The development of a baby in a woman’s womb is a fascinating process! While most women don’t feel the presence of ‘life’ inside their womb until a couple of months after conception, the baby is already growing by leaps and bounds even in the first few weeks of pregnancy! Here are some interesting facts about a baby’s development inside a woman’s body:
Heartbeat: The baby’s heart begins to pump blood as early as 21 days after conception. You can hear the baby’s heartbeat at the seventh or eighth week using an ultrasonic stethoscope.
Brain: The baby’s brain begins to function as early as eight weeks into gestation or six weeks after conception. Brain waves have been recorded at 40 days through an EEG (Electroencephalogram)
Other organs: Did you know that the fetus’s eyes, ears, and respiratory system begin to form just four weeks after fertilization? In fact, by eight weeks (or two months), all of the baby’s body systems are present. At eight weeks the baby’s stomach begins to produce gastric juice necessary for digestion.
Teeth: The baby’s milk-teeth buds (all 20 of them!) are present at six and a half weeks
Fingernails: You will be surprised to know that the baby’s fingerprints are fully formed by the fourth month of gestation and fingernails are present by 11 to 12 weeks. Even eyelashes are formed by 16 weeks!
Movement: The baby can make some movement as early as the ninth or 10th week. The baby can squint, swallow, move the tongue, and even make a tight fist at this stage!
Breath: At 3 months, the baby can breathe fluid and will continue to do so until birth. Since the baby obtains oxygen through the mother’s umbilical cord, he or she will not drown by breathing the fluid inside the womb. It is this breathing that helps to develop the respiratory systems.
In short, the baby is very much a life even a few days after conception and is not something with gills and a tail or just a random group of cells! In fact, it makes more sense to see the baby as the second patient, the first one being the mother. In other words, the unborn baby must be given the same amount of care and preference that is given to the pregnant mother.
Unfortunately, many women are considering abortion as a solution to unplanned pregnancy not knowing all of these facts. If you are considering this, I want you to know that there are better alternatives to abortion. Your baby is alive.
Tara had gone in to a clinic hoping to terminate her pregnancy through a surgical abortion. She was only a teenager and was terrified to tell her mom and dad that she was pregnant, especially because her dad was the pastor of the local church. She thought abortion would be easier than enduring the guilt and shame that would come with being a pregnant teen.
Once she saw her baby on the ultrasound, she realized it wasn’t just a mass of cells. It was formed and organized. And while it didn’t look like a fully-formed baby just yet, it was clear to see that it was on its way to becoming something. It was at that moment that Tara realized that ending her baby’s life simply to avoid telling her parents was not the answer.
After a tearful conversation, they began looking into adoption as an option. Tara chose a couple in California to adopt her baby boy. She liked the fact that they were open to letting her come visit once a year and be part of her son’s life. Christopher is now 5 years old and knows Tara is his “tummy mommy”.
Parenting or adoption can both be ways to give your baby the life he or she is already living. With open adoption, you can even remain a part of your child’s life, watching them grow with parents that you chose for them. There is so much help available if you can just reach out and take it.
Your baby is counting on you to make the best decision.