Foetal Development

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<% x = 1 do while x <= 9 %> <% if x < 9 then %> <% end if x = x + 1 loop %>
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<% select case showme case 1 %> Week 1 - 4
By week 4, the embryo is curled into an arc of about 4 mm across. There are signs of early development of the neural tube, which contains the spinal cord, and the tubular structure of the embryo's body has started to form. The two tubes of the heart fuse and start contracting and the neural tube zips itself shut. <% case 2 %> Week 5 - 6
The embryo measures about 10 mm and becomes recognisable as a tiny human baby. The cells differentiate into layers and the head is curled towards the bulging chest which covers the heart. Small swellings show where the arms and legs will grow. By the seventh week, there is a recognisable head with eyes, nose and mouth. <% case 3 %> Week 7 - 12
The foetus now has eyes, fingernails and tiny milk teeth buds. It can open its mouth and may start sucking its thumb. By week 12 it will start swallowing amniotic fluid and the external sex organs become well developed. All other organs are fully formed and begin maturing. The kidneys secrete urine and the foetus is already making movements. <% case 4 %> Week 13 - 16
The foetus measures about 13 - 14 cm in length. Downy hair called lanugo covers the skin. Hearing develops to a greater extent and the mother's voice becomes distinct from other uterine sounds. The foetus can flex its legs and hiccups as it swallows amniotic fluid. <% case 5 %> Week 17 - 20
Your baby should measure around 25 cm and weigh 240g. From this stage on there is huge variation in foetus size and growth rate. The baby's gender should be quite clearly visible and you should start feeling movement. Sebaceous glands produce a cheese-like substance known as vernix which protects the baby's skin from drying out. <% case 6 %> Week 21 - 24
By week 24 the baby weighs around a half to one full kilogram and is about 25 cm long. The head and body are now more in proportion. Fat is being distributed under the skin, which is still thin and almost translucent. The eyelids and ears are properly formed and more hair starts to appear, including eyebrows and eyelashes. There may be periods of waking and sleeping. The average sleep cycle can vary from 20 minutes to two hours and your baby may be startled by loud noises. <% case 7 %> Week 25 - 28
The baby measures about 26cm in length and the weight is around 1.5kg. The heartbeat is around 120-40 beats per minute. The brain begins to wrinkle to allow more grey matter into the skull and is considered to be viable, which means that if born at this stage it has a reasonable chance of survival. <% case 8 %> Week 29 - 32
The umbilical cord is about 50 cm in length. The lungs produce large quantities of surfactant to ensure maturity. Weight will increase by about 200g per week until birth. The chances of survival at this stage are good, though the lungs are still maturing. The vernix and lanugo start to shed and are swallowed by the baby. <% case 9 %> Week 33 - 36
It is starting to become more cramped in the uterus and the baby’s movements may decrease slightly and resemble stretching rather than kicking. Weight increases by about 200 g per week until birth. A baby ready for birth weighs between 2.8 and 5 kg and the average length is between 46 and 50 cm. <% end select %>
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