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Picture stages of pregnancy: Pictures of Fetal Development Month-by-Month

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Pregnancy symptoms week by week: pregnancy stages calendar

Congratulations, you’re pregnant! There’s no doubt this is one of the most monumental and memorable times of a woman’s life, but it also comes with lots of physical, mental and emotional changes.

If you’ve found yourself Googling early pregnancy signs or “is morning sickness after 12 weeks normal?” (spoiler alert: totally!) or just wondering what to expect as pregnancy stages tick by week by week, check out this TODAY Parents pregnancy guide, which we put together with help from Dr. Myra J. Wick, an obstetrician/gynecologist at the Mayo Clinic, and her comprehensive, go-to guide for expecting moms, “Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy.”

If you’re newly pregnant, you can look forward to week 13, or the start of the second trimester, when early pregnancy symptoms subside. “We call this the honeymoon period, because most women feel well, they are over the nausea, but not so big they feel uncomfortable,” Wick says. She adds, however, that “not everyone follows the books,” and you should always report any concerns to your provider, paying special attention to things like spotting, heavy cramping and lack of fetal movement.

“Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy” by Dr. Myra J. Wick

Here’s a guide to the pregnancy stages and pregnancy symptoms week by week.

First trimester pregnancy symptoms

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Pregnancy Symptoms Week 1

It’s a bit of a mind-bender, but you aren’t actually pregnant during what doctors call “week one” of pregnancy. Instead, week one starts on the first day of your last menstrual period before you conceived. When doctors speak about pregnancy, they’re referring to the 40 weeks after the start of your last period, so your menstrual cycle is actually considered part of the process.

If you’re trying to conceive, it makes sense to avoid smoking, alcohol and other drugs, and start taking a prenatal vitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid, which can help reduce the risk of birth defects.

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Pregnancy Symptoms Week 2

Since conception doesn’t usually occur until two weeks from the start date of your last period, you still aren’t pregnant during week two, but your body is getting prepped by producing hormones that help you release eggs, a process called ovulation. If you have unprotected sexual intercourse during this time, or attempt to get pregnant using a fertility procedure such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF), your egg can be fertilized, forming a zygote.

If you’re charting your basal body temperature, you will notice it rise slightly during ovulation, and if you become pregnant during this time, it will stay high for the duration of the pregnancy.

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Pregnancy Symptoms Week 3

Let’s say the first day of your last period was April 10 and you became pregnant thereafter; that would mean your baby was conceived around April 24, or during week 3. Certain pregnancy tests can detect the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) as early as 6 days after fertilization occurs, but false negatives may occur (meaning the test shows you aren’t pregnant, but you actually are). To mitigate disappointment, some doctors advise waiting until you miss your next period to take a test.

When the fertilized egg travels through the fallopian tube and buries into the uterine lining, you may notice a small amount of light bleeding, spotting or vaginal discharge caused by implantation.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 4

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By this point you may not have noticed any pregnancy symptoms, but things like nausea (also called morning sickness), fatigue, frequent urination and breast tenderness may start up around week four. You may also start to notice the skin around your nipples, called the areola, get darker and develop small bumps called tubercles (because nature is smart that way, their function is to secrete substances that help with breastfeeding later on). Some women also find that mood swings start around this time, and continue throughout pregnancy: They’re caused by factors like fatigue, hormonal shifts and simply adjusting to the big news that parenthood is around the corner.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 5

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Your body: If you haven’t been noticing changes like nausea (which may or may not also include vomiting), frequent urination and exhaustion, most moms-to-be do experience this memorable triad of symptoms during the second month, which starts at week five. “In the first trimester it’s normal to just find yourself being really tired and not feeling very well,” says Wick.

Your little one: Although still teeny-tiny (about the size of an earring back), he or she is officially called an embryo by your medical team, and is working on developing what will become the brain, spinal cord and blood vessels.

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Pregnancy Symptoms Week 6

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Your body: As hormones cause food to move more slowly through your body, you may continue to notice the digestive distress mentioned above, and possibly even constipation and heartburn. And despite the continuing fatigue, some moms find themselves also plagued by insomnia at various points during pregnancy, starting during the first trimester.

Your little one: It’s a busy week for baby, who will triple in size and develop a regular heartbeat that you may be able to spot on an ultrasound.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 7

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Your body: Along with nausea, exhaustion and moodiness, some women also experience dizziness and headaches throughout the first trimester, which may be caused by the expansion of veins and arteries as they work to produce more blood.

Your little one: Your kiddo, now one-third of an inch long, is starting to have more definition in the face as well as a visible umbilical cord.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 8

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Your body: Your uterus, which started about the size of a closed fist, is now about as big as a grapefruit. Breast tenderness, nausea, and fatigue may be continuing. Although you should contact your provider as soon as you get a positive pregnancy test, many women have their first prenatal visit during week 8.

Your little one: Fingers and toes are starting to form as the hand and foot areas take shape.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 9

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Your body: Looking ahead to week 10, for a smaller group of women with certain risk factors, doctors might suggest scheduling chorionic villus sampling (CVS), an optional test typically performed between 10 and 14 weeks that can detect chromosomal abnormalities like Down syndrome and inherited disorders like cystic fibrosis. This test is typically performed by inserting a catheter through the cervix to collect cells, and does pose a slight risk of miscarriage.

Your little one: Up until now, your developing embryo had a tail that gave him or her a tadpole-like look, but it’s starting to shrink.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 10

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Your body: Starting at week 10 you might opt to have non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPS), instead of a CVS. This is a simple blood test which can tell you the chances of developing certain chromosomal disorders. Both this test and a CVS can reveal your baby’s sex if you wish to know it; otherwise, the 20-week ultrasound may be another opportunity to find out. At this point, some women may also notice slightly blurred vision and trouble tolerating contact lenses, which can be caused by the cornea beginning to thicken.

Your little one: Each of the vital organs has started to form, and tooth buds are starting to develop.

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Pregnancy Symptoms Week 11

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Your body: You might notice that your hair and nails are growing a bit more quickly and that you’ve put on a few pounds (women may gain up to four pounds by the end of the first trimester).

Your little one: At week 11, healthcare providers officially promote your little bean from embryo to fetus. This is also when buds develop that will eventually become his or her external genitalia.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 12

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Your body: Up until this point your uterus has fit inside your pelvis, but after this week it will start growing out of your pelvic cavity. You’ll start to appear more pregnant, but there’s a nice bonus: There will be less pressure on bladder.

Your little one: Fingernails and toenails are now present and the face is becoming more defined.

Second trimester pregnancy symptoms

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 13

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Your body: Raise a mocktail! For many women, symptoms of nausea and vomiting start to subside around week 13, or at least sometime during the next few weeks, although Wick says, “Some women may deal with nausea throughout their entire pregnancy. ” (Hopefully that’s not you.) This week you may also notice a new symptom: Shortness of breath, which happens as a result of respiratory changes needed to support your growing baby.

Your little one: There are defined eyes and ears, but eyelids are now closed (as a protective measure) and will stay this way until about week 28.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 14

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Your body: During both the first and second trimester, your blood pressure may decrease slightly from its pre-pregnancy number. This may cause dizzy spells, especially if you become overheated.

Your little one: Fun fact: This is the time when your little fetus begins producing hormones. Also, the prostate gland (in boys) and ovaries (in girls) are developing.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 15

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Your body: Maybe you’ve been spared the oh-so-fun digestive symptoms of heartburn and constipation, but women often tend to notice them around now. Know that the slowdown of your digestion at least has a greater purpose, which is to help deliver important nutrients to your growing babe. Amniocentesis, a procedure where fluid is withdrawn with a needle to check for things like genetic disorders, is usually performed sometime between weeks 15 and 20.

Your little one: Thanks to the continued growth of muscles, this week is when baby will start being able to make a fist.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 16

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Your body: Your uterus is movin’ on up, but this can cause an unwelcome side effect: You may start to feel off-balance, and continue to experience this as your shape changes.

Your little one: Your wee one’s eyes are sensitive to light. Baby hiccups could be starting, although you likely won’t feel them yet.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 17

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Your body: Around week 17, you may start to feel baby’s fluttery little movements; some women mistake them for gas or hunger at first. (Women who’ve been pregnant before tend to feel them earlier.) But definitely within the next few weeks you’ll become aware of them. You’ll continue to experience symptoms that are the hallmarks of pregnancy: Slow digestion, frequent urination and increasing breast size.

Your little one: Whether or not he or she will end up loving gymnastics, your baby is doing flips and rolls by this point, and still has space to move around quite a bit.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 18

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Your body: Make sure you’ve got a good moisturizer handy: As your belly grows and stretches, it may begin to itch. Some women experience darkening of the skin and changes in moles (if any look significantly larger or different, check in with a dermatologist).

Your little one: Baby’s bones are getting harder and he or she can now hear noises like your heartbeat and even loud sounds that take place outside the womb.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 19

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Your body: Right around now is when you may notice a stabbing sensation in your groin or on one side—this is coming from the round ligament, which grows and stretches to support your uterus during pregnancy. Sudden movements may bring it on, so try to change positions slowly (like when you’re getting out of bed).

Your little one: This week the vernix appears: It’s a slippery, cheese-like coating on baby’s body that helps protect skin. Your baby can now produce urine, which is sterile and gets excreted into the surrounding amniotic waters.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 20

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Your body: You’re at the halfway point! Pat yourself on the back, or, even better, treat yourself to a prenatal massage. At this point women may start to notice low back pain, especially if they were prone to it before they were pregnant. By now you may have gained around 10 pounds total, although it can vary from woman to woman.

Your little one: The skin is developing its distinct layers and although it’s the middle mark, baby still likely weighs less than a pound—probably about 10 to 14 ounces. If he or she is in the right position, you can usually learn the sex at your 20-week ultrasound, since the external genitalia have developed enough to be visible.

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Pregnancy Symptoms Week 21

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Your body: You may notice that your breasts are beginning to leak colostrum, which is a watery, yellowish fluid that appears before your regular milk supply is established; if you choose to breastfeed, it will be baby’s first food.

Something your doctor will monitor you for after 20 weeks is preeclampsia, a condition that causes high blood pressure during pregnancy. “Although many women experience swelling throughout pregnancy, if you have swelling that’s accompanied by headache, visual changes, nausea or pain in the right upper quadrant of your abdomen, definitely let your doctor know right away, as these can indicate preeclampsia,” says Wick.

Your little one: Helped by the liver and spleen, your baby’s bone marrow is now able to make blood cells.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 22

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Your body: This week you might start feeling irregular Braxton-Hicks contractions in your abdominal area, which help your body prepare for labor. (They’re sometimes called “false labor.”) To distinguish them from true contractions, which radiate around both sides of your body, try lying down, changing positions or drinking water. These things will cause Braxton-Hicks to subside, unlike true, regular contractions that grow stronger and indicate labor is approaching.

Your little one: The senses of taste and touch, as well as the reproductive system, are all becoming more developed around this time.

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Pregnancy Symptoms Week 23

Your body: Pregnant women sometimes find that their sex drive is improved during the second trimester—if this is you, take advantage!

Your little one: Around this time is when the development of the lungs really kicks into high gear.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 24

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Your body: During the second trimester, your joints may start to feel softer due to hormone changes that are slowly preparing your body for childbirth. Your lower spine also starts to curve backwards to accommodate your changing shape. These transformations may lead to back and hip pain; both massage and prenatal yoga may help alleviate some discomfort.

Your little one: Babies born on or after week 24 have a greater than 50-50 chance of survival, thanks to today’s innovative neonatal care, but are still very likely to have complications if delivered this early.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 25

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Your body: If your blood pressure dropped during your first and second trimesters, you may see it start to return to pre-pregnancy levels.

Your little one: Baby’s hands are now fully formed, can be used to explore the womb environment or their own body, although the movements aren’t purposeful yet.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 26

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Your body: Thanks to the hormone relaxin, which is produced during pregnancy, the muscles that hold up your pelvic bones will continue to soften to prepare for giving birth. It won’t necessarily feel “relaxing” though: Many women experience pain in the front of the pelvic area. If it’s truly bothersome, consider making an appointment with a physical therapist who specializes in prenatal and postnatal conditions.

Your little one: Footprints, which make a fun hospital souvenir, as well as fingerprints, are now present on your baby, who weighs about 1 ½ pounds.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 27

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Your body: You’ve likely had vaginal discharge throughout your pregnancy, and you may see it pick up around now. As long as it’s clear or white and odorless, it’s not a cause for alarm, but see your provider if you suspect a yeast infection, which, along with urinary tract infections, you’re more prone to during pregnancy.

Your little one: The lungs are getting close to being fully developed, and although it’s tough to hear through all the amniotic fluid, your little one could possibly recognize the sound of Mom’s voice this week.

Third trimester pregnancy symptoms

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 28

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Your body: Welcome to the third and final trimester of pregnancy. After 28 weeks, doctors recommend women start tracking kick counts. “You want to ideally feel 10 movements in two hours, but most babies move enough so their mothers have a sense for the pattern, and if it changes or you aren’t feel baby move at all, definitely contact your provider,” says Wick.

Your little one: Around this time is when baby’s eyes, which were previously sealed shut, start opening and closing.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 29

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Your body: Another change that may happen during either this trimester or the second: If you have an innie belly button, it could pop out and turn into an outie. If clothing irritates it, consider covering it with a bandage and don’t worry about the change being permanent, it will likely flip back after delivery.

Your little one: This week is right in the middle of baby’s most active period, which is usually between 27 and 32 weeks, because they still have room to move around.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 30

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Your body: Another unappealing symptom of late pregnancy: Urine leakage, especially when you cough, sneeze or laugh. Performing exercises to strengthen your core and pelvic floor (such as kegels) may help, but you’re still experiencing this after delivery, make an appointment with a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor therapy.

Your little one: Time to pack on the pounds, kid: Starting now until delivery, fetal weight gain will be about a half-pound each week.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 31

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Your body: Thanks to the hormonal changes, you are likely rocking a lush, awesome mane right now, since hair tends to grow more quickly and fall out less frequently when you’re pregnant. You will lose the extra hair after delivery, though, so don’t get too attached.

Your little one: The reproductive system is continuing to take shape, as are the lungs, though they still aren’t fully ready for life outside the womb (a baby born this early would need to spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU).

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 32

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Your body: During these last few weeks you’ve probably been continuing to experience pregnancy symptoms such as heartburn, constipation (and possibly hemorrhoids as a result) and swollen breasts (that may or may not leak colostrum). Keep your eye on the prize: That adorable baby who’s on the way.

