Answer: The third trimester is brimming with rapid development of neurons and wiring. Baby's brain roughly triples in weight during the last 13 weeks of gestation, growing from about 3.5 ounces at the end the second trimester to almost 10.6 ounces at term. And it's starting to look different, too: Its formerly once smooth surface is becoming increasingly grooved and indented (like the images of brains you're used to seeing). At the same time, the cerebellum (motor control) is developing fast — faster now than any other area of the fetal brain (its surface area increases 30-fold in the last 16 weeks of pregnancy!). All of this growth is big news for the cerebral cortex (thinking, remembering, feeling). Though this important area of the brain is developing rapidly during pregnancy, it really only starts to function around the time a full-term baby is born — and it steadily and gradually matures in the first few years of life, thanks to baby's enriching environment.
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