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Fetal Development

Our lives begin, of course, long before birth. Not open to dispute is the fact that our lives began at the moment of fertilization. The following is a description of the first months of life, starting from the point of fertilization. These facts are recognized in medical and biology texts. But how much do you know about your own beginnings?

A History of You

January 8

Conception/Fertilization

Sperm fertilizes egg

 

The new life, starting as just one cell, eventually implants in lining of uterus

January 8

2 Weeks

Heart beats at 21 days

 

Foundation laid for brain and spinal cord

January 8

4 Weeks

Brain and spinal cord begin to form

 

Length is less than 1 inch

January 9

8 Weeks

8 Weeks

Fingers have grown and separated, toes are now visible

 

Facial features—eyes, nose, lips, and tongue—continue to develop

 

Each minute the brain develops as many as 250,000 new neurons

 

Unborn child is now called a fetus, rather than an embryo

January 9

6 Weeks

Lungs are beginning to form

 

Eyes and nostrils are visible

 

Taste buds and teeth are beginning to develop

January 9

10 Weeks

Fingernails are beginning to form

 

Kidneys are developing and can produce urine

January 9

12 Weeks

All major body parts and organs are present

 

Heartbeat can be heard with electronic devices

 

Bones are beginning to harden

January 9

16 Weeks

Movement may be felt by the mother

 

The unborn child can suck her thumb

 

Taste buds are present and functioning

January 9

14 Weeks

14 Weeks

Mouth makes sucking motions

 

Spleen begins producing red blood cells

 

Hair pattern on head develops

January 9

18 Weeks

Arms and legs begin to punch and kick

 

Fingernails are well formed

 

Uterus begins to form if it’s a girl

 

Length is about 10 inches head to heel

January 9

20 Weeks

20 Weeks

Experts say she can feel pain

 

Swallowing begins

 

Can turn body side to side and front to back

January 9

22 Weeks

Rapid brain growth continues

 

Weight is about one pound

January 9

26 Weeks

Sleep patterns exist and rapid eye movement indicates dreaming may occur

 

Eyelids reopen after being closed for months

 

Muscles exercise by kicking and stretching

January 9

24 Weeks

Outside sounds can be heard

 

Actions such as hiccuping, squinting, smiling, and frowning may be seen through ultrasound

January 9

30 Weeks

Rhythmic breathing movements start to occur

 

Mom’s voice and other familiar sounds may be recognized

 

Bones are fully developed, but still soft and pliable

January 9

28 Weeks

Central nervous system is developed enough to control some major body functions

 

Another person might hear a heartbeat by listening to the pregnant woman’s abdomen

January 9

34 Weeks

Weight is about 4 to 4.5 pounds

January 9

32 Weeks

Pupils can dilate and constrict in dim or bright light

 

Connections between the nerve cells in the brain have increased

January 9

38 Weeks

A newborn is considered full-term 38 weeks after fertilization (40 weeks of pregnancy)

 

The unborn child can grasp firmly

January 9

36 Weeks

Body fat increasing rapidly

 

Head may soon start repositioning down in preparation for birth

Resources

Fetal Development Poster
A full-color fetal development poster is available in our online store. It lists weekly facts from this page, and includes beautiful intrauterine photos and drawings. The poster is 18″ x 21.5,” sturdy and durable for display against a wall or on an easel. Help educate others about the amazing facts of life.

Purchase poster

Cruel and Usual Punishment Presentation
Cruel and Usual Punishment is a free PowerPoint presentation that contrasts the wonder of fetal development with the brutality of abortion. The presentation does not utilize any graphic abortion photos but does provide detailed descriptions of abortion procedures used and compares them with detailed facts about fetal development.

Download the PowerPoint
View the script

Fetal Pain
A new paper on fetal pain in the Journal of the American Medical Association is garnering a large amount of media attention. What is not being printed in many of these articles is the fact that the authors of the paper are involved in the abortion industry. For more information about fetal pain, make sure to read the report on fetal pain by fetal pain expert Dr. K. S. Anand who believes that unborn children can begin to feel pain as early as 20 weeks, if not earlier. 

Learn more