What’s really going on inside a pregnant mama?
The American Pregnancy Association shares that most women don’t discover they’re pregnant until at least five weeks in. While the pregnancy may be news to the mother, the baby has already begun developing some of its most essential features at this point.
The development that a baby goes through in their mom’s womb is intricate and precise. There’s a reason why we often hear silly idioms like “A bun in the oven.” The moment that pregnancy begins, the unborn child starts the slow process of being woven together. In honor of National Pregnancy Day in a few weeks, here are some of the essential facts regarding the development of an unborn baby.
A Brain, A Heart and Some Courage
An unborn baby begins to grow into their small body before their mother even knows they’re there.
At only 4 weeks, the baby’s brain begins to form. And by the time the 6th week comes around, the heart begins to beat.
Healthfully shares that the earliest a test can provide an accurate reading is 2 weeks after conception, yet already the baby has come such a long way.
Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
Now that the unborn baby has gained some of their most vital organs, they are well on their way to begin growing outer processes i.e. fingernails and eyelashes.
8 weeks along, the baby’s fingers and toes begin to form. Additionally, eyelids finish forming over the eyes. Although so many detailed processes are taking place inside the child, they are only 1 inch tall at this point.
Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice
By the 12th-14th week, the gender of the child is finally recognizable.
In the 15th week, they have grown to about the size of an apple.
Fast forward to around week 20, eyebrows, eyelashes, fingernails and toenails have taken shape. Weeks 18-24, the unborn baby can hear, especially their mama’s voice.
It’s all in the Details
Reaching the final weeks of pregnancy, the unborn baby begins final preparations. 24 weeks marks the growth of taste buds, foot and fingerprints and hair growth. They are now able to sleep and wake up in their mom’s womb.
When 32 weeks come around, the baby’s bones will be fully formed, albeit soft and delicate. Around the 38th and 40th week of pregnancy, where the majority of babies are delivered, the unborn baby’s organs are fully functional.
The news of a pregnancy can be met with a whirlwind of emotions. The ability to create life from within the womb is a unique experience given to women.
Of course, everyone’s experience is different, and not all pregnancies are smooth or even desired.
Below are great and free resources for women who are pregnant and feeling overwhelmed or anxious about their future. Of course, a primary care physician will always be the most knowledgeable resource for the health of pregnant women.
Special thank you to the American Society for the Positive Care of Children for providing developmental stages of pregnancy information.