Fetus Growth Stages In The First Trimester: Watch Your Baby Grow
Fertilization happens when a sperm meets and penetrates an egg. This is also called conception. At this moment, the genetic makeup is complete, including the sex of the baby. Within about three days after conception, the fertilized egg is dividing very fast into many cells. It passes through the fallopian tube into the uterus, where it attaches to the uterine wall.
In the first few weeks after conception, the fetus begins growing at a rapid pace, magically transforming from a beating heart and formed organs to developing arms, legs and facial features.
During the first month of pregnancy, your baby is about 7mm long, which is roughly the size of a grain of rice. The amniotic sac is a water-tight sac that forms around the fertilized egg. It helps cushion the growing embryo throughout pregnancy. The placenta also develops at this point in the first trimester. The placenta is a round, flat organ that transfers nutrients from the mother to the baby, and transfers waste from the baby. The baby begins forming its major organs and body systems. The heart will beat in the first month, the eyes and ears begin to develop, and the fetus will have limb buds that eventually become its arms and legs.
During the second month of pregnancy, the facial features of your baby will keep developing, including its ears, eyes, nose, and mouth. Their buds begin turning into arms and legs, and their fingers and toes also develop during month two. The digestive tract and sensory organs begin to develop. Bone starts to replace cartilage. The neural tube that includes the central nervous system, spinal cord and brain will be formed during month two. The embryo begins to move.
By the end of the third month of pregnancy, your baby is fully formed. Your baby has arms, hands, fingers, feet, and toes and can open and close its fists and mouth. Fingernails and toenails are beginning to develop and the external ears are formed. The beginnings of teeth are forming. Your baby's reproductive organs also develop, but the baby's gender is difficult to distinguish on ultrasound. The circulatory and urinary systems are working and the liver produces bile.
The first trimester is a very moving time, both literally and figuratively. Your belly is starting to show evidence of your growing uterus and while your body goes through many changes, your baby is also growing at a rapid pace.
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