Your little one: Your baby is still moving around, but the jabs and punches may seem to have lost their oomph, since he or she is getting increasingly crowded. At this point, baby weighs around 4 pounds and the risk of serious post-delivery complications drops quite a bit, so parents tend to breathe a sigh of relief.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 33

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Your body: During the third trimester, your ever-softening joints will likely continue to bug you. “Around this time we tend to see joint discomfort in hips, back and nerve pain and just a lot of pelvic discomfort,” says Wick. Your muscles also may simply be sore and tired from carrying increased weight, so try to rest frequently if possible.

Your little one: Lots of growth and change takes place after week 33. One cool thing that’s now happening: The pupils can dilate and constrict in response to light.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 34

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Your body: Late in pregnancy, women may feel occasional sharp pain in the vaginal area as well as general pelvic pressure, but if at any point you’re having symptoms such as unrelenting abdominal pain or bleeding, contact your doctor as you may be experiencing a problem with your placenta. “Pelvic pressure is usually normal, but if it’s persistent, you’re having discharge with it, sometimes it can be a sign of preterm labor, so check in with your doctor,” says Wick.

Your little one: This kid now weighs anywhere from 4 ½ to 6 pounds—things are getting real!

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 35

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Your body: If you haven’t experienced them already, you will likely have Braxton-Hicks contractions this month.

Your little one: Conditions are cramped but your small one is still wiggling around, so keep tracking those movements.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 36

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Your body: Leg, ankle and foot swelling are common around this time, as are varicose veins, which may disappear after childbirth. Invest in comfy shoes and hit your partner up for a nightly foot massage.

Your little one: The facial muscles needed for sucking are ready to go and your child might weigh as much as 7 pounds. By this point, most babies have settled into the head-down orientation that’s ideal for delivering vaginally.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 37

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Your body: Maybe it’s nature’s way of getting you ready to deliver your baby, but women find themselves pretty uncomfortable during the third trimester, especially towards the end. “By this point there is a lot of pressure on the bladder, you can feel very full, it can be hard to sleep at night, and even the kicking can be uncomfortable if baby is up against the ribs,” says Wick.

Your little one: Your bambino’s rate of weight gain slows a bit this week, and at the end of this week, your baby will be considered “early term” in medical lingo.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 38

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Your body: Your uterus now extends nearly all the way up to the base of your rib cage. Need proof that pregnant women are true superheroes? Consider the fact that during pregnancy, the uterus grows about 500 times in size.

Your little one: Although we think of it as automatic, by now your child has an important set of skills: Breathing, eating and digesting, as well as keeping a normal cardiac rate.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 39

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Your body: During these last few weeks, your head-down baby may descend further into your pelvis, thus making breathing feel easier (this is more common for first-time moms). “Lightening,” as it’s called, doesn’t necessarily mean labor is imminent.

Your little one: Many babies the proper amount of fat under his or her skin to help maintain a stable body temperature, although even when an infant is healthy and full-term, you still need to be cautious that they don’t become too warm or cold.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 40

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Your body: Your due date is this week! Get ready for a flurry of texts and emails from friends checking in, even though only a tiny percentage of women (4%) deliver on the due date. If you haven’t gone into labor yet, you’ll continue with your prenatal visits and your provider will monitor the health of you and your baby. If you started your pregnancy at a healthy weight, you may have gained anywhere from 25 to 35 pounds by this point.

Your little one: Baby is now considered full-term and although the average weight is 7 ½ to 8 pounds, there is a wide size range for a healthy infant.

New parent? Join the TODAY Parenting Team to share your experiences and learn from the pros.

Stages of Development | Introductory Psychology

From the moment we are born until the moment we die, we continue to develop.

As discussed at the beginning of this chapter, developmental psychologists often divide our development into three areas: physical development, cognitive development, and psychosocial development. Mirroring Erikson’s stages, lifespan development is divided into different stages that are based on age. We will discuss prenatal, infant, child, adolescent, and adult development.

How did you come to be who you are? From beginning as a one-cell structure to your birth, your prenatal development occurred in an orderly and delicate sequence.

There are three stages of prenatal development: germinal, embryonic, and fetal. Let’s take a look at what happens to the developing baby in each of these stages.

Germinal Stage (Weeks 1–2)

In the discussion of biopsychology earlier in the book, you learned about genetics and DNA. A mother and father’s DNA is passed on to the child at the moment of conception. Conception occurs when sperm fertilizes an egg and forms a zygote ([link]). A zygote begins as a one-cell structure that is created when a sperm and egg merge. The genetic makeup and sex of the baby are set at this point. During the first week after conception, the zygote divides and multiplies, going from a one-cell structure to two cells, then four cells, then eight cells, and so on. This process of cell division is called mitosis. Mitosis is a fragile process, and fewer than one-half of all zygotes survive beyond the first two weeks (Hall, 2004). After 5 days of mitosis there are 100 cells, and after 9 months there are billions of cells. As the cells divide, they become more specialized, forming different organs and body parts. In the germinal stage, the mass of cells has yet to attach itself to the lining of the mother’s uterus. Once it does, the next stage begins.

Sperm and ovum fuse at the point of conception.

Embryonic Stage (Weeks 3–8)

After the zygote divides for about 7–10 days and has 150 cells, it travels down the fallopian tubes and implants itself in the lining of the uterus. Upon implantation, this multi-cellular organism is called an embryo. Now blood vessels grow, forming the placenta. The placenta is a structure connected to the uterus that provides nourishment and oxygen from the mother to the developing embryo via the umbilical cord. Basic structures of the embryo start to develop into areas that will become the head, chest, and abdomen. During the embryonic stage, the heart begins to beat and organs form and begin to function. The neural tube forms along the back of the embryo, developing into the spinal cord and brain.

Fetal Stage (Weeks 9–40)

When the organism is about nine weeks old, the embryo is called a fetus. At this stage, the fetus is about the size of a kidney bean and begins to take on the recognizable form of a human being as the “tail” begins to disappear.

From 9–12 weeks, the sex organs begin to differentiate. At about 16 weeks, the fetus is approximately 4.5 inches long. Fingers and toes are fully developed, and fingerprints are visible. By the time the fetus reaches the sixth month of development (24 weeks), it weighs up to 1.4 pounds. Hearing has developed, so the fetus can respond to sounds. The internal organs, such as the lungs, heart, stomach, and intestines, have formed enough that a fetus born prematurely at this point has a chance to survive outside of the mother’s womb. Throughout the fetal stage the brain continues to grow and develop, nearly doubling in size from weeks 16 to 28. Around 36 weeks, the fetus is almost ready for birth. It weighs about 6 pounds and is about 18.5 inches long, and by week 37 all of the fetus’s organ systems are developed enough that it could survive outside the mother’s uterus without many of the risks associated with premature birth. The fetus continues to gain weight and grow in length until approximately 40 weeks. By then, the fetus has very little room to move around and birth becomes imminent. The progression through the stages is shown in [link].

During the fetal stage, the baby’s brain develops and the body adds size and weight, until the fetus reaches full-term development.

Link to Learning

For an amazing look at prenatal development and the process of birth, view the video Life’s Greatest Miracle from Nova and PBS.

Prenatal Influences

During each prenatal stage, genetic and environmental factors can affect development. The developing fetus is completely dependent on the mother for life. It is important that the mother takes good care of herself and receives prenatal care, which is medical care during pregnancy that monitors the health of both the mother and the fetus ([link]). According to the National Institutes of Health ([NIH], 2013), routine prenatal care is important because it can reduce the risk of complications to the mother and fetus during pregnancy. In fact, women who are trying to become pregnant or who may become pregnant should discuss pregnancy planning with their doctor. They may be advised, for example, to take a vitamin containing folic acid, which helps prevent certain birth defects, or to monitor aspects of their diet or exercise routines.

A pregnant woman receives an ultrasound as part of her prenatal care. (credit: United States Agency for International Development)

Recall that when the zygote attaches to the wall of the mother’s uterus, the placenta is formed. The placenta provides nourishment and oxygen to the fetus. Most everything the mother ingests, including food, liquid, and even medication, travels through the placenta to the fetus, hence the common phrase “eating for two.” Anything the mother is exposed to in the environment affects the fetus; if the mother is exposed to something harmful, the child can show life-long effects.

A teratogen is any environmental agent—biological, chemical, or physical—that causes damage to the developing embryo or fetus. There are different types of teratogens. Alcohol and most drugs cross the placenta and affect the fetus. Alcohol is not safe to drink in any amount during pregnancy. Alcohol use during pregnancy has been found to be the leading preventable cause of mental retardation in children in the United States (Maier & West, 2001). Excessive maternal drinking while pregnant can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders with life-long consequences for the child ranging in severity from minor to major ([link]). Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are a collection of birth defects associated with heavy consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. Physically, children with FASD may have a small head size and abnormal facial features. Cognitively, these children may have poor judgment, poor impulse control, higher rates of ADHD, learning issues, and lower IQ scores. These developmental problems and delays persist into adulthood (Streissguth et al., 2004). Based on studies conducted on animals, it also has been suggested that a mother’s alcohol consumption during pregnancy may predispose her child to like alcohol (Youngentob et al., 2007).

Physical Development

In infancy, toddlerhood, and early childhood, the body’s physical development is rapid ([link]). On average, newborns weigh between 5 and 10 pounds, and a newborn’s weight typically doubles in six months and triples in one year. By 2 years old the weight will have quadrupled, so we can expect that a 2 year old should weigh between 20 and 40 pounds. The average length of a newborn is 19.5 inches, increasing to 29.5 inches by 12 months and 34.4 inches by 2 years old (WHO Multicentre Growth Reference Study Group, 2006).

Children experience rapid physical changes through infancy and early childhood. (credit “left”: modification of work by Kerry Ceszyk; credit “middle-left”: modification of work by Kristi Fausel; credit “middle-right”: modification of work by “devinf”/Flickr; credit “right”: modification of work by Rose Spielman)

During infancy and childhood, growth does not occur at a steady rate (Carel, Lahlou, Roger, & Chaussain, 2004). Growth slows between 4 and 6 years old: During this time children gain 5–7 pounds and grow about 2–3 inches per year. Once girls reach 8–9 years old, their growth rate outpaces that of boys due to a pubertal growth spurt. This growth spurt continues until around 12 years old, coinciding with the start of the menstrual cycle. By 10 years old, the average girl weighs 88 pounds, and the average boy weighs 85 pounds.

We are born with all of the brain cells that we will ever have—about 100–200 billion neurons (nerve cells) whose function is to store and transmit information (Huttenlocher & Dabholkar, 1997). However, the nervous system continues to grow and develop. Each neural pathway forms thousands of new connections during infancy and toddlerhood. This period of rapid neural growth is called blooming. Neural pathways continue to develop through puberty. The blooming period of neural growth is then followed by a period of pruning, where neural connections are reduced. It is thought that pruning causes the brain to function more efficiently, allowing for mastery of more complex skills (Hutchinson, 2011). Blooming occurs during the first few years of life, and pruning continues through childhood and into adolescence in various areas of the brain.

The size of our brains increases rapidly. For example, the brain of a 2-year-old is 55% of its adult size, and by 6 years old the brain is about 90% of its adult size (Tanner, 1978). During early childhood (ages 3–6), the frontal lobes grow rapidly. Recalling our discussion of the 4 lobes of the brain earlier in this book, the frontal lobes are associated with planning, reasoning, memory, and impulse control. Therefore, by the time children reach school age, they are developmentally capable of controlling their attention and behavior. Through the elementary school years, the frontal, temporal, occipital, and parietal lobes all grow in size. The brain growth spurts experienced in childhood tend to follow Piaget’s sequence of cognitive development, so that significant changes in neural functioning account for cognitive advances (Kolb & Whishaw, 2009; Overman, Bachevalier, Turner, & Peuster, 1992).

Motor development occurs in an orderly sequence as infants move from reflexive reactions (e.g., sucking and rooting) to more advanced motor functioning. For instance, babies first learn to hold their heads up, then to sit with assistance, and then to sit unassisted, followed later by crawling and then walking.

Motor skills refer to our ability to move our bodies and manipulate objects. Fine motor skills focus on the muscles in our fingers, toes, and eyes, and enable coordination of small actions (e.g., grasping a toy, writing with a pencil, and using a spoon). Gross motor skills focus on large muscle groups that control our arms and legs and involve larger movements (e.g., balancing, running, and jumping).

As motor skills develop, there are certain developmental milestones that young children should achieve ([link]). For each milestone there is an average age, as well as a range of ages in which the milestone should be reached. An example of a developmental milestone is sitting. On average, most babies sit alone at 7 months old. Sitting involves both coordination and muscle strength, and 90% of babies achieve this milestone between 5 and 9 months old. In another example, babies on average are able to hold up their head at 6 weeks old, and 90% of babies achieve this between 3 weeks and 4 months old. If a baby is not holding up his head by 4 months old, he is showing a delay. If the child is displaying delays on several milestones, that is reason for concern, and the parent or caregiver should discuss this with the child’s pediatrician. Some developmental delays can be identified and addressed through early intervention.

2 Kicks a ball; walks up and down stairs Plays alongside other children; copies adults Points to objects when named; puts 2–4 words together in a sentence Sorts shapes and colors; follows 2-step instructions
3 Climbs and runs; pedals tricycle Takes turns; expresses many emotions; dresses self Names familiar things; uses pronouns Plays make believe; works toys with parts (levers, handles)
4 Catches balls; uses scissors Prefers social play to solo play; knows likes and interests Knows songs and rhymes by memory Names colors and numbers; begins writing letters
5 Hops and swings; uses fork and spoon Distinguishes real from pretend; likes to please friends Speaks clearly; uses full sentences Counts to 10 or higher; prints some letters and copies basic shapes

Cognitive Development

In addition to rapid physical growth, young children also exhibit significant development of their cognitive abilities. Piaget thought that children’s ability to understand objects—such as learning that a rattle makes a noise when shaken—was a cognitive skill that develops slowly as a child matures and interacts with the environment. Today, developmental psychologists think Piaget was incorrect. Researchers have found that even very young children understand objects and how they work long before they have experience with those objects (Baillargeon, 1987; Baillargeon, Li, Gertner, & Wu, 2011). For example, children as young as 3 months old demonstrated knowledge of the properties of objects that they had only viewed and did not have prior experience with them. In one study, 3-month-old infants were shown a truck rolling down a track and behind a screen. The box, which appeared solid but was actually hollow, was placed next to the track. The truck rolled past the box as would be expected. Then the box was placed on the track to block the path of the truck. When the truck was rolled down the track this time, it continued unimpeded. The infants spent significantly more time looking at this impossible event ([link]). Baillargeon (1987) concluded that they knew solid objects cannot pass through each other. Baillargeon’s findings suggest that very young children have an understanding of objects and how they work, which Piaget (1954) would have said is beyond their cognitive abilities due to their limited experiences in the world.

