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Posted on: September 21, 2018 at 10:20 am
Last updated: December 7, 2018 at 8:11 am

Babies… the miracles of life. They’re beautiful but it’s easy to forget that that beauty came into being nine months earlier. Any woman who has experienced pregnancy can say that it changed her body, her emotions and, most of all, her life. Sandra Chami Kassis, a Lebanese author, captured this sentiment best in a single quote…

“You never understand life until it grows inside of you.”

Something changes, that’s for sure. Expectant moms are known to have that special aura or glow about them and thicker, shinier hair. But, most if not all mothers feel more gross and less glow-y at some point during pregnancy.

Stretch marks become the tattoos you didn’t plan on getting, melasma (those brownish, hormone-induced blotches) appear on your face, and skin tags can even form because skin cell production is working overtime. And that’s on top of the inevitable morning sickness and back pain. [1,2]

However, behind all the good, bad, beauty and ugly, it’s all the for sake of something beautiful – the creation of new life! To capture that awe-inspiring beauty of life in the womb, watch the four-and-a-half-minute video below!

Life in the Womb from Conception to Birth

While it’s amazing to watch that short video, everything happens so fast and it’s easy to miss what’s happening from month to month. So, here’s a simple breakdown. [3]

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The Baby Is Conceived

Also known as fertilization, conception happens when a sperm cell enters an egg. Immediately, the baby’s sex and genetic makeup is determined! Within a few days, the newly fertilized egg rapidly disperses into cells that travel through the fallopian tube and into the uterus. Once attached to the uterine wall, the placenta begins forming.

4 Weeks Later

Although the baby doesn’t look like one yet, its blood vessels and heart continue to develop! The baby’s basic structures have started to develop! They include what will eventually become its lungs, liver, stomach, face and neck!

8 Weeks Later

After two months, the baby will have visibly formed arms and legs (with fingers and toes not far behind). Coming in at just over half an inch “tall,” you can see the tip of its nose as well as its ears and eyelids starting to form.

12 Weeks Later

Measuring about two inches at this point, the baby’s sex organs become clearer. Though small, it will start moving around on its own. If you visit your doctor, special instruments should be able to detect its heartbeat.

16 Weeks Later

Compared to the one-month mark, the baby’s heart and blood vessels are fully formed. In addition to blinking eyes, its fingers and toes now have their own unique prints! The baby has also more than doubled in size at 4.3-4.6 inches and 3.5 ounces.

20 Weeks Later

At 10 ounces and six-and-a-bit inches, the baby is making faces, stretching, yawning, and sucking its thumb. Usually around this time – if you haven’t already – you will be able to feel it moving! The 20-week mark is also when most women go in for an ultrasound for the doctor to make sure the baby’s growth and development is going smoothly, and the placenta is healthy.

stages of pregnancy

24 Weeks Later

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Weighing just under 1.5 pounds, the baby continues to grow increasingly aware and reactive to sounds – you might even feel it hiccup! It might even be able to tell when its upside down because its inner ear has fully developed.

28 Weeks Later

Many parents start signing up for birthing classes at this point in the pregnancy. The baby weighs around 2 pounds and six ounces and changes position more than ever. Pre-term babies also have a good chance of survival at this point should they come early.

32 Weeks Later

Continuing to move around a lot, the near-4-pound baby has started forming a layer of fat under the skin, which is getting less and less wrinkly. (Moms: your breasts may start releasing colostrum, a yellowish fluid that is readying them for making milk.)

36 Weeks Later

Most babies at this mark are positioned downward, weigh almost 6 pounds, and are about 18.5 inches long. In addition to the brain rapidly developing, its lungs are almost fully developed!

40 Weeks Later

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A new baby is born! A full-term pregnancy can last anywhere from 38 to 42 weeks. Should it last longer, doctors will likely induce labor.

The first day of the rest of your life…

No video or description of birth will ever capture the miracle that is childbirth. But, we tried, haha. We hope this video and explanation strengthened your appreciation and love for human life, the human body, and mothers everywhere! We’re not sure who said it, but it sure is true…

“A baby fills a place in your heart that you never knew was empty.”

[1] Mattes, M. (2011, April 18). Pregnancy Beauty Changes: The Good, Bad, and Ugly. Retrieved from https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/changing/pregnancy-beauty-body-changes/

[2] Why Pregnancy Is Beautiful (Even During the Tough Times). (2015, August 21). Retrieved from https://gentwenty.com/why-pregnancy-is-beautiful/

[3] Fetal-Development Pictures: Photos of Baby Developing In Utero Month-by-Month. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/baby/ss/slideshow-fetal-development

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