Fetal Development

2 weeks  – endo, meso and ectoderm.

ectoderm becomes

  • nervous system
  • skin
  • hair
  • nails

Mesoderm becomes

  • connective tissue
  • urinary tract
  • skeleton
  • musculature

Endoderm

  • forms the lining of the intestinal tract
  • forms lining of organs

Week 3

  • cephalic differentiable from caudeus

Week 4

  • spinal cord and brain formation
  • eyes, ears, nose and mouth develop
  • organ formation begins
  • heart beats by day 25
  • arm and leg buds present
  • 1/5th of an inch long

Week 6

  • 1/2 in. in length
  • fingers begin to form
  • primitive reflexes are present
  • brain controls functioning of other organs
  • some ossification of skull plates
  • complete skeleton is present, but in cartilage matrix only

Week 7

  • fetus responds to touch – grasp reflex

Week 10

  • nail formation on fingers
  • hair growth o head
  • kidneys begin functioning, secretion of  urine

12 Weeks

  • 3 in. long, weight = 1 ounce
  • able to bend arms and legs
  • fetus becomes quite active at this stage of development
  • fetus begins to swallow amniotic fluid

14 weeks

  • lanugo forms, covering the fetus
  • sex can easily be determined
  • calcification of long bones begins
  • fetus is 7-8inches, weighs 5 ounces

5 months

  • fetus is 10-11 inches, weighs 1 pound
  • fat is stored
  • vernix covers skin
  • primitive breathing reflex begins

6 months

  • 12-13 inches, 1.5 pounds

7 months

  • 16 inches, weighs 3-3.5 pounds
  • fetus gains 1/2   pound a week from this point forward
  • sucking reflex is present

8 months

  • 18 inches long, 6-7 pounds

9 months

  • 20 inches, weighs 7-7.5 pounds

Gaskin, Ina May. 2002. Spiritual Midwifery. 4th ed. Green Press Initiative, Summerton, TN.

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