In Baillargeon’s study, infants observed a truck (a) roll down an unobstructed track, (b) roll down an unobstructed track with an obstruction (box) beside it, and (c) roll down and pass through what appeared to be an obstruction.

Just as there are physical milestones that we expect children to reach, there are also cognitive milestones. It is helpful to be aware of these milestones as children gain new abilities to think, problem solve, and communicate. For example, infants shake their head “no” around 6–9 months, and they respond to verbal requests to do things like “wave bye-bye” or “blow a kiss” around 9–12 months. Remember Piaget’s ideas about object permanence? We can expect children to grasp the concept that objects continue to exist even when they are not in sight by around 8 months old. Because toddlers (i.e., 12–24 months old) have mastered object permanence, they enjoy games like hide and seek, and they realize that when someone leaves the room they will come back (Loop, 2013). Toddlers also point to pictures in books and look in appropriate places when you ask them to find objects.

Preschool-age children (i.e., 3–5 years old) also make steady progress in cognitive development. Not only can they count, name colors, and tell you their name and age, but they can also make some decisions on their own, such as choosing an outfit to wear. Preschool-age children understand basic time concepts and sequencing (e.g., before and after), and they can predict what will happen next in a story. They also begin to enjoy the use of humor in stories. Because they can think symbolically, they enjoy pretend play and inventing elaborate characters and scenarios. One of the most common examples of their cognitive growth is their blossoming curiosity. Preschool-age children love to ask “Why?”

An important cognitive change occurs in children this age. Recall that Piaget described 2–3 year olds as egocentric, meaning that they do not have an awareness of others’ points of view. Between 3 and 5 years old, children come to understand that people have thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that are different from their own. This is known as theory-of-mind (TOM). Children can use this skill to tease others, persuade their parents to purchase a candy bar, or understand why a sibling might be angry. When children develop TOM, they can recognize that others have false beliefs (Dennett, 1987; Callaghan et al., 2005).

 

Link to Learning

False-belief tasks are useful in determining a child’s acquisition of theory-of-mind (TOM). Take a look at this video clip showing a false-belief task involving a box of crayons.

 

Cognitive skills continue to expand in middle and late childhood (6–11 years old). Thought processes become more logical and organized when dealing with concrete information ([link]). Children at this age understand concepts such as the past, present, and future, giving them the ability to plan and work toward goals. Additionally, they can process complex ideas such as addition and subtraction and cause-and-effect relationships. However, children’s attention spans tend to be very limited until they are around 11 years old. After that point, it begins to improve through adulthood.

Because they understand luck and fairness, children in middle and late childhood (6–11 years old) are able to follow rules for games. (credit: Edwin Martinez)

One well-researched aspect of cognitive development is language acquisition. As mentioned earlier, the order in which children learn language structures is consistent across children and cultures (Hatch, 1983). You’ve also learned that some psychological researchers have proposed that children possess a biological predisposition for language acquisition.

Starting before birth, babies begin to develop language and communication skills. At birth, babies apparently recognize their mother’s voice and can discriminate between the language(s) spoken by their mothers and foreign languages, and they show preferences for faces that are moving in synchrony with audible language (Blossom & Morgan, 2006; Pickens, 1994; Spelke & Cortelyou, 1981).

Children communicate information through gesturing long before they speak, and there is some evidence that gesture usage predicts subsequent language development (Iverson & Goldin-Meadow, 2005). In terms of producing spoken language, babies begin to coo almost immediately. Cooing is a one-syllable combination of a consonant and a vowel sound (e.g., coo or ba). Interestingly, babies replicate sounds from their own languages. A baby whose parents speak French will coo in a different tone than a baby whose parents speak Spanish or Urdu. After cooing, the baby starts to babble. Babbling begins with repeating a syllable, such as ma-ma, da-da, or ba-ba. When a baby is about 12 months old, we expect her to say her first word for meaning, and to start combining words for meaning at about 18 months.

At about 2 years old, a toddler uses between 50 and 200 words; by 3 years old they have a vocabulary of up to 1,000 words and can speak in sentences. During the early childhood years, children’s vocabulary increases at a rapid pace. This is sometimes referred to as the “vocabulary spurt” and has been claimed to involve an expansion in vocabulary at a rate of 10–20 new words per week. Recent research may indicate that while some children experience these spurts, it is far from universal (as discussed in Ganger & Brent, 2004). It has been estimated that, 5 year olds understand about 6,000 words, speak 2,000 words, and can define words and question their meanings. They can rhyme and name the days of the week. Seven year olds speak fluently and use slang and clichés (Stork & Widdowson, 1974).

What accounts for such dramatic language learning by children? Behaviorist B. F. Skinner thought that we learn language in response to reinforcement or feedback, such as through parental approval or through being understood. For example, when a two-year-old child asks for juice, he might say, “me juice,” to which his mother might respond by giving him a cup of apple juice. Noam Chomsky (1957) criticized Skinner’s theory and proposed that we are all born with an innate capacity to learn language. Chomsky called this mechanism a language acquisition device (LAD). Who is correct? Both Chomsky and Skinner are right. Remember that we are a product of both nature and nurture. Researchers now believe that language acquisition is partially inborn and partially learned through our interactions with our linguistic environment (Gleitman & Newport, 1995; Stork & Widdowson, 1974).

Attachment

Psychosocial development occurs as children form relationships, interact with others, and understand and manage their feelings. In social and emotional development, forming healthy attachments is very important and is the major social milestone of infancy. Attachment is a long-standing connection or bond with others. Developmental psychologists are interested in how infants reach this milestone. They ask such questions as: How do parent and infant attachment bonds form? How does neglect affect these bonds? What accounts for children’s attachment differences?

Researchers Harry Harlow, John Bowlby, and Mary Ainsworth conducted studies designed to answer these questions. In the 1950s, Harlow conducted a series of experiments on monkeys. He separated newborn monkeys from their mothers. Each monkey was presented with two surrogate mothers. One surrogate monkey was made out of wire mesh, and she could dispense milk. The other monkey was softer and made from cloth: This monkey did not dispense milk. Research shows that the monkeys preferred the soft, cuddly cloth monkey, even though she did not provide any nourishment. The baby monkeys spent their time clinging to the cloth monkey and only went to the wire monkey when they needed to be feed. Prior to this study, the medical and scientific communities generally thought that babies become attached to the people who provide their nourishment. However, Harlow (1958) concluded that there was more to the mother-child bond than nourishment. Feelings of comfort and security are the critical components to maternal-infant bonding, which leads to healthy psychosocial development.

 

Link to Learning

Harlow’s studies of monkeys were performed before modern ethics guidelines were in place, and today his experiments are widely considered to be unethical and even cruel. Watch this video to see actual footage of Harlow’s monkey studies.

 

Building on the work of Harlow and others, John Bowlby developed the concept of attachment theory. He defined attachment as the affectional bond or tie that an infant forms with the mother (Bowlby, 1969). An infant must form this bond with a primary caregiver in order to have normal social and emotional development. In addition, Bowlby proposed that this attachment bond is very powerful and continues throughout life. He used the concept of secure base to define a healthy attachment between parent and child (1988). A secure base is a parental presence that gives the child a sense of safety as he explores his surroundings. Bowlby said that two things are needed for a healthy attachment: The caregiver must be responsive to the child’s physical, social, and emotional needs; and the caregiver and child must engage in mutually enjoyable interactions (Bowlby, 1969) ([link]).

Mutually enjoyable interactions promote the mother-infant bond. (credit: Peter Shanks)

While Bowlby thought attachment was an all-or-nothing process, Mary Ainsworth’s (1970) research showed otherwise. Ainsworth wanted to know if children differ in the ways they bond, and if so, why. To find the answers, she used the Strange Situation procedure to study attachment between mothers and their infants (1970). In the Strange Situation, the mother (or primary caregiver) and the infant (age 12-18 months) are placed in a room together. There are toys in the room, and the caregiver and child spend some time alone in the room. After the child has had time to explore her surroundings, a stranger enters the room. The mother then leaves her baby with the stranger. After a few minutes, she returns to comfort her child.

Based on how the infants/toddlers responded to the separation and reunion, Ainsworth identified three types of parent-child attachments: secure, avoidant, and resistant (Ainsworth & Bell, 1970). A fourth style, known as disorganized attachment, was later described (Main & Solomon, 1990). The most common type of attachment—also considered the healthiest—is called secure attachment ([link]). In this type of attachment, the toddler prefers his parent over a stranger. The attachment figure is used as a secure base to explore the environment and is sought out in times of stress. Securely attached children were distressed when their caregivers left the room in the Strange Situation experiment, but when their caregivers returned, the securely attached children were happy to see them. Securely attached children have caregivers who are sensitive and responsive to their needs.

In secure attachment, the parent provides a secure base for the toddler, allowing him to securely explore his environment. (credit: Kerry Ceszyk)

With avoidant attachment, the child is unresponsive to the parent, does not use the parent as a secure base, and does not care if the parent leaves. The toddler reacts to the parent the same way she reacts to a stranger. When the parent does return, the child is slow to show a positive reaction. Ainsworth theorized that these children were most likely to have a caregiver who was insensitive and inattentive to their needs (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978).

In cases of resistant attachment, children tend to show clingy behavior, but then they reject the attachment figure’s attempts to interact with them (Ainsworth & Bell, 1970). These children do not explore the toys in the room, as they are too fearful. During separation in the Strange Situation, they became extremely disturbed and angry with the parent. When the parent returns, the children are difficult to comfort. Resistant attachment is the result of the caregivers’ inconsistent level of response to their child.

Finally, children with disorganized attachment behaved oddly in the Strange Situation. They freeze, run around the room in an erratic manner, or try to run away when the caregiver returns (Main & Solomon, 1990). This type of attachment is seen most often in kids who have been abused. Research has shown that abuse disrupts a child’s ability to regulate their emotions.

While Ainsworth’s research has found support in subsequent studies, it has also met criticism. Some researchers have pointed out that a child’s temperament may have a strong influence on attachment (Gervai, 2009; Harris, 2009), and others have noted that attachment varies from culture to culture, a factor not accounted for in Ainsworth’s research (Rothbaum, Weisz, Pott, Miyake, & Morelli, 2000; van Ijzendoorn & Sagi-Schwartz, 2008).

 

Link to Learning

Watch this video to view a clip of the Strange Situation. Try to identify which type of attachment baby Lisa exhibits.

Self-Concept

Just as attachment is the main psychosocial milestone of infancy, the primary psychosocial milestone of childhood is the development of a positive sense of self. How does self-awareness develop? Infants don’t have a self-concept, which is an understanding of who they are. If you place a baby in front of a mirror, she will reach out to touch her image, thinking it is another baby. However, by about 18 months a toddler will recognize that the person in the mirror is herself. How do we know this? In a well-known experiment, a researcher placed a red dot of paint on children’s noses before putting them in front of a mirror (Amsterdam, 1972). Commonly known as the mirror test, this behavior is demonstrated by humans and a few other species and is considered evidence of self-recognition (Archer, 1992). At 18 months old they would touch their own noses when they saw the paint, surprised to see a spot on their faces. By 24–36 months old children can name and/or point to themselves in pictures, clearly indicating self-recognition.

Children from 2–4 years old display a great increase in social behavior once they have established a self-concept. They enjoy playing with other children, but they have difficulty sharing their possessions. Also, through play children explore and come to understand their gender roles and can label themselves as a girl or boy (Chick, Heilman-Houser, & Hunter, 2002). By 4 years old, children can cooperate with other children, share when asked, and separate from parents with little anxiety. Children at this age also exhibit autonomy, initiate tasks, and carry out plans. Success in these areas contributes to a positive sense of self. Once children reach 6 years old, they can identify themselves in terms of group memberships: “I’m a first grader!” School-age children compare themselves to their peers and discover that they are competent in some areas and less so in others (recall Erikson’s task of industry versus inferiority). At this age, children recognize their own personality traits as well as some other traits they would like to have. For example, 10-year-old Layla says, “I’m kind of shy. I wish I could be more talkative like my friend Alexa.”

Development of a positive self-concept is important to healthy development. Children with a positive self-concept tend to be more confident, do better in school, act more independently, and are more willing to try new activities (Maccoby, 1980; Ferrer & Fugate, 2003). Formation of a positive self-concept begins in Erikson’s toddlerhood stage, when children establish autonomy and become confident in their abilities. Development of self-concept continues in elementary school, when children compare themselves to others. When the comparison is favorable, children feel a sense of competence and are motivated to work harder and accomplish more. Self-concept is re-evaluated in Erikson’s adolescence stage, as teens form an identity. They internalize the messages they have received regarding their strengths and weaknesses, keeping some messages and rejecting others. Adolescents who have achieved identity formation are capable of contributing positively to society (Erikson, 1968).

What can parents do to nurture a healthy self-concept? Diana Baumrind (1971, 1991) thinks parenting style may be a factor. The way we parent is an important factor in a child’s socioemotional growth. Baumrind developed and refined a theory describing four parenting styles: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved. With the authoritative style, the parent gives reasonable demands and consistent limits, expresses warmth and affection, and listens to the child’s point of view. Parents set rules and explain the reasons behind them. They are also flexible and willing to make exceptions to the rules in certain cases—for example, temporarily relaxing bedtime rules to allow for a nighttime swim during a family vacation. Of the four parenting styles, the authoritative style is the one that is most encouraged in modern American society. American children raised by authoritative parents tend to have high self-esteem and social skills. However, effective parenting styles vary as a function of culture and, as Small (1999) points out, the authoritative style is not necessarily preferred or appropriate in all cultures.

In authoritarian style, the parent places high value on conformity and obedience. The parents are often strict, tightly monitor their children, and express little warmth. In contrast to the authoritative style, authoritarian parents probably would not relax bedtime rules during a vacation because they consider the rules to be set, and they expect obedience. This style can create anxious, withdrawn, and unhappy kids. However, it is important to point out that authoritarian parenting is as beneficial as the authoritative style in some ethnic groups (Russell, Crockett, & Chao, 2010). For instance, first-generation Chinese American children raised by authoritarian parents did just as well in school as their peers who were raised by authoritative parents (Russell et al., 2010).

For parents who employ the permissive style of parenting, the kids run the show and anything goes. Permissive parents make few demands and rarely use punishment. They tend to be very nurturing and loving, and may play the role of friend rather than parent. In terms of our example of vacation bedtimes, permissive parents might not have bedtime rules at all—instead they allow the child to choose his bedtime whether on vacation or not. Not surprisingly, children raised by permissive parents tend to lack self-discipline, and the permissive parenting style is negatively associated with grades (Dornbusch, Ritter, Leiderman, Roberts, & Fraleigh, 1987). The permissive style may also contribute to other risky behaviors such as alcohol abuse (Bahr & Hoffman, 2010), risky sexual behavior especially among female children (Donenberg, Wilson, Emerson, & Bryant, 2002), and increased display of disruptive behaviors by male children (Parent et al., 2011). However, there are some positive outcomes associated with children raised by permissive parents. They tend to have higher self-esteem, better social skills, and report lower levels of depression (Darling, 1999).

