Before we get into the incredible feats a fetus achieves within approximately 42 weeks, take a moment to think about the short amount of time that it takes to bring a human into the world and where they came from - two reproductive cells, invisible to the naked eye. There’s a lot to be appreciated!
Before babies enter the world, they underwent many developmental changes, including growing organs. Ever told someone to ‘grow a spine’ when they needed to exhibit a little more courage? These incredible beings actually do grow a spine, a heart, a brain and all the other necessary body parts within the gestation period.
Let’s take a look at just a few of the milestones that these babies go through in the womb before they come into the world.
1. Day 1: Enter the lonely female gamete, otherwise known as the ova or the egg cell. She is soon joined by the male gamete, also known as the sperm cell. They link up and a process called meiosis begins to happen. At the end of this process, the two cells combine into a zygote. Little does this zygote know, it’s going to grow into a real boy or girl!
2. Week 5: Now an embryo, this collection of cells has officially started to grow a heart! Next time someone tells you to have a heart (which we hope they don’t!), you can tell them that you’ve had it since you were a five week old collection of cells.
3. Week 6: At this point, the embryo is looking like a melted gummy bear with some resemblance of budding extremities. Little leg buds are coming in as well as eyes and ears. (This is when you have to start saying nice things about morning sickness - they can hear you!)
4. Week 8: By around this time, your baby develops internal sex organs. This is also the week when you can start counting ten little fingers and ten little toes! They don’t start making any hand gestures just yet.
5. Week 9: Although your little one is not going to be joining your local gym any time soon, their muscles begin to develop around this time. This is when they start making some of their first movements inside of the womb.
6. Week 12: Until now, your baby didn’t have a voice. It’s not because they were self-conscious about what they were going to say for their birthday speech, but because they didn’t have the equipment to produce that voice yet. During this week, however, they develop their vocal chords and they are crossing the threshold from their first trimester of life over into their second trimester.
7. Week 22: Our little fetus has entered the exciting new world of experiencing his or her surroundings through senses this week. Their fingers start to develop the sense of touch. In the womb, they may start touching their face or putting their fingers in their mouth to better understand the world around them.
8. Week 28: There are more exciting things going on in the world of our little fetus at this point in their development. They’ve graduated to the third trimester and are preparing for their big move into the world. Though we’re not quite there yet, he or she will be turning downwards soon. For now, they’re just dreaming of what the world might be like- this is because their brain has now done a system upgrade to the REM sleep feature. Can’t get that at a local phone store!
9. Week 29: Now, our fetus can remember things. Memory is now forming as nerve cells are multiplying and forming new pathways in their little brain.
10. Week 42: This time in their development is what we like to call ‘show time’ because this kid is ready to make their big debut into the world. They are now as big as a turkey and need to find a new place to live. Like a hermit crab that’s outgrown its’ little shell, they are ready to leave the confined space of the womb and settle into a new world.
If you’re pregnant, congratulations! We are here to make sure that you and your baby are on the right track. Schedule an appointment today at 631-489-8090 to make sure you’re on track.