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The first day of the last period is conventionally defined as the starting point of pregnancy. The conception, however, is in the middle of the menstrual cycle.
The fertilized egg attaches to the endometrium. Some of its cells will form the embryo, while others will form the placenta.
The formation of the limbs, brain and spine begins.
The development of the lungs, digestive tract, umbilical cord and heart begins, which starts to have pulses towards the end of the first month.
By the fourth week of pregnancy, the fetus is about half a centimeter long.
The delay of the period, possibly in combination with other typical pregnancy symptoms (such as morning sickness), predisposes the woman to the ongoing pregnancy.
The fetal eyelids are shaped but remain closed.
The development of the inner ear begins.
Bones begin to form.
Wrists, ankles and toes and toes are formed.
Genital development begins. By the end of the second month, all the major organs and systems of the body are in development. In this delicate period, especially, which is completed at the end of the first trimester, it is very important for the pregnant woman to be properly fed and lead a healthy lifestyle.
The embryo grows at a spectacular pace and now exceeds two centimeters in size.
The skin of the fetus is almost transparent.
The musculoskeletal system is developing. The backbone is soft and flexible.
The hands are longer than the legs and the palms are longer than the feet. The head is now more developed than the body, compared to the size it will have when pregnancy is completed.
The fingers and toes continue to develop on which soft nails are formed.
The intestine begins to form. Gradually, all internal organs are formatted, though not yet fully developed.
The fetus begins to move.
Ultrasound controls the size, position and growth of the fetus.
During this and the following month, your doctor will recommend certain tests, in the context of prenatal screening, to identify any anatomical or genetic abnormalities of the fetus.
The eyebrows, eyelashes and nails of the fetus are formed.
The development of the first teeth begins but will remain below the gums after birth.
The fetus’ arms and legs can bend.
Its skin is wrinkled and its body is covered with lint and a very thin wax film.
External genitalia are formed and the doctor can detect the baby’s sex by ultrasound.
The outside of the ear begins to form. The fetus can now hear and swallow. The neck is formed.
The fetal kidneys are functioning and the production of urine, which is released through the umbilical cord, begins.
At the end of the fourth month, the fetus’s length now exceeds 12 cm and its weight 90 grams.
The fetal movements are now intense and you can feel them.
The fetus can suck its thumb.
Sleeps and wakes up at regular intervals.
Its nails reach the tips of its fingers.
Bile secretion begins to facilitate digestion.
In girls, eggs are formed in the ovaries. In boys, testes descend from the abdomen to the scrotum.
The brain develops rapidly as the eyes begin to open.
Normal hair appears on the head.
The toes and footprints are now visible.
Its body is now developing at a faster rate than its head and its proportions are becoming more ‘normal’.
At the end of the 6th month, the embryo’s length reaches 28 cm and weighs more than half a kilo. Fat production begins and wrinkles recede.
The lungs have formed but are not yet functional. They will start operating from week 25. A baby born prematurely has more chances of survival, increasing more with each passing week.
The fetus responds to environmental sounds.
Kicks loud and stretches. Its hands gain the ability to catch.
Its eyes can now open and close, and it can sense the changes in light.
The fluff on his body gradually disappears.
Its genitals are fully formed.
Its weight exceeds one kilo and its length reaches 40 cm. It begins to squeeze the uterus and this causes you to feel some discomfort, including urination and digestion.
The weight of the fetus is increased very rapidly. Its bones harden, but its skull remains soft and “flexible” to facilitate childbirth.
The different areas of its brain are formed.
The taste receptors develop in the oral cavity and may distinguish the sour from the sweet.
It may present hiccups.
Its body must now be positioned downward.
Its weight increases by about 250 grams per week.
Your abdomen is large enough and you may become easily tired and have trouble sleeping. Patience! Birth is approaching.
The fetal lungs can function normally.
From the 37th week on, the fetus is full-term and can be born. Its body goes lower and it is ready for childbirth.
Dr. Nikolopoulos maintains a private practice in ATHENS, while collaborating exclusively with MITERA’s maternity hospital and the new HYGEIA IVF Athens Assisted Reproduction Unit. At the same time, he is in charge of the Fertility and In Vitro Fertilization clinic at City Hospital, in the city of KALAMATA.