With the uninvolved style of parenting, the parents are indifferent, uninvolved, and sometimes referred to as neglectful. They don’t respond to the child’s needs and make relatively few demands. This could be because of severe depression or substance abuse, or other factors such as the parents’ extreme focus on work. These parents may provide for the child’s basic needs, but little else. The children raised in this parenting style are usually emotionally withdrawn, fearful, anxious, perform poorly in school, and are at an increased risk of substance abuse (Darling, 1999).

As you can see, parenting styles influence childhood adjustment, but could a child’s temperament likewise influence parenting? Temperament refers to innate traits that influence how one thinks, behaves, and reacts with the environment. Children with easy temperaments demonstrate positive emotions, adapt well to change, and are capable of regulating their emotions. Conversely, children with difficult temperaments demonstrate negative emotions and have difficulty adapting to change and regulating their emotions. Difficult children are much more likely to challenge parents, teachers, and other caregivers (Thomas, 1984). Therefore, it’s possible that easy children (i.e., social, adaptable, and easy to soothe) tend to elicit warm and responsive parenting, while demanding, irritable, withdrawn children evoke irritation in their parents or cause their parents to withdraw (Sanson & Rothbart, 1995).

Everyday Connection: The Importance of Play and Recess

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (2007), unstructured play is an integral part of a child’s development. It builds creativity, problem solving skills, and social relationships. Play also allows children to develop a theory-of-mind as they imaginatively take on the perspective of others.

Outdoor play allows children the opportunity to directly experience and sense the world around them. While doing so, they may collect objects that they come across and develop lifelong interests and hobbies. They also benefit from increased exercise, and engaging in outdoor play can actually increase how much they enjoy physical activity. This helps support the development of a healthy heart and brain. Unfortunately, research suggests that today’s children are engaging in less and less outdoor play (Clements, 2004). Perhaps, it is no surprise to learn that lowered levels of physical activity in conjunction with easy access to calorie-dense foods with little nutritional value are contributing to alarming levels of childhood obesity (Karnik & Kanekar, 2012).

Despite the adverse consequences associated with reduced play, some children are over scheduled and have little free time to engage in unstructured play. In addition, some schools have taken away recess time for children in a push for students to do better on standardized tests, and many schools commonly use loss of recess as a form of punishment. Do you agree with these practices? Why or why not?

Pregnancy week by week

Swipe to

advance

Learn how your baby grows each week during pregnancy. Pick your week.

  • Weeks 1-2

    Conception (also called fertilization) usually happens about 2 weeks after the start of your last menstrual period (also called LMP). Conception is when a man’s sperm fertilizes a woman’s egg. Conception happens in one of your fallopian tubes. These are the tubes between your ovaries and your uterus (womb).

    You may not know the exact day you get pregnant. This is why health care providers use your LMP to find out how far along you are in pregnancy.

  • Weeks 3-4

    The fertilized egg moves through the fallopian tubes towards your uterus and attaches to the lining of the uterus (called implantation). Once it’s implanted, it begins to grow and the placenta forms. The placenta grows in the uterus and supplies your baby with food and oxygen through the umbilical cord.

  • Week 5

    Your baby’s neural tube forms. The neural tube becomes your baby’s brain, spinal cord and backbone. Tiny buds start to appear that become your baby’s arms and legs. Your baby’s heart and lungs are developing, and your baby’s heart starts to beat.

  • Week 6

    Your baby’s heart beats about 105 times a minute. Her nose, mouth, fingers, toes and ears are forming and begin to take shape.

  • Week 7

    Your baby’s bones start to form but are still soft. They harden as you get farther along in your pregnancy. She now has eyelids, but they stay shut. Your baby’s genitals begin to form.

  • Week 8

    All of your baby’s major organs and body systems are developing. The placenta is working.

  • Week 9

    Tiny buds appear that become your baby’s teeth. Your baby is close to ½ an inch long now.

  • Week 10

    Fingers and toes continue to develop and your baby’s nails grow. You may be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat at your prenatal care checkup.

  • Week 11

    Your baby’s bones begin to get hard. Her skin is still thin and see-through but gets less see-through over time. Her head makes up about half of her size.

  • Week 12

    Your baby’s hands develop faster than her feet. She moves around, but you may not be able to feel her move yet. She’s about 2 inches long and weighs about ½ an ounce.

  • Week 13

    This is the start of your second trimester! Your baby’s growing fast. Her organs are fully formed and continue to develop. On an ultrasound, it may look like your baby’s breathing and swallowing.

  • Week 14

    Your baby starts to move her eyes. Her nose and taste buds are developing. Her skin starts to thicken, and hair follicles under her skin begin to grow. Your baby opens and closes her hands and brings them to her mouth.

  • Week 15

    Your baby is very active! She flips and rolls around inside you. You may begin to feel her move. Her bones are growing strong, and you may be able to see them during an ultrasound. Your baby’s kidneys make urine and her heart is pumping blood.

  • Week 16

    Your baby’s eyelids, upper lip and ears have developed. She can hear you! Talk or sing to her as much as you like. Your baby is about 5 inches long and weighs about 5 ounces.

  • Week 17

    Your baby starts to add fat to her body! Fat gives your baby energy and helps her stay warm after she’s born. Vernix appears on your baby’s skin. This is a waxy or greasy coating that’s waterproof. It protects your baby’s skin in the womb.

  • Week 18

    You may have your first ultrasound this week—it’s the first time you get to “see” your baby! You may be able to tell if your baby’s a boy or girl, so be sure to tell your provider if you don’t want to know.

    Your baby goes to sleep and wakes up throughout the day. Loud noises and your movements can wake her. Her skin has lanugo. This is soft, fine hair that helps keep her warm in the womb.

  • Week 19

    Your baby’s kicks and movements are getting stronger! If you think you felt them before, you really can feel her move now. She learns how to suck, which she needs for feeding after she’s born. She may even suck her thumb in the womb.

  • Week 20

    Your baby’s nails grow toward the ends of her fingers. Your baby is about 10 inches long and weighs about 1 pound.

  • Week 21

    Your baby’s fingers and toes are fully formed, including her finger prints and toe prints. Your baby can swallow now and from time to time, she may even hiccup! You may feel these as regular, jerky movements.

  • Week 22

    Your baby’s eyelids are still shut, but her eyes are moving behind them. Her tear ducts start to develop, and her eyebrows may begin to appear. Your baby may move suddenly when she hears loud sounds.

  • Week 23

    Your baby may recognize sounds, like your voice. If you talk to your baby, you may feel her move!

  • Week 24

    Your baby’s muscles continue to grow. She may start to have hair on her head. Her lungs are fully formed but she’s not ready to breathe outside the womb yet. She’s about 12 inches long and may weigh a little more than 1 pound.

  • Week 25

    Your baby is growing fast as you start your third trimester! Her nervous system is developing quickly. The nervous system is the brain, spinal cord and nerves. It helps your baby move, think and feel. Your baby adds more fat to her body, which makes her skin look smooth and less wrinkly.

  • Week 26

    Your baby’s body is making melanin, a substance that gives her skin color and protects her skin from the sun after birth. Her lungs start to make surfactant. This substance helps your baby’s lungs get ready to breathe.

  • Week 27

    Your baby is doing lots of kicking and stretching. Her lungs and nervous system continue to develop.

  • Week 28

    Your baby has eyelashes and she can open and close her eyes. Your baby is about 14 inches long and weighs about 2½ pounds.

  • Week 29

    Your baby starts to put on weight fast! In the last 2½ months of pregnancy, your baby gains about half of her birthweight. Be sure to eat healthy foods so your baby has the nutrients she needs to grow.

  • Week 30

    Your baby begins to lose the lanugo, the soft fine hair that covers her body. She also may have a good amount of hair on her head.

  • Week 31

    Your baby’s brain grows and develops quickly. Her brain can now help control her body heat.

  • Week 32

    As your baby adds fat to her body, her skin is no longer see-through. Your baby is about 18 inches long and may weigh about 5 pounds.

  • Week 33

    Your baby’s still gaining weight and growing. As you get closer to your due date, she gains about ½ pound per week.

  • Week 34

    The vernix, the waxy, greasy coating that protects your baby’s skin in the womb, starts to get thicker. Most babies move into a head-down position to get ready for labor and birth. It may happen this week or in the next few weeks.

  • Week 35

    Your baby’s brain and lungs are still developing. A baby’s brain at 35 weeks weighs only two-thirds of what it will weigh at 39 to 40 weeks. If your pregnancy is healthy, wait for labor to begin on its own. If you’re planning to schedule a c-section or labor induction before 39 weeks, it should only be for medical reasons.

  • Week 36

    It’s starting to get crowded in the womb! While your baby doesn’t have room to do many flips or rolls, you still feel her kick and stretch. If you notice a change in how often your baby moves, call your health care provider. Your baby weighs about 6 to 7 pounds.

  • Week 37

    Important organs, like your baby’s brain, lungs and liver, are still developing. Your baby’s still gaining weight. If your pregnancy is healthy, it’s best to stay pregnant for at least 39 weeks. Births scheduled before 39 weeks should be for medical reasons only.

  • Week 38

    Your baby’s brain is still developing. Her liver and lungs are still growing. Your baby’s size may make you feel uncomfortable. Hang in there! If your pregnancy is healthy, wait for labor to begin on its own.

  • Week 39

    You and your baby have made it to 39 weeks! This is great! Your baby is full term. She’ll let you know when she’s ready to be born. Call your provider when you think you’re in labor.

  • Week 40

    Congratulations on 40 weeks! Your baby is ready to be born. Your baby’s had time to fully develop and is ready to meet you face to face. Call your provider when you think you’re in labor. Your baby is about 18 to 20 inches long and weighs about 6 to 9 pounds.

Learn how your baby grows and your body changes during pregnancy. And find out why if your pregnancy is healthy being pregnant for at least 39 weeks is best for your baby.

Click on the images below to view our infographics. Find out why being pregnant for at least 39 weeks gives your baby the time she needs to grow and develop. Learn the signs and symptoms of preterm labor and what you can do if you have them.

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Nutrition, weight & fitness

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    Pictures of Pregnancy Stages of Development

    These delicious pregnancy stages pictures will show you what you and your precious baby will look like during each of the different stages of pregnancy development. You can go directly to the pictures of pregnancy stages or keep on reading for more information.

    You’re going to love these pregnancy pictures. They’ll help you to understand what’s happening inside your body and add extra color and fun while you’re waiting for your little bundle of joy.

    All of the nine stages of pregnancy compare your baby’s size to the size of a nutritious fruit or vegetable. Yummy! It’s a tasty pregnancy adventure that puts more joy in the journey.

    Development Stages of Pregnancy Pictures

    Pregnancy lasts for about 40 weeks counting from the first day of your last normal period.

    These nine pictures of pregnancy stages of fetal development show how your baby is growing inside you. Just click on each week listed below to find the picture you’re looking for.

    They say one picture’s worth a thousand words. Now that you’ve seen those delicious pregnancy pictures, I’m sure you’ll agree. After all, each of the stages of pregnancy and your entire birth experience might as well be a joyful adventure for everyone concerned.

    Having an idea of what your baby looks like during each stage of development can help you to maintain encouraging thoughts and feelings. This positive attitude is very important to the health of both you and your developing child. It’s like having your very own treasure map.

    Focus on the Treasure within You

    The drawings at the links above show you how your baby will grow over all nine months of pregnancy. But the weights and measurements that are used are based on averages. And since no two pregnancies are ever the same, don’t be surprised when there are differences.

    Your own exciting pregnancy experience will be unique, just like your baby will be one of a kind.

    These pictures of pregnancy stages of development, showing you how your baby is growing inside your body, offer a great way to stay positively focused and enthusiastic. It will make your pregnancy adventure more rewarding and keep you looking forward to the happy ending.

    For even more fun, visit the Water Birth Pictures of My Granddaughter.

    And be sure to check out my free Natural Health Newsletter for more articles about your own health and the health and well being of your baby.

    Click here for the Site Map.

    Other articles you might also enjoy:
    A Healthy Pregnancy Food List
    Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain Chart
    Eating Healthy for Pregnancy Baby health
    Tired of Feeling Tired and Fatigue All the Time

    To subscribe to the Natural Health Newsletter, just enter your email address in the subscribe box at the bottom of this page.

    © Copyright Moss Greene. All Rights Reserved.

    Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.

    Content copyright © 2021 by Moss Greene. All rights reserved.

    This content was written by Moss Greene. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact
    Moss Greene
    for details.

    Your week-by-week pregnancy photo guide: 6 steps to stunning pics

    Most of us would admit to experiencing frantic, middle-of-the-night thoughts while we were pregnant in which we questioned our choice to become parents, or wondered whether we’d still be the same person after becoming a mom. Those of us who planned on pursuing careers after giving birth might also have agonized over whether we would be as committed to our jobs.

    When singer and songwriter Amanda Palmer was pregnant, a fan expressed this worry for her, wondering whether Palmer’s career would suffer after she became a mom. She was concerned that the artist wouldn’t be able to produce songs of the same standard. “When you have this baby,” she argued, “either him/her/it will suffer, or your career will suffer.”


    In her response via an open letter on Medium, Palmer expressed her own nervousness about her possible “loss of identity as an artist” when she becomes a mother. She wrote about concerns that had plagued her when she was deciding whether to have a child: “If I had kids,” she mused, “would I turn into a boring, irrelevant, ignorable artist? Would I suddenly start writing songs about balance…? Would I become that annoying person who is so enthralled with their child that it’s impossible to have an intelligent conversation with them about art because they’d rather show you iPhone photos of their kid drooling out a spoonful of mashed carrots?”

    Changing lives

    There’s no denying it: After giving birth, your priorities change. You change. Different issues take precedence at different stages of your life. Life with a newborn is worlds away from the child-free life, and life with a teenager is worlds away from life with a newborn. Whereas your main concern prior to having children might have been how to climb the corporate ladder, your most urgent thought after giving birth might be how to do both—climb the ladder and be an involved parent—or even how to step off the ladder completely. The person you were then is not the person you are now.

    Research tells us that a lot of change happens when we choose to have babies, and that a mother is not the same person she was before having children. Scientific American reported a few years ago that almost all female mammals undergo “fundamental changes” during pregnancy and after birth and that pregnancy and lactation hormones may alter the brain, “increasing the size of the neurons in some regions and producing structural changes in others.”

