Diary of an Unborn Child

The development of an unborn child from conception to birth

CHRONOLOGY OF FETAL DEVELOPMENT

Fertilization!
A new, unique human being is formed!

Day 1:    Fertilization: all human chromosomes are present; unique
              human life begins.

 

Day 6:    The embryo begins implantation in the uterus.

 

Day 22:  The heart begins to beat with the child’s own blood, often a
              different type than the mothers’.

 

Week 3:  By the end of third week the child’s backbone spinal
               column and nervous system are forming.  The liver, kidneys
               and intestines begin to take shape.

 

Week 4:  By the end of week four the child is ten thousand times
               larger than the fertilized egg.

 

Week 5:  Eyes, legs, and hands begin to develop.

Unborn baby at approximately 7 weeks after conception.

Week 6:  Brain waves are detectable; mouth and lips are present;
               fingernails are forming.

 

Week 7:  Eyelids, and toes form, nose distinct. The baby is kicking
               and swimming.

 

Week 8:  Every organ is in place, bones begin to replace cartilage,
               and fingerprints begin to form. By the 8th week the baby
               can begin to hear.

 

Weeks 9 and 10:  Teeth begin to form, fingernails develop. The
                             baby can turn his head, and frown. The baby can
                             hiccup.

 

Weeks 10 and 11:  The baby can “breathe” amniotic fluid and
                               urinate. Week 11 the baby can grasp objects
                               placed in its hand; all organ systems are
                               functioning. The baby has a skeletal structure, 
                               nerves, and circulation.

 

Week 12:  The baby has all of the parts necessary to experience
                 pain, including nerves, spinal cord, and thalamus.  Vocal
                 cords are complete.  The baby can suck his thumb.

Unborn baby at approximately 12 weeks.

Week 14:  At this age, the heart pumps several quarts of blood                            through the body every day.

 

Week 15:  The baby has an adult’s taste buds.

 

Month 4:  Bone Marrow is now beginning to form.  The heart is                           pumping 25 quarts of blood a day.  By the end of month 4                 the baby will be 8-10 inches in length and will weigh up                     to half a pound.

 

Week 17:  The baby can have dream (REM) sleep.

 

Week 19:  Babies can routinely be saved at 21 to 22 weeks after                        fertilization, and sometimes they can be saved even

                 younger.

 

Week 20:  At 20 weeks the baby recognizes his mothers voice. At 20                  weeks, the unborn child is capable of feeling pain. This is                  also the earliest at which partial-birth abortion is 

                 performed.

The unborn child at 20 weeks (5 months)

Months 5 and 6:  The baby practices breathing by inhaling amniotic                               fluid into its developing lungs.  The baby will grasp                             at the umbilical cord when it feels it.  Most mothers                             feel an increase in movement, kicking, and                                           hiccups from the baby.  Oil and sweat glands are                               now functioning. The baby is now twelve inches                                   long or more, and weighs up to one and a half                                     pounds.

 

Months 7 through 9:  Eyeteeth are present.  The baby opens and                                         closes his eyes.  The baby is using four of the                                     five senses (vision, hearing, taste, and touch.)                                     He knows the difference between waking and                                     sleeping, and can relate to the moods of the                                         mother.  The baby’s skin begins to thicken,                                           and a layer of fat is produced and stored                                             beneath the skin.  Antibodies are built up, and                                     the baby’s heart begins to pump 300 gallons of                                   blood per day. Approximately one week                                               before the birth the baby stops growing, and                                      “drops” usually head down into the pelvic cavity.

Sources:

Bergel, Gary (Produced by NRLC) “When You Were Formed in Secret.” 1998.

Flanagan,  Geraldine Lux.  Beginning Life.  The Marvelous Journey from Conception to Birth.  New York: DK Publishing Inc., 1996.

Hopson, Janet L.  Fetal Psychology.  Oct. 1998.  07 Jan 2003. http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/tul/psychtoday9809.html.

Internet Sources:

“Fetal Development.”  07 Jan 2003. http://www.w-cpc.org/fetal1.html.

“When Does Life Begin?  Abortion and Human Rights.”  National Right To Life.

 

*Information provided by National Right to Life Committee website.

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