies to baby in order to boost her immune system.
Week 38 – Babies are considered full term at this point, so mom doesn’t need to worry about premature births any more. More time for lung development is ideal, though.
Week 39 – By this point, baby has reached her birth weight and built up enough fat to keep warm.
Week 40 – Happy birthday! Ideally mom will go into labor during this week, but if it takes another week, that’s quite alright. Mom’s body will know when it’s time. Most doctors won’t let a woman go two weeks past her due date.
It’s all so amazing!
Guest Blog by Cindy Perry, Inventor of the pello, Luxe Floor Pillows
Cindy, a Texas girl, put herself through college working at a children’s library and sewing at night. When she met her husband and had her two boys, she decided to stay home to care for them while designing window treatments and bedding.
When Cindy’s first son was learning to sit up, he would always fall through the pillows she set around him, hit his head, and cry. Besides, setting her child down on the hardwood floors on just a blanket always seemed so cold. Using her years of sewing and design skills, Cindy took inspiration from a woman in her breastfeeding class and got to work. With some scrap fabric and a few tweaks, pello was born! pello is a luxefloor pillow that helps children feel safe, warm and protected.
For more information, visit mypello.com.
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