    Other research has found that a combination of pregnancy hormones and the experience of pregnancy and birth improve our memory and learning abilities.

    Changing priorities

    Moms who were asked whether they felt they had changed all agreed that they had. Photographer and mom Carmen Visser believes, however, that Palmer’s fears are misdirected and that her priorities will change after becoming a mom: “While pregnant, you have time to think and worry about losing your identity, but once the child is there, there is no time to worry about life, because life is happening. Life with a child is rich—richer than fearing the loss of your own identity.”

    Ema, mom to three boys, agrees: “When I became a mum, I kinda lost the ‘me.’ Obviously we all need a bit of ‘me’ time now and then, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Now I am more than ‘me’. I’m a mother.”

    Teacher and mom of two, Shereen, says that the biggest change she experienced since becoming a mom is “the emotional vulnerability one feels. I look at people who have lost kids,” she says, “and there is such a fear and knowledge that the pain of such a loss is beyond anything I ever want to experience. I also have so much more empathy with others, whereas before kids I think I was quite emotionally detached.”

    Ema has also experienced this vulnerability since becoming a mom: “I used to watch the news or a documentary and see children suffering. Although I felt sadness, there was also a disconnection and an inability to understand exactly what those images represented as a whole. Now, every child on the news is my child. Also, I used to be scared of not being popular, or having enough money to buy all the nice things friends had, or be able to go on cool exciting holidays. Now, my fear is that I can’t provide everything needed by my kids. I fear that I won’t be capable of giving them the best chances in life.”

    Melany, mom to Eden, said that she didn’t want to have children, but then, along came her little one. “When I turned 38, my mom, sister, and I discussed over a Christmas glass of wine how great it would be to have a combination of (my husband) and me running around. I threw away my pills, closed my eyes, and didn’t look! A year and a half later, Eden arrived.”

    “I don’t think the core of who I am has changed. I am still me. I haven’t changed, but I have grown. My heart is bigger and it overflows with an untarnished, uncomplicated, and pure love for Eden. It is regenerating to see the world through her eyes. We make daily escapes to fantasy worlds filled with imaginary creatures. Life is better, more beautiful, and more peaceful with my daughter in it.”

    Change for the better?

    Certainly Palmer’s fan’s fears about whether she would change weren’t unfounded. But will the change be for better or worse? Will her ability as an artist suffer?

    Poet and novelist, Finuala Dowling believes Palmer has nothing to fear. She argues that motherhood spurred her on to become a writer. “I found that my writing ambitions only gained clarity once I got pregnant. I suddenly realized that I had wasted a decade wishing I could be a writer but producing very little beyond two failed novels and some stories. In 1993, I sat down with my growing belly and, with an almost overpowering sense of time running out, wrote a story that went on to win a prize. Later, knowing that my daughter woke early, I would wake even earlier to write the chapters of what would become my first novel. I think becoming a mother teaches one how to use all the available time.”

    Researchers from the Netherlands recently proved that during pregnancy, fetal cells enter and spread throughout the mother’s body. Called “microchimerism,” it’s the presence of cells “with a different genetic background” within your body. The researchers collected samples from 26 women who had been pregnant with sons and found the presence of Y chromosomes in all of them.

    That’s solid proof that, after becoming a mom, you’re not the same person. It’s Palmer’s choice whether she turns into a “boring, irrelevant, ignorable artist” and someone who is unable to have an intelligent conversation. The unavoidable fact, though, is that pregnancy, birth and parenthood will have changed her profoundly.

    Change is hard. Here are our favorite products meant to ease all the growing pains.

    Belly Bandit bump support capri leggings

    Meant for the multi-tasking mama, these maternity leggings lift and support the bump as your baby grows. Comfortable enough to endure the adventures of maternity and postpartum, but cute enough to be worn outside, these leggings make life almost as easy as you make it look. Change is inevitable, but your comfort (and style) are uncompromisable.

    Hatch Collection mama must haves set

    Tend to your changing body in the best way. Equipped with a belly oil for hydration, down, girl to soothe and relieve swelling of the legs and feet, and a nipple and lip balm, this set is a must-have as you go through all of the motions of pregnancy and motherhood.

    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You’ve got this.

    Ultrasound scan | Pregnancy Birth and Baby

    Ultrasound scans use sound waves to create a picture of your baby in your womb. The picture will be displayed on a screen that you will be able to see. Most scans are performed by a trained healthcare professional called a sonographer. These scans are painless and there are no risks to you or your baby.

    What are the different types of ultrasounds offered in pregnancy?

    There are 3 main types of ultrasound offered in pregnancy.

    A dating scan can be used to confirm your due date if you are unsure of your last menstrual period or your date of conception. It is usually offered to pregnant women from 10 weeks to 13 weeks’ gestation, but can be carried out any time from 6 weeks.

    A nuchal translucency scan might be offered to help you work out the risk of your baby having a chromosomal abnormality. It might be done as part of a dating scan, or it can be done separately. You might be advised to have a blood test with it.

    An morphology or anomaly scan is a detailed ultrasound scan that looks at your baby’s body and observes the position of the placenta, the umbilical cord, the amniotic fluid around your baby, and your uterus and cervix. It is usually done at 18 to 20 weeks’ gestation.

    Sometimes ultrasounds are performed more often during pregnancy. This might happen if:

    • you are having twins or triplets
    • you have a complication in your pregnancy
    • your healthcare professional has concerns about the health of your baby

    How is an ultrasound done?

    Most ultrasounds that are done after 10 weeks of pregnancy are performed abdominally. The sonographer will place some gel on your belly, and will rub a hand-held device called a transducer across your belly to obtain a picture of your unborn baby.

    For an abdominal ultrasound during your first trimester, you may need to drink a few glasses of water. This is so your full bladder will push your uterus up out of your pelvis, allowing the baby to be seen clearly in the ultrasound images.

    Sometimes the sonographer needs to perform a vaginal ultrasound. The probe used for this does not need to go in very deep, so most women find that it fits comfortably inside the vagina. This might be recommended if:

    • you are less than 8 weeks’ pregnant
    • you are overweight
    • the baby is deep inside your abdomen

    How much do ultrasounds cost?

    There’s no simple answer. Medicare covers some of the costs of ultrasounds but not others. Some private health insurance schemes cover some of the costs. Before having an ultrasound, check the costs with your doctor, your midwife or the person doing the ultrasound.

    Do I have to have ultrasound scans during my pregnancy?

    It is your choice whether or not you have ultrasound scans during your pregnancy. Many women find it reassuring to know if they have a healthy pregnancy and to help prepare for the birth. If any abnormalities are seen, it may also be possible to arrange immediate specialist care to help manage your pregnancy and prepare for the birth.

    If you are unsure whether you would like to have a scan, you can discuss it with your midwife or doctor to help make the right decision for you.

    Child development by week | Regional Perinatal Center

    Expectant mothers are always curious about how the fetus develops during the time when it is expected with such impatience. Let’s talk and look at photos and pictures, how the fetus grows and develops week by week.

    What does the belly-stomach do for the whole 9 months in the mother’s tummy? What does he feel, see and hear?

    Pregnancy: fetal development by week

    Let’s start the story about the development of the fetus by week from the very beginning – from the moment of fertilization.A fetus up to 8 weeks old is called embryo , this occurs before the formation of all organ systems.

    Embryo development: 1st week

    The egg is fertilized and begins to actively divide. The ovum is sent to the uterus, freeing itself from the membrane along the way.

    On days 6-8, implantation of eggs is carried out – implantation into the uterus. The egg settles on the surface of the uterine lining and, using chorionic villi, attaches to the uterine lining.

    Embryo development: 2-3 weeks

    Picture of the development of the embryo at the 3rd week.

    The embryo is actively developing, starting to detach from the membranes. At this stage, the rudiments of the muscular, bone and nervous systems are formed. Therefore, this period of pregnancy is considered important.

    Embryo development: 4-7 weeks

    Fetal development by weeks in pictures: weeks 4

    Fetal development by week Photo: week 4

    Photo of the embryo before the 6th week of pregnancy.

    The heart, head, arms, legs and tail are formed in the embryo :). The branchial cleft is determined. The length of the embryo in the fifth week reaches 6 mm.

    Fetal development by week Photo: week 5

    At the 7th week, the rudiments of the eyes, abdomen and chest are determined, and fingers appear on the arms. The baby already has a sense organ – the vestibular apparatus. Embryo length – up to 12 mm.

    Fetal development: 8th week

    Fetal development by week photo: weeks 7-8

    The fetus has a face, you can distinguish between the mouth, nose, ears.The embryo’s head is large and its length corresponds to the length of the body; the fetal body is formed. All significant, but not yet fully formed, elements of the baby’s body already exist. The nervous system, muscles, skeleton continue to improve.

    Fetal development in the photo already sensitive arms and legs: weeks 8

    The fetus developed skin sensitivity in the mouth (preparation for the sucking reflex), and later in the face and palms.

    At this stage of pregnancy, the genitals are already visible. The gill slits die off. The fruit reaches 20 mm in length.

    Fetal development: 9-10 weeks

    Fetal development by week Photo: week 9

    Fingers and toes already with marigolds. The fetus begins to move in the belly of the pregnant woman, but the mother does not yet feel it. With a special stethoscope, you can hear the baby’s heartbeat. Muscles continue to develop.

    Fetal development by week Photo: weeks 10

    The entire surface of the fetal body is sensitive and the baby is happy to develop tactile sensations by touching his own little body, the walls of the fetal bladder and the umbilical cord.It is very curious to observe this on an ultrasound scan. By the way, the baby first moves away from the ultrasound sensor (of course, because he is cold and unusual!), And then puts his palms and heels trying to touch the sensor.

    It’s amazing when a mother puts her hand to her belly, the baby tries to master the world and tries to touch his hand “on the back”.

    Fetal development: 11-14 weeks

    Fetal development in the photo of the leg: weeks 11

    The baby’s arms, legs and eyelids are formed, and the genitals become distinguishable (you can find out the sex of the baby). The fetus begins to swallow, and if something is not to his taste, for example, if something bitter gets into the amniotic fluid (mother has eaten something), then the baby will frown and stick out his tongue, making fewer swallowing movements.

    Fruit skin looks transparent.

    Fetal development: weeks 12

    Photo of the fetus 12 weeks on 3d ultrasound

    Fetal development by week Photo: week 14

    The kidneys are responsible for the production of urine.Blood forms inside the bones. And hairs begin to grow on the head. The movement is already more coordinated.

    Fetal development: 15-18 weeks

    Fetal development by week Photo: weeks 15

    The skin turns pink, the ears and other parts of the body, including the face, are already visible. Imagine that a child can already open his mouth and blink, as well as make grasping movements. The fetus begins to actively push in the mother’s tummy. The sex of the fetus can be determined by ultrasound.

    Fetal development: 19-23 weeks

    Fetal development by week Photo: week 19

    The baby sucks his thumb, becomes more energetic. In the intestines of the fetus, pseudo-feces are formed – meconium , the kidneys begin to work. During this period, the brain develops very actively.

    Fetal development by week Photo: week 20

    The auditory bones are stiff and are now able to conduct sounds, the baby hears his mother – heartbeat, breathing, voice.The fruit is gaining weight intensively, and fatty deposits are formed. The weight of the fruit reaches 650 g, and the length is 300 mm.

    The lungs at this stage of fetal development are so developed that the baby in the artificial conditions of the intensive care unit can survive.

    Fetal development: 24-27 weeks

    The lungs continue to develop. Now the baby is already falling asleep and waking up. The vellus hairs appear on the skin, the skin becomes wrinkled and covered with lubricant. The cartilage of the ears and nose is still soft.

    Fetal development by week Photo: week 27

    Lips and mouth become more sensitive. The eyes develop, open slightly and can perceive light and squint from direct sunlight. In girls, the labia majora do not yet cover the small ones, and in boys, the testicles have not yet descended into the scrotum. The weight of the fruit reaches 900–1200 g, and the length is 350 mm.

    9 out of 10 children born at this time survive.

    Fetal development: 28-32 weeks

    The lungs are now adapted to breathe normal air.Rhythmic breathing and body temperature are controlled by the central nervous system. The baby can cry and respond to external sounds.

    The child opens his eyes while awake and closes during sleep.

    The skin becomes thicker, smoother and more pinkish. Starting from this period, the fetus will actively gain weight and grow rapidly. Almost all babies born prematurely at this time are viable. The weight of the fruit reaches 2500 g, and the length is 450 mm.

    Fetal development: 33–37 weeks

    Fetal development by week Photo: week 36

    The fetus reacts to the light source.Muscle tone increases and the baby can turn and raise his head. On which, the hairs become silky. The child develops a grasping reflex. The lungs are fully developed.

    Fetal development: 38-42 weeks

    The fruit is quite developed, ready for birth and is considered mature. The baby has perfected more than 70 different reflex movements. Due to the subcutaneous fatty tissue, the baby’s skin is pale pink. The head is covered with hairs up to 3 cm.

    Fetal development by week Photo: weeks 40

    The baby has perfectly mastered the movements of the mother , knows when she is calm, excited, upset and reacts to this with her movements.During the prenatal period, the fetus gets used to moving in space, so babies love it so much when they are carried in their arms or rolled in a stroller. For a baby, this is a completely natural state, so he will calm down and fall asleep when he is rocked.

    Nails protrude beyond the tips of the fingers, the cartilages of the ears and nose are elastic. In boys, the testicles descended into the scrotum, and in girls, the labia majora cover the small ones. The weight of the fruit reaches 3200-3600 g, and the length is 480-520 mm.

    After birth, the baby yearns for the touch of his little body, because at first he cannot feel himself – the arms and legs do not obey the child as confidently as they did in the amniotic fluid.Therefore, so that your baby does not feel lonely, it is advisable to carry him in your arms, press him to you, stroking his body.

    Also, babies remember very well the rhythm and sound of your heart . Therefore, you can comfort the baby like this – take him in your arms, put him on the left side and your miracle will calm down, stop crying and fall asleep. And for you, finally, the time of bliss will come :).

    Pregnancy calendar

    You are pregnant! Your baby will be born in 40 weeks.What changes will take place in your body, how your baby will grow, the “Pregnancy Calendar” will tell you.

    1-2 weeks

    Pregnancy begins at the time of fertilization or conception.

    Fertilization is a complex biological process of fusion of female and male reproductive cells (egg and sperm). The resulting cell (zygote) is a new daughter organism.

    A ripe egg leaves the ovary at about 12-14 days of the menstrual cycle (ovulation) and enters the fallopian tube, where it remains viable for 24 hours.During orgasm, a man vomits 200 to 400 million sperm into a woman’s vagina. Some of them penetrate through the cervix into the uterine cavity, and from there into the fallopian tubes. Here, the sperm retain the ability to fertilize for 48 hours. Thus, within 6-7 days of a woman’s menstrual cycle, conception is possible.

