Many people think of pregnancy progress regarding months or trimesters, but many remain unaware of the weekly development that your baby goes through. And, if you’re curious to know what happens in a mother’s womb for the first few weeks, then keep reading.
Your baby is essentially a ball of cells (embryo), which is extremely tiny. A ball of cells divides itself into three layers that later become organs and tissues. The upper layer houses the neural tube, which forms the brain, spinal cord, and backbone. The middle layer houses the heart, and circulatory system, and the last layer houses the lungs and intestines.
At this point, the yolk sacs are present, as they produce red blood cells for the baby’s nutrients. However, the placenta will soon form and take over these duties. Once the placenta fully develops, it begins to provide nutrients for the baby and remove waste products from the umbilical cord.
These are the weeks where taking a pregnancy test will prove to be positive.
At this point, you may not look pregnant, but plenty is going down in your womb. Your baby’s little heart is developing, as it will be beginning to pump blood, and it’s already dividing itself into chambers. The other primary organs start to grow as well, such as the kidneys and liver. Even the intestines start growing while the appendix takes its place. Your baby changes as well. Little buds sprout out that will eventually turn into arms and legs, along with the folds that will become the neck and jaw.
In spite of all this growth and development, your baby is essentially as big as a tadpole! But prepare yourself for major growth spurts in the next few weeks.
Your child’s face begins to develop as dark spots form, which will be the eyes, the little openings are the nostrils, and the pits will turn into ears. The buds mentioned earlier will become arms and legs, and are more prominent now while muscle and bone tissues are developing. Also, the pituitary gland (releases hormones) and brain also form.
On a side note for the pregnant women – you’ll begin to notice changes within yourself. For example, you may have some mood swings, which is entirely reasonable. Your mood can change from joyful to morose in a matter of minutes because of your fluctuating hormones.
Your baby is now officially the size of a blueberry, which is still pretty tiny. However, a growth spurt has lead to webbed fingers and toes that are distinguishable. As of now, its liver is producing plenty of red blood cells until the bone marrow forms and takes over.
This week is the beginning of substantial growth and development, which lasts until the 20th week. This rapid growth will now lead to the formation of the baby’s organs and other body parts to become more specialized and complicated.
During this week, the baby’s teeth and palate begin to form while the ears continue to develop. The embryo is now a fetus, which has fragile skin and the veins are readily visible. Now all the organs, muscles, and nerves begin to function! The brain’s nerve cells branch out to connect with one another, which forms the neural pathways. The arms and legs look less webbed, and some bending occurs. Lastly, the baby’s taste buds begin to form!
Your child’s body parts are all developed. However, there’s plenty of fine-tuning to be done. And, your baby begins looks more like a human than a tadpole now. This is now the beginning of a rapid weight gain for your little one.
Stay tuned for more weekly development guides!