How to understand the fetal development week by week with pictures?

How to understand the fetal development week by week with pictures?

Congratulations! You are pregnant! You might be curious about your baby’s development and would want to keep a track of it.

In the first week of your pregnancy, you do not feel pregnant. As confusing as it sounds it’s true. Your Doctor will be able to track the changes in pregnancy month-wise and due date from the first day of your last period. Presently your womb is getting ready.

WEEK 4: The group of cells called an embryo is growing inside your uterus and is equivalent to the size of a poppy seed. It is divided into three layers or parts, which will later form into organs and tissues.

Your baby’s basic features start developing from 4 weeks on words. They begin to develop into separate areas that will form the head, chest, abdomen and the organs. At the end of the 7th week, your baby might have grown till 1cm. His cartilage tissue is forming, and nerves are also developing in his arms. All the other parts are slowly developing.

fetal development - WEEK 4
fetal development - WEEK 8

WEEK 8: At 8 weeks your baby has grown and is about 1.1cms. Facial features start developing such as ears, eyelids and nose. Arms and legs are slowly developing while fingers and toes are taking some more time to be visible.

WEEK 12: A this stage your baby is about 2.2 inches long and is of the size of a lime. This is when her cartilage is developed, and bones are about to start developing. Your baby looks more human now and her eyes have started taking shape whereas other parts are becoming visible.

fetal development - WEEK 12
fetal development - WEEK 16

WEEK 16: At 16 weeks the fetus resembles more of an infant and is 4.1 inches long. Their eyes blink, the heartbeat can be discerned, and all their facial features are distinct, the fingers and toes have formed.

At this stage, your baby’s circulatory system is being developed and her heart is pumping about 28 litres of blood. Your baby’s neck muscles and backbones are now much stronger. In the next three weeks, your baby will undergo a tremendous growth spurt.

WEEK 20: At 20 weeks the baby has grown till 6 inches and may weigh about 10 ounces. They can make small movements such as move their facial muscles, yawn and suck its thumb. Your baby is becoming more active every day.

fetal development - WEEK 20
fetal development - WEEK 24

WEEK 24: At 24 weeks your baby weighs 1.2 pounds and can respond to sound. Her patterns of sleeping are more defined but may not be as you like it to be. You might be asleep, but your baby might be alert and kicking. Your baby’s brain is growing rapidly as well.

WEEK 28: Your baby now weighs a little over 1 kg and is about 15 inches long. His brain is getting more folds and is becoming more complex and his bones are starting to harden.

fetal development - WEEK 28
fetal development - WEEK 32

WEEK 32: At 32 weeks your baby weighs about 4 pounds and has movements, which a mother can feel. They now have a good chance of surviving and thriving but might need help to breathe properly. Their lungs take time to develop fully. Also, your baby’s toenails and fingernails have properly formed, and his hair is getting thicker.

WEEK 36: At 36 weeks your baby is getting ready to be born and weighs around 6 pounds. Most women give birth between 38 to 42 weeks. Depending upon each individual, the last week of their pregnancy will be decided.

fetal development - WEEK 40

WEEK 40: The delivery due date is usually calculated based on the first day of a mother’s last period. Remember this is just an estimated date. And the delivery or birth of the child can happen anywhere between 38 to 42 weeks, considering it to be early or late-term pregnancy. However, most of the babies are delivered before 42 weeks.

In case your baby has an assisted delivery, her head may seem disproportionate. But it’s normal and there’s nothing to worry about it. It will be set over time. Birth of a child is a life-changing event.

How to understand the fetal development week by week with pictures

The first week of your pregnancy

pregnancy month-wise












Malathi A Ganesh is a B. Com Graduate, NTT, M.A (Lit), PGDEA (PG in Education Administration), PGDCA (PG Diploma in Computer Application), DTE (Diploma in Teaching English), ICEPT (International Certificate in Education Preschool Teaching) from Singapore and B. Ed. She has been in the field of education for the past 20 years and has an experience of running her own pre-school She is the Founder & Director Academics of Smartkidz Educare India Pvt Ltd with 275+ play schools Pan India. She is an Educationist and a Child Psychologists by profession who wants to fulfill her dream of giving Quality Education to children in their earlier years. She is also into conducting positive parenting workshops, which talks about effective child rearing. She has conducted numerous parenting workshops in all her pre schools, schools and MNC’s.

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