    Fertilization of a female egg is performed by one sperm in the upper part of the fallopian tube. There are two types of sperm: those containing the Y chromosome (“male”) and the X chromosome (“female”).When the egg cell (containing the X chromosome) fuses with the sperm, their genetic material is combined and the sex of the child is determined. If there are two X chromosomes in the child’s genetic set, this is a girl, if the X chromosome and Y chromosome are a boy. It is impossible to change the sex of a child, so you should not follow “popular beliefs” that guarantee the birth of a child of a given gender.

    The fertilized egg begins to divide with the formation of a multicellular organism and move along the fallopian tube into the uterine cavity.During this period, the embryo is nourished by those substances that have been accumulated in the egg. If the peristalsis of the tube is slowed down (due to inflammatory diseases), the embryo enters the wall of the fallopian tube with the occurrence of an ectopic pregnancy.

    Implantation (introduction) of the embryo into the wall of the uterus occurs 7-8 days after fertilization.

    On the seventh day of pregnancy, the outer layer of the embryo (trophoblast) begins to produce a hormone – chorionic gonadotropin.This hormone gives the mother’s body information that pregnancy has occurred, and begins its functional restructuring. Diagnostic test strips detect the chorionic gonadotrope in the urine of a pregnant woman, which allows early diagnosis of pregnancy.

    3-4 weeks

    You did not have the expected menstruation, you are worried about nausea in the morning, and you have frequent urination during the day. You become emotionally labile, irritable, whiny.Basal temperature is above 37 ° C.
    In appearance, your unborn child resembles a small auricle measuring 4 mm, surrounded by a small amount of amniotic fluid. On the 21st day after conception, the brain and spinal cord are formed. By the end of the first month, the circulation of embryonic blood is established, the umbilical cord is formed – the connection of the embryo with the future placenta. Eye sockets, rudiments of hands and feet have appeared, the laying and development of other internal organs of the fetus is underway: liver, kidneys, urinary tract, digestive organs.

    5-6 weeks

    You no longer doubt that you are pregnant. Regardless of how they feel, all pregnant women need to visit the antenatal clinic and undergo an examination that will identify and correct existing health disorders in time.

    Starting from the 5th week, there may be a threat of termination of pregnancy. This will be evidenced by: periodic pain in the lower abdomen and in the lumbar region, a feeling of pressure on the rectum, an increased amount of mucus.If you experience these symptoms, you should see a doctor.

    By week 6, the embryo has formed a face: eyes, nose, jaws and limbs.

    7-8 weeks

    From the 7th week, the corpus luteum of pregnancy undergoes a reverse development, the production of hormones begins to be carried out by the forming placenta.

    In the baby, large blood vessels are formed, the heart becomes four-chambered. Bile ducts appear in the liver. The endocrine glands and the brain are developing.The auricles are already formed, fingers have appeared on the limbs. The embryo starts to move. At 8 weeks, under the influence of the Y chromosome, the formation of male gonads (testicles) occurs. They begin to produce testosterone – the male sex hormone, which will lead to the formation of the boy’s sexual characteristics.

    9-10 weeks

    Your metabolism changes significantly to provide the growing body with all the necessary “building materials” – amino acids, energy. Disadaptation to such a restructuring can result in toxicosis in the first half of pregnancy.It is characterized by nausea, vomiting, drooling, and weight loss. Seek medical attention at the first symptoms.

    In the tenth week, the embryo ends the development of the oral cavity, intestines, rectum, bile ducts. Completed the formation of the face and cerebral hemispheres. The development of the cerebellum, the main coordinator of movements, begins.

    11-12 weeks

    The body has adapted to new conditions. By this time, nausea, vomiting, salivation have practically disappeared.You become balanced, calm.
    Uterine growth becomes noticeable after 12 weeks

    13-14 weeks

    By this time, the formation of the main organs of the unborn child is completed. In appearance, the fruit resembles a small person.

    15-16 weeks

    A change in skin pigmentation is possible – the midline of the abdomen, nipples and the skin around them have darkened. These phenomena should go away soon after childbirth.
    The placenta is forming.The fetus and placenta represent a single functional system. During this period of pregnancy, the fetus floats freely in the amniotic fluid. By the composition of the amniotic fluid, you can determine the condition of the fetus.

    17-18 weeks

    These days your unborn child begins to move. His limbs, ligamentous apparatus, cerebellum have already developed sufficiently. By this time, the formation of the immune system ends.

    19-20 weeks

    There have been great changes in your body.The pulse became more frequent, cardiac output increased significantly (by 40% above the initial level) and the volume of circulating blood (by almost 500 ml).

    Due to the increased volume of plasma compared to the mass of erythrocytes, hemoglobin decreases in blood tests.

    Some women during this period experience frequent and painful urination, pain in the lumbar region on the right or left, weakness. The large uterus presses down on the bladder, the mouth of the ureters, disrupting the outflow of urine. Stagnation of urine and incomplete emptying of the renal pelvis create conditions for the development of infection.Bacteriuria develops and pyelonephritis of pregnant women may occur. If there is any suspicion of pyelonephritis, you should immediately consult a doctor, since this disease is not only dangerous for your health, but also for the further growth and development of the fetus.

    The baby weighs 300-350 grams, he often and quite actively moves, swallows amniotic fluid, begins to open his eyes.

    21-22 weeks

    During these weeks, the fetus already has a mass of 400-500 grams, and its bones and muscles are developing very intensively, for which your body needs calcium.Therefore, if you do not want to lose your white-toothed smile, then, on the advice of your obstetrician-gynecologist, start taking calcium supplements regularly. This will help preserve teeth and relieve leg cramps. They appear for the same reason for calcium deficiency.

    23-24 weeks

    At this time, the weight of the fetus is 500-600 g. It already has all the organs and systems fully formed. Until that time, only his lungs remained immature. And now, by 24 weeks, they begin to ripen too.And the cells lining the pulmonary alveoli produce surfactant, a substance that, by lubricating the alveoli, prevents them from sticking together when breathing. However, the amount of surfactant is so small that a child born at this time will not be able to breathe on his own. To survive outside the uterus, he needs sophisticated breathing apparatus, incubators, a control system, infusors for nutrition, infusion media, and an artificial surfactant.

    There are perinatal centers where babies born during these periods of pregnancy are nursed.It is very difficult. And therefore, the longer the pregnancy is prolonged, the more likely the birth of a healthy and viable child is. Therefore, try to do everything so that the baby is born on time, full-term and healthy.

    By this time of pregnancy, the uterus is at a height of about 24 cm above the pubic bone, and now not only builds up the muscles, but also stretches the fetus that completely filled its cavity.

    25-26 weeks

    The fruit already has a mass of 700-750 g.By improving the structures of the brain in his body, a connection is established with the adrenal cortex and the production of corticoids, hormones necessary for adaptation, begins. The pituitary gland of the fetus reaches such a degree of maturity that the production of adrenocorticotropic hormone begins, which also stimulates hormonal production by the adrenal glands. In short, all forces are thrown towards the forthcoming “publication”. But the most obvious changes in these weeks occur in the lungs – there is an increased maturation of the surfactant-producing cells.However, a fetus born at this time can only survive in incubators with artificial lung ventilation, artificial feeding with special infusion media. Therefore, try to keep both him and yourself from rash steps.

    At this time, it’s time to start preparing for the future feeding of the baby. Under the influence of placental lactogen, your breasts, that is, mammary glands, grow rapidly. From time to time, droplets of colostrum may appear on the nipples. Daily air baths, washing with cool water, and rubbing the nipples with a coarse towel will help prepare the nipples for feeding.If the nipples are flat, start pulling them out a little at a time.

    27-28 weeks

    This period ends the II trimester of pregnancy. By this time, the fetus weighs up to 1000 g and has a height of up to 35 cm. However, he still cannot live independently, because his lungs are not mature enough and special equipment is still needed to nurture him. During these periods of pregnancy, there is an intensive growth of the fetus, the formation of muscles. His movements become more active. The periods of movement alternate with its relatively calm state when the fetus is asleep.With an ultrasound, you can see that he already knows how to suck his thumb and even smile!

    The fundus of the uterus stands on average at a height of 27-28 cm above the bosom.

    29-30 weeks

    The third trimester of pregnancy begins. The uterus is at a height of 29-30 cm, it becomes more difficult for you to breathe. Now one of the most serious complications may develop – toxicosis in the second half of pregnancy, which is characterized by the appearance of edema, increased blood pressure and the appearance of protein in the urine. For early diagnosis of this complication, it is necessary to be carefully monitored by an obstetrician-gynecologist and follow all his recommendations, incl.including strict weight control. In the third trimester of pregnancy, the daily weight gain should be no more than 50 g, i.e. no more than 300 g per week. You should also monitor the ratio of drinking and secreted fluid.

    31-32 weeks

    Have you asked your doctor how the fetus lies? Find out now, this is very important. Its position can be longitudinal, transverse, oblique. The longitudinal position of the fetus is correct, normal. Childbirth is safer with cephalic presentation. From this period of pregnancy, it is necessary to put on a prenatal bandage that will support the anterior abdominal wall and help maintain the correct position and presentation of the fetus.If the presentation of the fetus is pelvic, i.e. above the entrance to the pelvis is the pelvic end of the fetus, then the bandage should not be worn yet. There is gymnastics to correct the presentation of the fetus.

    In the morning and in the evening, for 1 hour, do the following instructions: lie on the bed on your left side and lie quietly for 15 minutes, then turn over on your right side and lie for the next 15 minutes, and then repeat these turns 2 more times.

    Pregnant women with Rh negative blood and with O (I) blood group need blood tests for Rh – or group immune antibodies.Immunization of pregnant women with Rh-negative blood affiliation is carried out from 28 weeks and within 72 hours after childbirth according to indications, which will be discussed by your doctor at the antenatal clinic.

    33-34 weeks

    The fetus already has a mass of 1800-2100 g, its height is 40-41 cm. By the end of this period, its lungs will begin to produce surfactant in full and will be able to breathe without special equipment. The fetus is fully developed, its chances of survival in case of premature birth are significantly increased.However, subcutaneous adipose tissue is still extremely small, so his skin is thin and has a red color. Such a newborn is very poor at retaining heat and needs an incubator or heating pad at birth. His body is still covered with fluff and cheese-like grease, the auricles are still very small, but they are already beginning to straighten, the boy’s testicles descend into the scrotum.

    Nursing a premature baby is the hardest work for the whole family, associated with great material costs, physical overload of the parents, and this work is not always rewarded, since the child may be born and remain sick.Therefore, up to 37 weeks of pregnancy, a woman should be especially attentive to her condition and, at the slightest suspicion of an increase in the tone of the uterus, beginning frequent and regular contractions, immediately consult a doctor.

    Doctors know that women, in anticipation of the arrival of a new person in the house, begin to glue walls and paint ceilings during this period. Don’t risk it in vain. For this, prenatal leave is provided from 30 weeks, so that you can avoid overwork, do not push in transport, and have the opportunity to sleep.So renovations, stuffy shops, queues are no longer for you.

    35-36 weeks

    The fetus already has a mass of 2100-2700 g and a height of 44-45 cm. It is advisable to see a doctor during this period of pregnancy at least once every 10 days.

    37-38 weeks

    From this time on, your pregnancy is considered full-term. And if you give birth to a child in these weeks, he will live. Its development is completely over. Now he has a mass of about 2700-3000 g. Height 49-50 cm. The remaining two weeks he will slightly add in mass and growth.

    It becomes easier for you to breathe, since the head of the fetus is tightly pressed against the entrance to the pelvis, the uterus pulls the anterior abdominal wall more, and therefore the bottom of it sank lower. Tension of the uterus; small sharp pulling pains in the lumbar region.

    With an exacerbation of extragenital diseases, the appearance of signs of toxicosis in the second half of pregnancy, with an incorrect position of the fetus, with some gynecological diseases, against the background of which pregnancy develops, a scar on the uterus, etc., an early prenatal hospitalization is required. Do not forget to take your exchange card, passport, medical insurance policy and birth certificate to the maternity hospital.

    39-40 weeks

    You can find out the approximate day of birth by the date of the last normal menstruation – count back three months and add 7 days. The resulting number will be the estimated date of delivery. More precisely, in many parameters, ultrasound data, additional studies, the date of the first fetal movement, the date of the first visit to the obstetrician-gynecologist, especially if the turnout was before 11-12 weeks of pregnancy.

    The child already has all the signs of maturity. Its weight is more than 3000 g, and its height is more than 50 cm, it has fair skin, a sufficient amount of subcutaneous fatty tissue, it retains heat and does not need special heating. He will scream loudly, breathe, suck, There is a very small amount of lubricant on the skin, which can no longer protect it from the effects of amniotic fluid.

    For you, an indicator of the beginning of the labor process will be regular contractions (1 contraction for every 10 minutes) or if you feel an outpouring of amniotic fluid, see scanty bloody discharge – call an ambulance without panic, the phone number for transportation for pregnant women is written on the margins of your exchange card.While she is driving, change your clothes, have your passport, exchange card, medical insurance policy and birth certificate ready.

    90,000 weight, height, location, description of the stages of fetal development

    When a woman finds out about her pregnancy, along with joy comes the desire to find out how a fetus develops from a cell and a new person is born. Despite the fact that the process of intrauterine development of the fetus is detailed weekly, for many it still remains a real miracle of nature.

    We will try to briefly and clearly tell you how the fetus changes during the entire period of pregnancy and how the body of the expectant mother reacts to it.

    Week 1–2

    There are two concepts, embryonic and obstetric gestational age. The first is counted from the moment of conception. But the obstetric term will be indicated in the medical record. It is counted from the moment of the last menstruation. Therefore, an interesting paradox arises: the obstetric period is already underway, but the pregnancy itself is not yet.

    3rd week

    At the beginning of the third week, the most important event occurs – the meeting of an egg with one single sperm from many millions. It is at this moment that the color of the eyes of the unborn child, his facial features and other hereditary characteristics are determined. The fertilized egg starts dividing and moves towards the uterus.

    4th Week

    By the end of the 4th week, the embryo is the size of a poppy seed. It attaches to the uterus, and a pregnancy test done at this time is positive.

    5th week

    The embryo grows up to two millimeters. He has two poles – future legs and a head. Three functional layers are formed, from which all systems and organs will develop.

    It is at this stage that the neural tube is laid. If its formation is disturbed, a serious congenital defect can occur – spina bifida. Taking folic acid can help reduce this risk.

    This is important [2]

    According to the Research Institute of Nutrition of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, expectant mothers in Russia often experience moderate or deep vitamin deficiencies.The most common among pregnant women is the lack of vitamins B6 (100%), B1 (96%), folic acid (77%) and vitamin C (64%).

