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Your Baby


Your Baby
First Trimester: Week by Week

You can’t see it just yet, but your baby is already making
big developmental strides, from swimming sperm to zygote to full fetus status,
baby’s got a lot going on! Read on for a week by week pregnancy guide.



During the first fourteen weeks,
your baby goes from superstar swimming sperm to a zygote—the term used to
describe a fertilized egg in the first four days—to an embryo, the term for
your baby until about ten weeks’ gestation. By the second month, its poppy seed
sized heart is beating, other major organs are forming and your uterus is
growing to about the size of a peach. Your baby looks a lot more like a tadpole
than a human. It’s flat and it a has a tail and only limb buds.

Your tiny embryo graduates to a
full fetus status by month three, and you’ll be introduced to one of the new
rituals of pregnancy—cold goo. It seems that all baby exams require the
slathering  of supercold goo on your
belly, and few doctors or technicians try to warm it up. Your first experience
with the cold goo will probably be while hearing the baby’s heartbeat by using a
sound-wave stethoscope called a Doppler. The cold goo will also be used for
future sonograms. Hearing your baby’s heartbeat for the very first time will
likely be one of the most thrilling “firsts” of your pregnancy. I took a tape
recorder along with me the first time, and would replay it for anyone who
listened! Don’t be frightened by how fast a baby’s heartbeat is, about one
hundred forty to one hundred sixty times per minute—are running a marathon in
there?—as this is normal and expected.

By the ninth week or so, the brain
is growing like gangbusters. The head makes up half of the fetus’s total length
from the top of the head to the butt. The baby looks more like E.T. than the
cute, cuddly baby you’re waiting for, but it’s still early days. By the end of
the third month, your baby will double in length, have separate fingers instead
of ones that are webbed, have all facial features including eyelids that have
opened and the fused shut by a thin membrane, have arms, legs, thighs, and
teeny toes. Meanwhile, your baby is taking his first stab at doing something
pretty gross—drinking his own urine. If you’re thinking, he got that from his
father! Don’t worry. The baby is producing urine that is released into the
amniotic fluid. Some of that fluid is reabsorbed and the fetus swallows it, but
it’s sterile and harmless.

Here’s a Week by Week Pregnancy
Guide from the experts at The Mayo Clinic:



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