It is important to confirm exactly how far along you are in your pregnancy and to understand the changes happening within your body as you think about the options that are available to you. Aid for Women offers free on-site ultrasound exams to determine the baby’s gestational age, the common term used to describe how many weeks along you are in the pregnancy.
Day 1 | CONCEPTION
At the moment of conception, when the sperm fertilizes the egg, a new and unique individual is formed. This new life may be smaller than a grain of sugar, but all the inherited features of this person are already set — whether it’s a boy or girl, the hair and eye color and the dimples of the cheeks.
Week 4 (You’ve missed your period!) | BEATING HEART
By the time you miss your period, the baby has already gone through lots of growth, including the beginning development of her brain and spinal cord. The heart now beats at a steady rhythm. Eyes, ears, arms and legs are beginning to form. The baby is about 1/4 inch in length.
Week 6 | A LITTLE FACE, FINGERS AND TOES
The baby is quickly developing into a little person. Her face makes its first appearance with tiny eyes, nose and mouth. Blood flows through the baby’s veins, and her fingers and toes are forming. The baby is about 1/2 inch in length.
Week 8 | TEETH, EYELIDS AND ORGANS
Her teeth buds appear, and facial muscles are developing. Eyelids begin to form to protect her tiny eyes, and every internal organ is now present. The baby is about 3/4 inch in length.
Week 10 | BONES, MUSCLES AND FINGERNAILS
The baby’s ears, bones, muscles and nerve connections continue to form. Her fingerprints and fingernails begin to develop. You cannot feel it yet, but the baby is moving her body and facial muscles. The baby is about 1 inch in length.
Week 12 | TASTE BUDS, HAIR AND SWALLOWING
The baby’s vocal cords and taste buds are forming. Fine hair begins to grow on her upper lip, chin and eyebrows. She is able to swallow and responds to skin stimulation. The baby is about 2 inches in length.
Week 14 | FACIAL EXPRESSIONS AND NERVE CELLS
The baby is making facial expressions and is active although you still cannot feel the movements. A burst in the production of the baby’s nerve cells begins and continues for the next month. Her kidneys are functioning to filter and reprocess her blood. Your baby has reached about 3 to 4 inches in length.
Week 16 | SOMERSAULTS AND SLEEPING HABITS
The baby is becoming more active and can turn somersaults at this point. You may start feeling “flutters” of her movement. Her nostrils are visible, and she starts to develop sleeping habits. Your baby has reached about 5 inches in length and will continue to grow rapidly in the coming weeks.
Week 18 | TWISTING, KICKING AND HEARING
Your baby may be large enough now for you to feel her twisting, kicking and punching. Your baby’s nervous system is rapidly maturing and forming more complex connections. Your baby has reached about 6 to 7 inches in length.
Week 20 | LOOKING LIKE A NEWBORN
The baby is starting to look like a newborn infant as the skin becomes less transparent and fat begins to develop. The baby is also starting to act like a newborn by sucking her thumb and developing sleeping habits. The baby has reached about 10 inches in length.
Week 22 | BABY HEARS YOU
Your baby’s hearing is growing more acute, making her more conscious of sounds that come from inside your body (which means she can hear your heartbeat and hiccup!). Her eyes will soon begin to open, preparing to see the outside world. The baby has reached about 11 inches in length and weighs about 1 pound.
DID YOU KNOW? Babies as young as 22 weeks have survived with the assistance of medical technology. A normal pregnancy will continue for 36 to 41 weeks.