    6th week

    This week, the mother may experience or worsen signs of toxicosis: nausea, weakness, vomiting. The embryo forms arms and legs. The expectant mother needs to drink a lot, monitor the diet and give up bad habits, if she has not already done so. It is important to maintain the required level of vitamin E in the body: a lack of it at this stage leads to almost the same consequences as a lack of folic acid.And vitamins of group B will help to cope with toxicosis.

    7th week

    The embryo is similar in size to a black currant berry. The most important process this week is the development of the fetal brain and its division into three sections. Extremities and other tissues continue to form, and ears and a nose appear on the face. Mom may have more frequent urination due to hormonal changes in the body.

    Notes to the expectant mother

    In order for the body of the expectant mother to receive everything it needs for healthy growth and development of the fetus, you need to choose the right balanced complex that contains all the required vitamins and minerals.Modern vitamin complexes are developed taking into account the peculiarities of changes in the woman’s body in each trimester of pregnancy. When choosing an IUD for pregnant women, it should be borne in mind that the complex must be a drug that has passed the necessary tests.

    8th week

    The first ultrasound is often done this week. Facial features and internal organs continue to form. The future baby is already starting to move. It’s time to start preventing iodine deficiency. Iodine is involved in the development of bone and cartilage tissue.Lack of this trace element can adversely affect the development of the child’s nervous and hormonal systems.

    9th week

    The reproductive system of the embryo begins to form. The future baby is already the size of a small plum, while almost half of its body is the head.

    10th week

    From the outside, it is still difficult to suspect the pregnancy of the expectant mother, but her uterus is already increasing in size. From this week on, the baby can officially be called a fetus. The brain and other organs of the child are actively developing.The membrane disappears between the fingers, and the bones become harder.

    To avoid the development of baby’s heart defects, the diet of the expectant mother should have enough vitamins B2 and PP. To do this, you can take special medicinal vitamin complexes for the first trimester of pregnancy.

    11th week

    At this time, the first screening is carried out, which includes ultrasound and other studies. Such an examination allows you to suspect in time gross violations and malformations of the fetus.

    12th week

    Mom has already added the first few kilograms, and the baby has grown to the size of a tangerine. From about this week, visible sexual characteristics begin to appear, the accuracy of determining the sex of the unborn child is gradually increasing. The kid is actively moving, and small nails appear on his hands.

    Week 13

    From this moment the second trimester begins. The volume of blood in the body of the expectant mother is gradually increasing. Therefore, it is important to take vitamins with iron to prevent anemia in pregnancy.Lutein is needed to develop your baby’s brain and eyes. And in order to protect the vessels of the mother herself and avoid the appearance of edema, you need to take rutin. The vitamin complex must include zinc. Its reception reduces the risk of miscarriage and premature birth [3].

    At this time, you can already see the increased tummy of the expectant mother. The baby himself is actively growing. He has the rudiments of milk teeth and hair. The face is acquiring more and more human features familiar to us.

    14th week

    Important changes occur in the child’s body: hormones appear, the chest begins to strengthen so that the baby can take the first breath in due time, reflex sucking movements appear, the formation of the upper palate ends.As before, you need to monitor the healthy nutrition of the expectant mother, but you should not lean on food either.

    15th week

    At this moment, the blood group proteins are formed in the child. The kid is actively grimacing, although the expression on his face still does not reflect his emotions. The child moves, but these movements are still imperceptible. But the expectant mother may be worried about edema. You need to follow the drinking regimen, do light exercise and take vitamins containing rutin, which helps to strengthen blood vessels.

    By the way

    Rutin strengthens the walls of blood vessels, reduces the rate of filtration of water in the capillaries, reduces swelling of the lower extremities, therefore this vitamin is very important for pregnant women. Before taking, you should consult your doctor.

    16th week

    The woman’s body weight has increased by one or two kilograms. During this period, it is desirable to take vitamin A. It contributes to the active development of the baby, normal weight gain, renewal of the mucous membranes and epithelium of the fetus [4].

    In girls at this moment one of the most important processes takes place – the formation of their own eggs. Violations at this stage can lead to infertility of the future woman.

    17th week

    The child is still growing, all his systems are developing, subcutaneous fatty tissue appears.

    18th week

    Around this moment, the baby begins to hear, therefore, it may be frightened by loud sounds. However, at the same time, he gradually gets used to the voice of his parents.And during this period, a mother can feel the movements of her child for the first time.

    19th week

    The growing uterus can stretch the ligaments, which sometimes causes pulling discomfort. Under the baby’s teeth, molars begin to form, and his body is covered with a special lubricant that helps to keep warm.

    20th week

    It’s time for another scheduled examination. On a 3D ultrasound, it is already possible to see in detail the features of the child’s face.The kid actively moves and even hiccups. And he can also react to the taste of amniotic fluid, so you should once again think about your diet.

    21st week

    The baby is gaining weight quickly. The skeletal system of the fetus is actively developing, so it is useful for the expectant mother to think about the calcium content in food or in vitamin preparations. Iron also does not lose its value, because the baby’s main hematopoietic organ, the bone marrow, begins to function.

    The consumption of vitamins B1, B6, C and E. affects the condition of the expectant mother.It is they who reduce the risk of gestosis.

    22nd week

    The main change this week is baby skin. It ceases to be transparent, although it remains pale. Eyebrows and cilia appear on the baby’s face, which are still completely colorless. And, of course, the child does not stop active training, making different movements with his arms, legs and head.

    23rd week

    The baby’s brain and its nervous system as a whole are actively developing. The child’s organs are almost completely formed, although they are not yet ready for independent life.The increase in the size and weight of the uterus can be difficult for the expectant mother. If there are discomfort in the spine, it’s time to visit a doctor and pick up a special supporting bandage.

    24th week

    The baby’s eyes are already fully formed, although they are not yet filled with color pigment. This week begins the most active time for the child, which is accompanied by a variety of movements. In a few weeks, when the fetus grows up, it will no longer be possible to move so actively.

    This is interesting

    Children are often born with gray or dark blue, smoky eyes. This is due to the low pigment content in the iris. The final color of the baby’s eyes is established only some time after birth.

    25th week

    Gradually, the baby’s bones become stronger and stronger, meconium forms in the intestines. The mammary glands of the expectant mother increase in size, colostrum can be secreted from them.It’s better to start getting ready for breastfeeding now – gently wash your breasts with cool water and dry them with a towel. But you should not be zealous here, so that a strong effect does not reflexively lead to a contraction of the uterus.

    26th week

    Cyclic activity can already be traced in the baby – periods of rest and vigorous movements. If the expectant mother is lucky, the rest period will just coincide with the night time. But this is not always the case. The child’s lungs are actively preparing for work, more and more surfactant appears in them (substances that prevent the lungs from sticking together).

    27th week

    From about this moment, the baby’s eyes open, he can already distinguish between light and darkness. The child falls asleep easily from motion sickness, even if it is caused by doing normal household chores. In the baby’s body, the amount of various hormones increases, some of which also enter the mother’s body.

    28th week

    During this period, the expectant mother is worried about the appearance of stretch marks. In order to reduce the risk of their occurrence, you need to lubricate the skin with oil or a special cream.

    The baby continues to develop and grow. If a bright light from a lamp falls on the stomach, the child will turn away and close his eyes.

    29th week

    During this period, you need to closely monitor the health of the expectant mother, weight gain, heart rate, blood pressure and other parameters. You can also do CTG to listen to the baby’s heart beating. The fetus continues to gain weight and the baby’s brain becomes more complex. It is believed that from this moment on, the child can already dream.

    30th week

    Around this time, the baby begins to show his character, showing what he likes and what is not.This could be a reaction to sounds, bright lights, or even to foods that mom eats.

    31st week

    Your baby still needs a lot of protein, vitamins and other nutrients. The baby is rapidly increasing its weight, and nutrients are needed for the development and growth of the fetus. The little acrobat is no longer so active, its size does not allow it to move freely in the uterus.

    32nd week

    Around this period, the baby takes its position before childbirth: longitudinal, transverse or oblique.The expectant mother’s breast swells, colostrum begins to be actively secreted. The body of a pregnant woman is preparing for childbirth. Around this time, the third ultrasound is performed. It allows you not only to see the baby, but also to assess the blood flow of the placenta, umbilical cord and the baby itself.

    33rd week

    The rhythm of the baby’s life gradually coincides with the life of the mother. He loves walks, familiar voices, pleasant sounds. And if the fidget starts kicking hard, you can kick him right in the stomach.

    34th week

    The most important event of this period is the almost complete maturation of the child’s lungs.True, by this time the baby is not ready to go out into the big world on his own: he has not yet collected the required amount of fatty tissue and cannot control his body temperature. Therefore, premature birth at this time is still dangerous.

    Lack of vitamin E at this stage increases the risk of a serious complication, preeclampsia, which can lead to an involuntary termination of pregnancy. Therefore, it is still not worth forgetting about vitamins.

    35th week

    Lubrication on the baby’s body thickens, he prepares to meet with his parents.By this time, the child’s weight can reach two and a half kilograms. The baby is still gaining body fat to keep the environment warm. Taking care of your health, lack of stress, as well as folic acid, vitamins D and B1 helps to avoid premature birth.

    36th week

    The baby is almost fully formed, but his nervous system and immunity are still developing. Infant subcutaneous fat continues to accumulate. But the expectant mother can feel the first false contractions.This is how the muscles prepare for the upcoming birth.

    37th week

    This time is considered quite suitable for childbirth. The baby has finally completed its development, the body of the expectant mother begins to prepare for the birth of the child. Oxytocin, prostaglandins and other biologically active substances are released. Contractions may intensify, and a mucous plug may come off the cervix.

    Week 38–40

    The baby’s head sinks into the pelvic area, and the baby is about to be born.It’s time to pack your bag so that the trip to the hospital does not become sudden.

    How to reduce health risks for mom and baby

    Proper nutrition is a red line throughout all recommendations during pregnancy. The baby can only take nutrients from the mother’s body. And she accumulates them before conception and receives them while carrying a baby.

    During this period, the need for calcium, iron, folic acid, iodine, lutein, routine and other substances and vitamins increases significantly.Therefore, it is worth taking care in advance of taking special vitamin and mineral complexes for pregnant women.

    Ideally, this complex will be developed for different periods of the child’s development, since each stage has its own characteristics. For example, iodine is especially important in the first trimester, and starting from the second you need to monitor the amount of iron and calcium. You should not buy drugs in which the intake of vitamins is several times exceeded. It won’t do much good.

    Finally, the ideal vitamins for pregnant women contain substances that are needed not only by the baby, but also by his mother.For example, vitamin B6 reduces the severity of toxicosis, and rutin strengthens blood vessels.

    Having a baby is a real miracle. But for the birth of a healthy baby, you need to do everything so that the most important weeks of his development go as smoothly as possible. The main tips that can be given to a mother-to-be are good nutrition, taking specialized vitamins, giving up bad habits, light physical activity and, of course, a timely visit to a doctor.

    20th week of pregnancy: what happens to the baby and mother, ultrasound of the fetus, photo

    At the 20th week of pregnancy, a woman feels more clearly fetal movements.Now you do everything together: eat, listen to music, sleep, walk and even work, experience positive and negative emotions, share happiness and sadness equally. Remember this feeling of togetherness as best you can, which can only be repeated with a new pregnancy. When a child is born, the figure of a woman does not immediately return to its previous form, but her sensations change instantly, and the baby begins to be perceived as an independent, albeit closest, person.

    The twentieth embryonic week of pregnancy is characterized by relative calmness.This is 5.5 obstetric months – more than half of the term, there are only 5 weeks left until the 3rd trimester. The next stage will not necessarily be harder, but the second trimester is a real respite for most expectant mothers. Toxicosis is already (or not yet), the body has more or less adapted to hormonal changes, and the weight gain is not so great as to seriously affect your well-being.

    And yet, a woman is overcome by many fears: can something go wrong in the development of the fetus at the 20th week of pregnancy, is it worth buying things for the newborn in advance, when pain in the lower back and abdomen is the norm, and when is the reason to run to the doctor? It will not be possible to describe in detail all possible situations, but we will try to give answers to the most frequent questions.And don’t forget to check out our Mom School live.

    What happens to the baby at the 20th week of pregnancy

    The size of the fetus at 20 weeks of gestation is already noticeable: the baby’s height reaches 27-28 cm, and the weight is 500 g! Perhaps you get the feeling that the pregnancy is dragging on for too long, and after the rapid transformation that occurs in the 1st trimester, the child’s development process has practically stopped. Outwardly, the fetus really has not changed much: its legs and arms have acquired a more regular shape, tiny marigolds have long been formed on well-developed fingers.The skin loses its reddish tint due to the accumulation of the still thinnest fat layer, there is fluff all over the body, and the closed eyelids are framed with cilia. The proportions of the head and body still do not correspond to the proportions of an adult, but the shape of the skull, facial features, and body structure are close to what they would be in a newborn.

    The four-chambered heart works hard using fetal communications – the ductus arteriosus and the oval window, which bypass the inactive lungs to provide the child’s organs, body and brain with oxygen and nutrients through the systemic circulation.It is believed that a little blood also gets into the lungs, but the baby cannot fully use them for breathing in the womb, and only after birth will this organ begin to function, and the circulatory system will change in a matter of hours, a small circle will begin to work.

    Due to the peculiarities of fetal blood circulation, the fetal liver, head and upper body are much better supplied with oxygen than the bottom, and therefore are better developed. In a newborn, the situation will change gradually, and only after a while the lower part of his body and legs will “catch up” and get stronger.It is not for nothing that the child first learns to control his hands, masters turns, crawls on his stomach, and only then moves on his knees and legs.

    There are suggestions that a baby at 20 embryonic weeks of pregnancy can already see and hear. He is really capable of picking up sound vibrations, but he cannot distinguish words. If a bright light is sent to the fetus, the baby will feel it, but only after birth will his eyes be able to perceive first outlines and silhouettes, and closer to the year – all colors and complex patterns.Despite this, even now, during an ultrasound scan, the child can turn his back to the sensor, and the music you listen to will have an effect on him, since the baby, in addition to everything else, perfectly feels your emotional state.

    20 weeks pregnant: what happens to mom

    Surely you have already noticed a dark streak that appeared from the navel to the pubis. Like darkened nipples, this effect is due to a number of hormones produced during pregnancy and adrenal overload.The streak could have appeared earlier, or you will find it closer to childbirth. One way or another, there is no need to worry: it does not carry any threat, and after the expiration of the term and the restoration of hormonal balance, it will turn pale or disappear altogether.

