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Foetal Development: Growth in First, Second and Third Trimester

Your body will experience many external changes during pregnancy. It is important to understand how your baby grows each day so that you can better manage pregnancy.

After 24 hours of fertilization, the egg, which is a single cell in the body, begins to divide inside the fallopian tube. This process continues for almost three days. The next stage is a series developmental changes that will lead to a fully-grown baby. The cells are divided and move from the fallopian tube into the uterus to attach to the endometrium. The entire process is known as implantation. The cells combine to form an embryo. The whole process of pregnancy can be divided into three stages called the trimesters. Each stage is marked by a significant change.


First Trimester Foetal Growth

Month 1

Many things are involved in the first month of pregnancy, including conception, fertilization, and implantation. The egg fertilizes within 24-28 hours after the woman ovulates. One fertilized cell is called a zygote. It divides rapidly after fertilization. Major factors like the eye colour, hair colour, and gender of your baby are all determined during fertilisation. If the implantation occurs within the uterus, it is called ectopic pregnancy. This refers to a condition in which the implantation occurs outside of the uterine cavity. The formation of the umbilical cord and amniotic sac, as well as the yolk sac, is next. Your baby grows to approximately 2mm by the end of the month and begins the first stages of developmental development.

Month 2

This week marks the formation of the neural tube and liver. Ultrasound scanning can easily detect his heartbeat and it will start to beat in the sixth week. Other important things, such as the eyes, ears and bones, form too. Your baby’s fingers and toes will develop, but they will remain webbed. Your baby may be one-and-a-half to three-and a quarter inches long at this stage and weigh between 1-2 grams and 1.5-2.

Month 3

Through ultrasound, you can see the baby’s arm and leg movements. By the end of the month, all major organs will be fully developed. Although the sex organs are still growing, they have not yet been fully formed. Your baby will have a human-like face by the end. It should weigh around 1 ounce and be 3-4 inches in length.

Second Trimester Foetal Growth

Month 4

The baby’s hair and teeth begin to grow by this point. His digestive system starts to develop and the first stool, called Meconium, begins to form in his intestines. The baby is now approximately 5-6 inches in length and weighs in at 5-8 ounces by the end of this month.

Month 5

During this stage, Lanugo (fine-haired baby) starts covering him. His eyebrows and eyelashes begin to form. This is when your baby starts to take in his thumb and develop his fingerprints. Vernix is a protective covering made of Lanolin-like substance that forms on the baby’s skin. The baby is approximately 3/4-1 lb and 7-8 inches in length by the end of the month. It is possible to begin to feel your baby’s movements in the womb.

Month 6

This stage is where antibodies and the immune system are developing. He is able to grasp and startle well, and his lungs and alveoli have also begun to form. The baby measures approximately 9-10 inches in length and weighs between 1 1/2-2 1/4 pounds at the end of the month.

Third Trimester Foetal Development

Month 7

At this stage, the baby is able to open his eyes and let out tears. He can move around in the womb quite well. The baby can also have hiccups. He has also seen an increase in his bones and body fat. He is now 11 inches long and weighs in at around 3-3 1/2 lbs.

Month 8

The baby is nearly formed and there are no new developments. He matures every day and is ready for the future. The baby’s time is defined by REM (Rapid Eye Movement), a dreamy state with rapid, random eye movement. He is approximately 13 inches in length and weighs between 5-6 pounds.

Month 9

This is when the baby prepares for birth. He will spend a lot time sleeping and may even have active periods. He is about 7-8 pounds and 19-21 inches tall.

Also, Watch: Month-by-Month Foetal Development

See your baby grow in your womb, month by month

To prepare for birth, your baby will continue to move lower into your abdomen. Full-term babies are those born between 37 weeks and 42 weeks. Babies born between 32 and 37 weeks of age are considered premature. They may need intensive neonatal treatment upon their birth.

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