You are having a baby – congratulations!
It is, perhaps, the greatest wonder on earth
In just over nine months a tiny being is growing inside you and will arrive into the world as a delicate human being. Until this day arrives it’s like being in suspense – exciting developments await you.
Sixteen weeks of exciting developments
Impressive, wonderful, unique – in the first 16 weeks the basis for the whole of the baby’s life has been accomplished. Organs, muscles, the nervous system and skin – all these develop during this time.
From the start of the pregnancy
Weeks 1 to 4
Right at the beginning the fundamental building blocks of the baby are formed. At the time of fertilisation of the egg, the embryo’s sex is already determined. Also the colour of the eyes and the hair is established and whether it will have a snub nose or long fingers. The fertilised egg travels down the fallopian tube into the womb where approximately on the seventh day; it embeds itself into the lining of the womb. Cell division occurs rapidly.
Weeks 5 to 8
Your baby’s heart is already beating. Your monthly period will be absent and a pregnancy test can now confirm your pregnancy. From the sixth week, organs such as the liver and kidneys are formed as are the fingers and facial features. Your baby now measures 9 to 15 mm.
Weeks 9 to 12
Your baby has completed the first development phase and will soon no longer be called an embryo but a foetus. The inner organs are now fully developed, the brain is now being covered by the cranial bone and is growing continually. The basis for the outer sexual organs are now formed and the tiny baby perceives its first sensory impressions and feelings. Your baby now has its essential organs and the first hairs are growing.
Sensing and feeling
Weeks 13 to 16
The baby is now starting to hear noises and the development of its vocal cords has begun. First of all it will perceive your heart beat, the noises coming from your stomach and intestine and it will start to get used to your voice. The face is taking shape. Although you may not feel it yet, the first movements of head, arms and legs have begun.
Everything is moving
Weeks 17 to 24
Your stomach is getting bigger and you can feel the first movements of your baby, and kicking is increasing. Your baby doesn’t yet have a day and night rhythm. Your steps during the day lull it into sleep and at night, when you are quiet it has more space and moves about. By the end of ??the sixth month it may already measure 31 centimetres and weigh approx 700 grammes.
Ready for life
To perceive the world
Weeks 25 to 32
At this point of the baby’s development, it can open its eyes and can differentiate light from dark and recognise various shapes. It closes its eyes for sleeping and opens them when awake. It is already forming its own immune system and may perhaps have hiccoughs (which you can feel!). This helps to strengthen your baby's chest muscles in readiness for breathing.
Weeks 33 to 40
Your baby is slowly getting ready for birth. It is moving downwards into a good position from which to be born. From the 35th week the lungs are developed and from the 38th week the baby is theoretically ready to be born. It will be approx. 48 – 54 cm long and can weigh between 2.5 kg to 4.5 kg. Be happy – soon you will be able to hold your baby in your arms.