Page 26 - Great Expectations

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26 – Great Expectations
Month 1
During your first month of pregnancy, your baby reaches ½ inch in length and is called an
embryo
. Cells that make up your ovum (fertilized egg) begin to differentiate and form the
embryo, amniotic sac and placenta. Amazingly, the circulatory system and other vital organs
have begun to form, including the heart, brain, lungs, eyes and ears. The placenta and umbilical
cord are developing, and the baby is well protected from harm in a sac of liquid called
amniotic
fluid.
The sex of your baby is determined at the moment of conception by the chromosomes
of the father.
Month 2
By 2 months, arms and legs are starting to form, and the embryo is beginning to look more
human. Elbows take shape and your baby begins bending and flexing. Fingers and toes
are growing and facial features are becoming more pronounced. Eyelids form, but remain
closed. Nostrils become distinct and the nose moves into the correct position. The head seems
huge compared to the body because the brain is growing at a very rapid pace. By the end of
2 months, the embryo is about 1 inch long and weighs less than 1 ounce.
Month 3
By 3 months, the baby is called a
fetus
. It is starting to grow faster and is now 4 inches long
and weighs just more than 1 ounce. Fingernails and toenails are growing and, for some, a little
hair may sprout. Eyelids are fused shut and irises begin to develop. If you could see inside the
uterus, you could determine the sex. At this time, the heartbeat may be detected. Your little
one is moving, shifting and dancing already, although it is too soon for you to feel it.
Month 4
During the fourth month, many women begin to “look” pregnant. After all, the fast-growing fetus
is nowmore than 6 inches long and weighs about 5 ounces. The baby’s teeth, eyelids, eyelashes
and extremities are developing in detail and moving into the correct position. Hands are becoming
more functional and the baby may play with his fist. Baby’s neck is getting longer and the chin
is not resting on his chest. The fetus can hear and swallow. Very fine hair called lanugo covers
the baby’s body to protect the skin in its watery womb. This is generally shed prior to birth.
Baby’s
Development
Conception through your first week.
The
embryonic period
ends 2 months after your baby is
conceived. By this time, all essential structures are present.