The miracle of life starts with a very tiny single cell that is created when an egg and a sperm come together. This happens in the fallopian tube. The cell begins to multiply and move from the fallopian tube and makes its way to the uterus, which is also known as the womb. Implantation then takes place as the embryo attaches itself to the uterus wall. This is where the baby will grow over the next 40 weeks.
First 8 weeks After Implantation
For the first 8 weeks, the embryo is developing and becoming a fetus. As the cells are rapidly multiplying, there is the development of the placenta. This is what the baby uses as life-support. The placenta is how the baby will be receiving oxygen, hormones, nutrients, and the placenta is also how the waste is removed.
The first organs to start forming are the heart and blood vessels. This also goes together with the development of lungs, stomach and liver. By the end of the 8th week, the neck and face structure has already started forming. During this time, the womb is changing and making the space more comfortable for a growing baby. The uterus wall is thickening and blood vessels are enlargening to provide nourishment.
Development over 9-12th weeks
During the 9-12th weeks, the baby starts to develop their arms, legs, fingers and toes. The eyelids are forming but can’t open. The genitals are forming and should be visible soon. One can go to their doctor after these weeks and could be told the gender of the baby. The kidneys are now working and making urine and the pancreas begins to produce insulin.
The heartbeat is there now and the doctor can listen in with special instruments to its beating. When the 13th week begins, more is happening. The skin is still see-through, but the bones are starting to harden and toenails start to form. The neck is more defined and getting stronger.
Development over 17-20th weeks
Between weeks 17 and 20, the brain starts to develop, especially the part that controls motor movements. The digestive system, by now, is working perfectly and when an ultrasound is done, it is possible to see the ears, nose and lips.
Development over 21-28th weeks
Over the next 8 weeks, the baby begins to move and mummy can feel the flutters. Fat builds under the skin and the baby can react to loud noises, so hearing is working well. The lungs are now fully formed but still not ready to take in the air, so there is still some maturing to go.
Development after 29th weeks
After week 30, all the major organs have finished forming and the baby is now just growing some more. All the developments are now just adding the final touches. The bone marrow is now forming red blood cells, and the bones have hardened except that of the skull because the brain still needs room to grow and the skull needs to pass through the cervix.
Ready to enter the world
By the time week 37 hits, the baby is possibly ready to enter the world. They are still growing even though space is now smaller. The fat under the skin will help the baby stay warm as it takes time to adjust to the temperature in the outside world. The baby’s growth in the womb is stage by stage. The 40 weeks is adequate for the baby to grow and develop to thrive once they enter the world.