Fetal development - month by month

Fetal development - month by month

Having a baby is the best feeling in any mother’s life. The news of being pregnant brings joy and happiness to every couple.

After getting pregnant, you and your husband might be eagerly waiting for the due date. Every passing day, you must be wondering how much your baby has grown and what is your baby doing in your stomach. You will start feeling your baby’s kicks only in the second trimester, but his/her body begins growing and developing from the first day itself.

A baby’s development in the womb is called ‘fetal development’. In this blog, we have explained the fetal development during each month of pregnancy. With this, you and your husband can understand how much your baby has changed and grown each month.

Fetal development: Month 1

fetal development 1st month

In the first month of pregnancy, you might not even have found out that you are pregnant. Only after missing your period and taking a pregnancy test, you might have found out that you are pregnant. But fetal development starts on day 1 itself.

In the first week after fertilization, the fertilized egg travels from the ovaries to the uterus through the fallopian tube. This takes 4-5 days. By the time the egg reaches the uterus, the embryo is formed. The embryo attaches to the wall of the uterus and soon, it creates the placenta and the amniotic sac. The placenta produces pregnancy hormones and also provides nutrients for the baby’s development. The amniotic sac is filled with amniotic fluid and protects the baby by surrounding the egg. The sac expands as your baby grows.

  • Baby’s physical development in the first month: In the first month, your baby’s eyes, eyelashes and skin start forming.
  • Development of your baby’s internal organs in the first month: Your baby’s blood vessels and blood circulation have already begun by the end of the first month.
  • Your baby’s size in the first month: Your baby is now smaller than a grain of rice.

Fetal development: Month 2

fetal development 2nd month

  • Baby’s physical development in the second month: `Your baby’s facial organs like ears, mouth and nose are formed in the second month. Along with these, the hands and legs also start forming.
  • Development of your baby’s internal organs in the second month: Your baby’s brain, nervous system, digestive system, spinal cord also are fully formed.
  • Your baby’s shape and size in the first month: Your baby is now around 1 inch in size and weighs around grams.
  • What your baby is doing in the first month: Your baby will start moving his/her hands and legs now, but they are too small for you to feel them.

Fetal development: Month 3

fetal development 3rd month

  • Baby’s physical development in the third month: Your baby’s body has grown all the parts now, including fingers and toes.
  • Development of your baby’s internal organs in the third month: Your baby’s reproductive organs are also fully formed by now.
  • Your baby’s shape and size in the third month: He/she is now 4 inches in size and weighs about 28 grams.
  • What your baby is doing in the third month: He/she can move the fingers and fold them.

Fetal development: Month 4

fetal development 4th month

The fourth month is the beginning of the second trimester. By now, all body parts are completely formed. With a doppler scan, you can now listen to your baby’s heartbeat.

  • Baby’s physical development in the fourth month: Eyelashes, eyebrows, fingernails and toenails begin to grow.
  • Your baby’s shape and size in the fourth month: Your baby is about 6 inches in size now and weighs 112 grams.
  • What your baby is doing in the fourth month: Your baby can do many more actions now, like sucking thumbs and yawning.

Fetal development: Month 5

fetal development 5th month

  • Baby’s physical development in the fifth month: Hair on the head and body starts to grow. The body hair protects your baby from cold. These hairs fall off within a week after birth. A transparent substance is formed on your baby’s skin that protects the baby from infections. This layer also protects the baby’s skin from wrinkles caused by continuous contact with the amniotic fluid (similar to wrinkles on the skin when we are in contact with water for longer durations).
  • Development of your baby’s internal organs in the fifth month: Your baby’s muscles also get fully developed by the 5th month.
  • Your baby’s shape and size in the fifth month: Your baby is now 10 inches long and weighs about 400 grams.
  • What your baby is doing in the fifth month: In the fifth month, you might start feeling the baby’s movement and kicks in your stomach.

Fetal development: Month 6

fetal development 6th month

  • Baby’s physical development in the sixth month: Your baby’s skin is reddish in colour. Fingerprints and lines on the palms and under the feet are also formed in this month.
  • Your baby’s shape and size in the sixth month: Your baby is almost 12 inches in size now and weighs 1 kg.
  • What your baby is doing in the sixth month: Your baby will now be able to open his/her eyes. He/she will be very active from now onwards. You can see the activities during your sonography. You will also be able to feel a lot more of your baby’s movements and hiccups.

Fetal development: Month 7

fetal development 7th month

The seventh month marks the beginning of your third trimester. During these 3 months, fetal development is most noticeable in the baby’s weight and size.

  • Baby’s physical development in the seventh month: Your baby now starts getting fatter.
  • Your baby’s shape and size in the seventh month: Your baby would be about 14 inches in height now with a weight of 1.5-2 kgs.
  • What your baby is doing in the seventh month: Your baby can now see and hear. He/she can hear any sounds or music that is near your stomach. Your baby will also be able to move and turn around inside the womb.

Fetal development: Month 8

fetal development 8th month

Your baby has now fully developed. So you will feel every movement of your baby within your stomach. Do not feel scared if you don’t feel any movements for a while. It might be because your baby is sleeping or resting.

  • Baby’s physical development in the eighth month: Your baby continues to grow fat in the eighth month.
  • Your baby’s shape and size in the eighth month: By the end of the eighth month, Your baby will weigh 2.5 kgs and will be 18 inches in size.
  • What your baby is doing in the eighth month: In this month, your baby will be very active, so you may feel a lot of kicks in your stomach.

Fetal development: Month 9

fetal development 9th month

Your baby is now ready to be born. All of the body parts are fully developed.

  • Development of your baby’s internal organs in the ninth month: Your baby’s lungs get developed only in this last month so that he/she can breathe properly after birth.
  • Your baby’s shape and size in the ninth month: Your baby will be about 20 inches in size now with a weight of 3-3.5 kgs.
  • What your baby is doing in the ninth month: Your baby turns and adjusts into the correct position for delivery. The ideal delivery position for the baby is with the head downwards, towards the vagina.

Is it possible to find out the sex of the baby during an ultrasound?

Pre-natal gender determination is illegal in India Whether a boy or a girl, you will surely love your baby equally. Instead of focusing on your baby’s gender, focus on his/her health and happiness. You and your husband should be grateful for this wonderful gift, as many couples in the world may be trying to have a child without any success.

Though your body goes through a lot of pain, changes and new experiences in these 9 months, all of that will be forgotten as soon as you have your baby in your arms. The above information can help you understand your baby’s monthly fetal development. Your doctor can also show you the fetal development in your regular ultrasound scans. Be happy and healthy during these 9 months, so that your baby is born healthy. Enjoy this time and get ready to welcome the newest member of your family.

Read new blogs