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26 – Great Expectations

Month One

During your 1st month of pregnancy, your baby reaches a half 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, placenta, etc. 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 fuid. The sex of your baby is determined at the moment of conception by the chromosomes of the father – 2 X chromosomes for a girl, and an X and Y for a boy.

Month Two

By 2 months, arms and legs are starting to form, and the embryo is beginning to look more human. Elbows form

and your baby begins bending and fexing. Fingers and toes are growing and facial features are becoming more pronounced. Eyelids form, but remain closed. Nostrils are formed 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 two months, the embryo is about 1 inch long and weighs less than 1 ounce.

Month Three

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 an ounce. Fingernails and toenails are growing and, for some, a little hair may sprout. Eyelids fuse 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 Four

During the 4th month, many women begin to “look” preg­ nant. After all, the fast-growing fetus is now more than 6

inches long andweighs 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 fst. Baby’s neck is getting longer and the chin is not resting on his chest. The fetus can hear and swallow. Very fne 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

The fetal period , which lasts from the end of the second month through birth, is characterized by rapid growth and continuing development of structures already present.

Conception through your frst week.

The embryonic period ends 2 months after your baby is conceived. By this time, all essential structures are present.

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