Welcome back to the Prenatal Class series. You’re in awe of your baby’s development and your changing body. And while you may watch your baby grow at every check-up, what you don’t see is brain development. This class, we won’t only focus on the physical development and the changes of your baby, but also discuss how your baby’s brain is developing, too. Sounds interesting, right? Let’s dive right in
THE first thing that your doctor will help you with is calculating your due date. Pregnancy is not just nine months but nine months and one week. So if your last menstrual period date was January 1, 2017 then your expected due date would be October 8, 2017. Most women will want to share the pregnancy news by about the 12th week and this is also when you are most likely to start showing a small bump. However, there are some women who don’t show till they’re well into their second trimester. Don’t be alarmed, this is all quite normal.
And while you may notice the physical changes to your body, you’re not quite sure what’s happening inside your womb. Here’s what you can expect:
MONTH ONE: Fertilisation occurs in the Fallopian tubes and the fertilised egg rapidly divides to form the placenta and the fetus. Even though the baby’s features and form will not be identifi able, the basic structure of the face with eyes and mouth has taken form. The fetal heart will start beating by the end of the fourth week.
MONTH TWO: You baby’s brain starts to develop and facial features become more prominent. Tiny buds which will eventually form the arms and legs are formed. By about six weeks, you will also be able to hear the fetal heart beat at your doctors clinic. At this time your baby is just about 1 inch long.
MONTH THREE: Your little one’s arms, hands, fingers, feet and toes are now fully developed. By the end of this month your baby is fully formed and is about 4 inches long. The end of this month marks the end of the critical period of development, and hence your chances of miscarriage also are now greatly reduced.
MONTH FOUR: Finer parts of development take place. For example, the formation of nails, eyelids, eyelashes, eyebrows etc. will soon start to take shape. The reproductive organs are fully developed and your baby is now about six inches long.
MONTH FIVE: During this month, hair begins to grow on your baby’s head as well as the rest of his body. The body is also covered with a whitish coating called Vernix Caseosa, a greasy deposit which will protect the baby’s skin while in the womb. The baby is also gaining strength and you may begin to feel your baby move as he is developing and exercising his muscles. Your baby is now about 10 inches long.
MONTH SIX: Your baby will now be able to open and shut his eyelids, and his skin will appear very wrinkled. He will also respond to sounds. You may also feel rhythmic movements as your baby hiccups. Your baby is now about 12 inches long.