Pregnancy Care Guide
Preconception check up
How to get pregnant
Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy
Foetal Develpoment
First Trimester
Second Trimester
Third Trimester
Changes in the woman
Check Ups and Tests
Blood Tests
Urine Tests
Tests on the Uterus
Diet and foods for the pregnant
Essential Nutrients
Recommended Daily Diet for the Expectant Woman
Tips for Healthy Eating
Wholesome Eating During the Trimesters
Exercises during pregnancy
Antenatal care
Complications during Pregnancy
Causes of repeated abortions and miscarriage
High Risk pregnancy
Twins and multiple pregnancies
Gestational diabetes
Pregnancy induced hypertension
Bleeding during pregnancy
Preterm or premature labour
Ectopic pregnancy
Rhesus Factor

First Trimester (From conception to 12 weeks)

During the first week following fertilization, the single cell or ovum, as the developing being is called for the first weeks-divides again and again, forming a hollowing ball three cell layers. Projections, called villi, appear on the outside of the ovum and help the ovum to burrow into the uterus usually on the upper back wall.

By the end of the second week following fertilization, the hollow space in the ovum has acquired two parts-an amniotic sac, which is filled with fluid, and a yolk sac, which will produce small blood vessels and cells. The yolk sac will degenerate as the developing being begins producing its own blood cells. The aminiotic sac serves three functions-protecting the developing being from shocks, keeping the temperature constant, and serving as a barrier against infection from the outside. It is composed of two membranes that will eventually fuse together. The amnion, or inner layer, produces the amniotic fluid and the chlorin forms the outer layer.

The developing being is called an embryo from the third to the eighth week after fertilization. By the end of the third week, the embryo is only 1/8 inch long. It has buds that will grow into lungs, a tube that will become a heart and the beginning of a central nervous system. All of these are growing from the three layers of cells. Most pregnancy tests are positive at this time.

By the end of the fourth week after fertilization or 6 week gestational age, the embryo is 3/16 inch long. The nervous system and brain are beginning to grow, and the face is forming, with a mouth, a lower jaw, and dark circles where the eyes will be. The heart is beating and is pumping blood around the developing blood vessels. Little buds that will become the arms and legs have appeared.

By the end of the fifth week after fertilization or 7 weeks gestational age, the embryo is 1/2 inch long. The brain, spinal cord, and nervous system are more developed. The head had increased in size, and the nostrils, lips, and tongue are visible. The limb buds have grown into arms and legs.

By the end of the sixth week after fertilization or 8 weeks gestational age, the embryo is 7/8 inch long. The head is quite large in comparison to the trunk. External ears form elevations on either side of the head. A skeleton made of cartilage, not real bone, has appeared; and a tail is apparent at the end of the spinal cord. Fingers and toes have formed.

The embryo is almost an inch in length by the end of the seventh week after fertilization or 9 weeks gestational age. The brain can be seen through the fine skin on the top of the head. The eyes are visible through the closed lids. The body may begin to move as small muscle fibres grow. Bone has begun to replace the cartilage and the tail has almost disappeared. The embryo is now uniquely human, with most of the internal organs present.

From the eighth week after fertilization or 10 weeks gestational age, until birth, the developing baby is called a foetus. By the end of the eighth week, the foetus is approximately 11/2 inches long and weighs about 2 grams. The jaws and other facial features are more clearly developed, and teeth are forming. The arms begin to bend at the elbow and are long enough for the baby to touch his face. If the baby is a boy, his penis is apparent. If the baby is a girl, her clitoris has developed.

By the end of the ninth week after fertilization or 11 weeks gestational age, the foetus looks more human. It measures almost 2 inches in length and weighs 4 grams (1/6 ounce). Most of the major structures have formed. Development now consists of the growth and maturing of present structures. The scrotum has apĀ­peared, as have fingernails, toenails and hair follicles.

THIRD LUNAR MONTH (9-12 weeks)
Now your baby has fingers and toes, while nails too are growing. Hair is appearing on your baby's body. The fetus is about two inches long and weighs about 15 grams.

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