What Does My Baby Look Like?
Growing Your Baby
One of the first things you might wonder is, “What does my baby look like now?” You also want to know what changes your body will go through. Take a look at this short video provided by the Endowment for Human Development which will give you an excellent overview of what your baby looks like now and how she will grow.
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What does my baby look like as he grows week to week?
Did you know:
- 18 days after conception, your baby’s heart starts to beat.
- 26 days after conception your baby’s lungs, eyes and ears are forming.
- By day 36, your baby’s eyes develop color in her retinas.
- By day 40, your baby is making her first reflex movements.
- On day 42, after you have only just missed your second period, your baby’s brain is developing nerve connections that will lead to her sense of smell.
- 44 days after conception, your baby has detective brain activity.
- At just 8 weeks, every organ is present in your baby.
- At just 9 weeks, your baby’s eyelids can flutter, she can swallow and move her tongue, and she can close her hand into a fist.
- And at 10 weeks your baby is forming her own unique set of fingerprints.
Month 1 (Weeks 1 – 4)
You probably will not know you are pregnant until week four at the earliest since you are already two weeks pregnant when you conceive, and it takes at least nine days for the hCG hormone to be detectable in your blood. From day one of conception, however, your baby’s eye color, gender, hair color, and all other factors determined by DNA are in place.
While you may look at this tiny group of cells and not see a baby, during weeks three and four, these cells are already dividing into brain cells, internal organ cells, and every other part of the body.
The second month of pregnancy is when women often discover they are pregnant. This is usually when a pregnant woman may start to experience some nausea. This is often called morning sickness but can strike any time of day or night. You may also feel some tenderness in your breasts. Usually, these symptoms lead to a pregnancy test.
Your baby is going through many changes, too, at this time. At five weeks, her spinal cord, brain, and heart developing at week five. Incredibly by week six, her heart has even begun to beat. Eyes and ears are developing along with arms and legs. In just another week, week eight, tiny hands and feet are even forming.
By week nine, you are probably still adjusting to being pregnant, and if this pregnancy is unexpected, you may be unsure of your feelings and trying to figure out what to do.
By week nine, your baby is changing quickly. Her organs are forming, and her facial features can even be seen by week ten. Week eleven and twelve bring about fingernails, and the teeth buds are starting to form. By week thirteen, it is possible to find out if you are having a boy or girl from an ultrasound. Your doctor will probably want to wait to confirm the finding until you are further along because it can be hard to tell this early.
Month 4 (Weeks 14 – 17)
The second trimester brings about relief from nausea for many women. In addition, your appetite may start to increase, and you may notice a baby bump.
While your baby may only be about the size of a peach, she is already growing hair and can wiggle her fingers and toes. Now, she can probably hear your voice when you sing to her. By the following week, all her organs will be formed and start functioning. During week 16, she will double her size and even suck her thumb.
Do you ever get that “butterflies in your stomach” feeling? Around the 5th month, you may start to feel those little fluttering feelings that are your baby moving around in there. At about 8 – 10 inches long, she is big enough to let you know when she is awake and active.
Your baby is not just getting bigger at this time. Her senses, such as smell, touch, and hearing are developing fast. This month your baby’s sense of smell, ability to swallow, and digestive system is starting to work.
If your baby were born now, she would have a 28% chance of surviving.
By week 23, your baby is fully formed, which is a crucial time for lung development. It is also time to start putting on some fat. Right now, she looks like a very skinny newborn. You will begin to notice when your baby is awake and when she is asleep during weeks 23 – 27.
If your baby is born at week 27, she may be able to survive without medical help but would probably need intervention due to lung development.
Month 7 (Weeks 28 – 31)
Pregnancy is an emotional time; by 28 weeks, you may have some mood swings and may even experience depression, as 1 in 10 women do. There are a lot of hormones you are not used to in your body, and you may feel uncomfortable. If these feelings persist, it is important to seek help from friends, family, or medical professionals.
Your baby is going through some changes as well. She has eyelashes now and can blink. She can even see the light coming through when she opens those eyes. Her muscles are growing, and she is about 14 – 16 inches long. She probably weighs just about three pounds.
Weeks 32 – 35 are all about continuing to develop those lungs and nervous systems and putting on more weight. By this month’s end, most babies born do not need medical intervention. However, some babies may need help inflating their lungs, and once they get those going, they are just fine.
Finally, month 9. Your baby is considered full-term by week 37, even though you are not due for another three weeks. You may go into labor at any time this month. While your baby is putting on the weight she needs, it is time for you to prepare your labor bag so you are prepared when it’s time to head to the hospital.
At times it may seem your pregnancy is taking forever, but once you give birth and look back, it will seem it went by in a flash. Most women find out they are pregnant around the end of their second month, so by that point, there are only seven more months of pregnancy to experience.
It is amazing that in such a short period of time, your baby goes from less than pea-sized to a full-grown newborn.
If you find out you are pregnant and are not sure you are ready to parent, take the time to find out what all of your options are. Pregnancy is really a very small part of a long life, and that precious baby is working hard to grow and thrive. Protect and love your baby and yourself during this time.
Am I pregnant? When can I take a test?
These are common questions for women who may be pregnant. The answer is around ten days after conception for a home pregnancy test. Unfortunately, the accuracy this early could be better. The test must detect a hormone (hCG) in your bloodstream from when you get pregnant. For the hormone level to be high enough to be detected does take some time, so you could receive a false negative early in your pregnancy.
For the most accurate results, most pregnancy test manufacturers recommend you wait until you have missed your period and take the test in the morning when your hormone levels tend to be more concentrated.
The most accurate test is your doctor’s blood test, which can be conducted within 9 to 12 days of conception.
How do I know how far along my pregnancy is?
Sometimes a woman knows exactly the day she got pregnant, must most often not. Either way, knowing what week of pregnancy you are in can be tricky.
To understand what week of development you are in your pregnancy, you must know how it is calculated. A woman ovulates around two weeks after the beginning of her previous period. (It is important to note here that this is general and can vary from woman to woman and month to month.) It is during this ovulation that you can become pregnant. Now, to determine what week of pregnancy you are in, you take the first day of your last period and add 280 days or 40 weeks.
When you do the math, this may be confusing because you will find that you are already considered two weeks pregnant at the time of conception. However, medically this is how the calculation is done.
To make all of this easier to understand, there are tools such as Lifetime Adoption’s online pregnancy due date calculator tool.