    The belly at the 20th week of pregnancy is unlikely to be hidden. The higher the bottom of the uterus above the bosom, the stronger the proof of your interesting position. At each appointment in the antenatal clinic, you will have your abdominal circumference measured. On average for this stage, it is 75-78 cm, but everything is individual and depends on your initial volumes.An increase of 1 cm per week is considered the norm.

    Sometimes expectant mothers begin to suffer from heartburn, shortness of breath, edema. All this is also the result of the enlargement of the uterus and its pressure on the surrounding organs. With mild manifestations, you should not run to the doctor. If you feel periodic bouts of frequent heartbeats, heartburn is accompanied by nausea and vomiting, if the swelling is severe and appears not only in the ankles and shoulders, but also around the abdomen, this is a reason to visit a gynecologist unscheduled.

    The same should be done if there is a sharp, piercing pain in the pelvis and pubic region, a constant sensation of tension in the uterus, the appearance of red or brown discharge.If you suspect the development of pathology, the doctor will prescribe an ultrasound scan and a number of tests to exclude the threat of premature termination of pregnancy, the occurrence of gestational diabetes mellitus and other conditions dangerous for the fetus and woman.

    Pleasant planning

    20 weeks of pregnancy is not a good time to renovate a house, although parents often think about it when fetal development is in full swing. And it’s not that a rounded tummy limits your freedom of movement.From the middle of the gestation period, you should not expose your body to uncomfortable postures, unnecessarily stressing the back and lower back, straining the press, squeezing the inferior vena cava.

    At the twentieth week of pregnancy, it is more appropriate to think over the interior of the baby’s room, since this process, like choosing a name, is not quick. Some expectant mothers, due to superstition, postpone such questions until the moment the child is born. It is not worth persuading such a woman in her decision, so as not to increase anxiety and maintain a fragile emotional balance.The entire pregnancy – from conception to the last day – is a kind of sacrament, and it is impossible to predict its outcome, as well as to predict the fate of a person.

    If you prefer to plan ahead, now is the best time to start your nursery project. Assess the condition of your home. If you need a complete renovation, limit yourself to a general cleaning or change of wallpaper, and let your loved ones do it for you. Design the space based on the characteristics of the room and your life views.Think about where the baby’s bed will be – in a separate room or in your bedroom, are you ready to teach your baby to sleep alone as early as possible, or you need to equip him with a safe “nest” under your warm side.

    When choosing a bed, proceed from your own preferences. The kid begins to distinguish well the color picture closer to the year, so the design of children’s furniture should be like you. Don’t discount your budget: More expensive doesn’t always mean better. With a love of variety, you can change the bed repeatedly as your baby grows, starting with a cradle in the form of a basket or a highchair.If you buy one transformer model, its child can be up to 7 years old.

    The way the baby is put to bed is also important: if you prefer to be rocked, choose a bed with a pendulum mechanism or on castors, otherwise a fixed structure will do. If space permits, a changing chest of drawers will be useful. The highchair and other furniture items can be purchased later.

    It is better to paint the walls in the nursery in blue, light green or lavender.Hang 2-3 small pictures, position the mirror so that first from the crib, and then from the floor where you will lay the baby, the child can see himself and other sides of the room.

    A developmental mat for children is an important accessory that will become irreplaceable from 3-4 months. Staying on a rug with bright interactive elements will stimulate the physical and mental development of the baby, and special covers (solid PVC or prefabricated in the form of foam puzzles) will provide a comfortable environment for being outside the crib.The rugs are wear-resistant, have thermal insulation and water-repellent properties, are easy to clean and can be stored compactly when folded / folded.

    Finally, don’t forget the musical crib toys (mobiles), nightlights and projectors. Be serious about choosing a mattress and stock up on a soft side or bumper in your bed if you have one with grates.

    90,000 How long does pregnancy last: signs, timing and stages of fetal development

    https: // ria.ru / 20210125 / beremennost-1594527284.html

    How long does pregnancy last: signs, timing and stages of fetal development

    How long does pregnancy last: signs, timing and stages of fetal development – RIA Novosti, 25.01.2021

    How long does pregnancy last: signs, terms and stages of fetal development

    Pregnancy is the period when the formation and development of the fetus in the mother’s body occurs. About signs and duration – in the material of RIA Novosti. RIA Novosti, 25.01.2021

    2021-01-25T18: 38

    2021-01-25T18: 38

    2021-01-25T18: 38

    health – society

    pregnancy

    women

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    MOSCOW, January 25 – RIA Novosti. Pregnancy is the period when the formation and development of the fetus takes place in the mother’s body. Signs and duration – in the material RIA Novosti. Signs of pregnancy After conception, anatomical, physiological and hormonal changes occur in a woman’s body. There are a number of signals that may indicate pregnancy. Among the presumptive signs are: – vomiting and nausea; – drowsiness; – aversion to certain smells; – frequent mood swings; – tearfulness; – dizziness.Also, a woman may experience frequent urination, an increase in the mammary glands. The most obvious indicator is the cessation of menstruation. Most often, pharmacy tests are used to determine pregnancy. Although they are reliable, they do not give complete information. “A pregnancy test is one of the probable signs,” added Svetlana Ivanova. – He can say that the patient is pregnant, but at the same time, he will not show it is a uterine or ectopic pregnancy. It can be determined only by ultrasound examination ”.How many weeks does a woman’s pregnancy last? The expert answered the question about the pregnancy rate in weeks. According to her, pregnancy lasts 40 weeks, that is, ten obstetric months or nine calendar months. The embryonic period From the moment of fertilization, the embryonic period lasts until the tenth week of the obstetric period. At this time, the formation and development of the fetus begins in the mother’s body. In particular, in the embryo, first the germ layers are formed, then tissues, organs and the placenta. During this period, the fetus grows to three centimeters, but it does not yet resemble a baby, but only over time acquires the corresponding features.Fetal period The fetal period lasts from 11 weeks of obstetric period and ends with childbirth. At this time, an active growth of the fetus occurs, its proportions change, all organ systems begin to develop. In addition, the fetus begins to move in the womb. Physiological changes in the mother-fetus system From the moment of pregnancy, two closely interconnected systems are formed. Firstly, the maternal one, which provides the fetus with everything it needs, and, secondly, the functional system of the fetus.Significant changes take place in the mother’s body. During pregnancy, a woman needs to receive vitamins, as the need for them increases. Therefore, the body needs one and a half times more zinc, iodine, vitamins B6 and B12. A lack of vitamins can affect the duration of pregnancy.

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    MOSCOW, January 25 – RIA Novosti . Pregnancy is the period when the formation and development of the fetus takes place in the mother’s body. About signs and duration – in the material of RIA Novosti.

    Signs of pregnancy

    After conception, anatomical, physiological and hormonal changes occur in a woman’s body.There are a number of signals that may indicate pregnancy. Among the presumptive signs are:

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    Pregnancy test: when and how to do it to get the correct result

    – vomiting and nausea;

    – aversion to certain smells;

    – frequent mood swings;

    – tearfulness;

    – dizziness.

    Also, a woman may experience frequent urination, enlargement of the mammary glands.The most obvious indicator is the cessation of menstruation.

    “Uterine enlargement is a probable sign,” Svetlana Ivanova, a teacher of obstetrics and gynecology of the highest category, told RIA Novosti. – When the doctor examines the patient, he can see the cyanosis of the vaginal cervix and the vagina itself. In general, the size of the uterus, shape and consistency changes. ”

    Most often, pharmacy tests are used to determine pregnancy. Although they are reliable, they do not provide complete information.

    “A pregnancy test is one of the probable signs,” added Svetlana Ivanova. – He can say that the patient is pregnant, but at the same time, he will not show it is a uterine or ectopic pregnancy. It can be determined only by ultrasound examination ”.

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    How many weeks a woman’s pregnancy lasts

    The expert answered the question about the pregnancy rate in weeks.According to her, pregnancy lasts 40 weeks, that is, ten obstetric months or nine calendar months.

    “In general, its term is 280 days, if we count from the first day of the last menstruation,” added Svetlana Ivanova. – It is believed that timely delivery occurs from the 37th week to the 42nd. Childbirth before 37 weeks is considered premature, after 42 weeks – belated. Both are deviations from the norm ”.

    Embryonic period

    From the moment of fertilization, the embryonic period lasts until the tenth week of the obstetric period.At this time, the formation and development of the fetus begins in the mother’s body. In particular, in the embryo, first the germ layers are formed, then tissues, organs and the placenta. During this period, the fetus grows to three centimeters, but it does not yet resemble a baby, but only over time acquires the corresponding features.

    January 19, 20:07

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    Fetal period

    The fetal period lasts from the 11th week of the obstetric period and ends with childbirth.At this time, an active growth of the fetus occurs, its proportions change, all organ systems begin to develop. In addition, the fetus begins to move in the womb.

    Physiological changes in the mother-fetus system

    From the moment of pregnancy, two closely interconnected systems are formed. Firstly, the maternal one, which provides the fetus with everything it needs, and, secondly, the functional system of the fetus. Significant changes take place in the mother’s body.

    “The level of progesterone, the main hormone responsible for gestation, increases, while estrogen decreases,” explains the expert. – They are responsible for the tone of the uterus. If there are too many hormones, a miscarriage may occur. During pregnancy, the heart, as well as the kidneys, work with increased stress. They excrete the urine of the mother and fetus. The thyroid and parathyroid glands increase in size, the production of calcium is disturbed, therefore, pregnant women often have brittle nails, hair loss, and teeth may crumble.Because of this, it is necessary to regularly check with your dentist for caries. It is a source of infection that can lead to fetal infection. ”

    During pregnancy, a woman needs to receive vitamins, as the need for them increases. Therefore, the body needs one and a half times more zinc, iodine, vitamins B6 and B12. A lack of vitamins can affect the duration of pregnancy.

    September 26, 2020, 08:00

    Instant large families. Stories of families who had quadruplets 90,000 The Ministry of Health allowed pregnant women from risk groups to be vaccinated against COVID-19

    In particular, it is noted that pregnant women infected with SARS-CoV-2 should be considered as a high risk group for severe morbidity and mortality.“Numerous studies indicate adverse pregnancy outcomes in COVID-19 patients. According to the Swedish Ministry of Health, there is evidence that the risk of hospitalization in intensive care units in pregnant women and women with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 is higher in Sweden compared with non-pregnant women, “the recommendations read. It is emphasized that pneumonia is the most commonly diagnosed clinical symptom of COVID-19 infection in pregnant women, with a prevalence of 71 to 89%.

    The high-risk group for developing severe forms of COVID-19 includes pregnant women with chronic lung diseases, including moderate and severe bronchial asthma, diseases of the cardiovascular system, arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus, cancer, obesity, chronic kidney disease, liver disease.

    As for the vaccination of pregnant women, the Ministry of Health allows it, but with reservations. First of all, doctors recommend that future parents be vaccinated at the stage of pregnancy planning.”Due to the high probability of infection with SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy in the absence of a sufficient titer of antiviral antibodies, it is recommended to vaccinate against COVID-19 for men and women of reproductive age at the stage of planning childbirth. data on the negative impact of vaccines against COVID-19 on the reproductive function of men and women. There is no information that vaccines can reduce the ovarian reserve in women or cause impaired spermatogenesis in men, “- the recommendations are specified.

    At the same time, it notes that if pregnancy has already occurred, a woman is at risk due to the presence of chronic diseases, then you can get vaccinated. “The vaccine” GamCovidVac “(” Sputnik V “- editor’s note) during pregnancy should be used in cases where the expected benefit to the mother outweighs the potential risk to the fetus. from 22 weeks of pregnancy There are no clinical data on the use of the GamCovidVac vaccine in women who are breastfeeding.Therefore, the risk to newborn / breastfed infants cannot be ruled out. In this regard, the use of the vaccine “GamCovidVac” during breastfeeding is contraindicated “, – is specified in the recommendations of the Ministry of Health.

    Pregnancy by trimesters and weeks – first, second and third trimesters

    You are embarking on a wonderful journey!

    Your head is probably full of questions, “How will my body change?” and “How fast is the child developing?”Although pregnancy is different for women, we will describe what you can expect during the three trimesters (stages) of pregnancy.

    For a detailed weekly pregnancy guide, subscribe to our free weekly email newsletter.

    1st trimester: 1-12 weeks

    The gestation period is calculated from the first day of the last menstruation, since it is difficult to accurately determine the day of conception. Since conception usually occurs in the middle of the menstrual cycle, you are not actually pregnant during the first two weeks, but this period is counted as the beginning of pregnancy.

    As soon as the fertilization of the egg takes place around the 3rd week, hormones gradually begin to make changes in your body. As a result, you may develop some of the following symptoms:

    Up to 80% 4 women in the 1st trimester of pregnancy experience morning sickness with symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.

    • Morning sickness. As a result of the increase in the level of hormones characteristic of pregnancy, up to 80% 4 women in the 1st trimester experience morning sickness with symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.The notion that such malaise occurs only in the morning is a common misconception. In fact, symptoms can appear at any time of the day or night. In 1 in 5 women, morning sickness occurs during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy and can sometimes persist throughout pregnancy.

      If you experience morning sickness, avoid foods that make you sick, eat little and often, avoid fatty and spicy foods, and drink plenty of water. If you experience severe or bothersome symptoms, see your doctor.

    • Changes in the mammary glands. The mammary glands will begin to increase in size, and soreness may appear. The nipples will increase in size, darker and more prominent.
    • Fatigue. High levels of the hormone progesterone can make you feel tired and sleepy. Rest as often as possible in a horizontal position with your legs up, and eat as well as possible, which is not easy if you are experiencing morning sickness!
    • Increased emotionality.A higher level of emotionality, manifested as a result of rising hormone levels, is normal. Understanding and patience on the part of your partner and loved ones is very important here.
    • Food addictions and dislikes. You may find that you cannot tolerate one food and are addicted to another. This is usually not a problem unless you feel like eating strange foods like chalk. If you are concerned about the situation, see your doctor.
    • Frequent urination.As the fluid content in your body increases and the uterus presses on your bladder, you will have more urge to use the toilet. Go to the toilet as soon as you feel the need to – this will minimize the pressure on the bladder.
    • Feeling dizzy. Sometimes you may feel a little dizzy (this is a consequence of hormonal changes). Try not to stay on your feet for a long time and slowly rise from a sitting or lying position. If you feel dizzy, see a doctor immediately.
    • Heartburn and constipation. Your digestive system will slow down to allow more time for food to be absorbed. This can lead to heartburn and constipation.

    To relieve heartburn, try to eat small meals at regular intervals and avoid fried or spicy foods and carbonated drinks. In addition, an antacid supplement that can be taken during pregnancy, such as Rennie, can help with heartburn.

    Constipation can be helped by eating a diet rich in fiber, staying physically active and drinking plenty of water.