Being pregnant is an exciting experience in one’s life.
However, it will be more exciting if you understand the prenatal development at each stage from the time of conception to childbirth.
The prenatal development in the first month of your pregnancy starts from fertilization, a process where the sperm combines with the ovum in one of the fallopian tubes to form a new egg called zygote.
After fertilization, the new egg descents from the fallopian tubes to the uterus.
Simultaneously, it divides and forms a cluster of cells where the cells separate into three layers: the ectoderm, the mesoderm, and the endoderm.
The inner group of cells forms the embryo and the outer group of cells forms the membranes, which nourish and protects it.
The placenta also starts forming to carry nutritive substances to the baby as well as to eliminate the wastes all through the pregnancy.
Even the amniotic sac starts forming which surrounds and protects the developing embryo.
Also, the nervous system starts developing. At this stage, the embryo will be one-fourth inch long.
In the second month of prenatal development, the embryo will be 1½ inch long where the sides of body indicate the embryo’s arms and legs.
The heart and blood vessels develop; the face and neck forms and starts attaining a human appearance; the head area and eyes starts developing; the muscles, cartilage and sex organs begin to form and sex is notable.
Internal organs such as the digestive system, lungs, liver and intestinal tract also develop. The heart starts beating slightly. At this stage, the embryo will be 1″ long and weighs 1/10 ounce.
In the third month, i.e., when you are 9 weeks pregnant, vocal cords develop and the functioning of digestive system, liver and kidneys also starts. The growth of the brain as well as bone forms rapidly. The arms, legs and fingers start movements. Now, the fetus is 3″ long and weighs 1 ounce.
When you are 4 months pregnant of prenatal development, the size of the head decreases. The hands and feet attain a shape. The skin becomes dark red and the heartbeat improves. Even the fetal movements are noticeable. Now, the fetus is 7″ long and weighs 5 ounces.
In fifth month, sweat and sebaceous glands form and start functioning. Skin derivatives (hair, fingers nails and toes) also develop. Fetus weighs 14 ounces and 12″ long.
During sixth month of prenatal development, the eyelids and eyes attain a definite shape. The taste buds start appearing on the tongue and in the mouth. The fetus is 14″ long and 2 pounds weight.
In the seventh month, the cerebral hemispheres cover up most of the brain. At this stage, the baby is 15″ long and weighs three pounds.
In the eighth month of prenatal development, subcutaneous fat will be deposited and the fingernails reach the fingertips. The baby is 17″ long and weighs five pounds.
In the last month of prenatal development, the baby sets the proper position for delivery. The baby is 21″ long and weighs 6 pounds.