Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Region: England, Wales and Northern Ireland

RE:QUEST

A space for resources to help RE teachers and their students explore the Christian faith

We are delighted to share with you our library of resources. You can use the filter feature below to find topics most relevant to your curriculum.

Issues: From Conception to Birth

How does the foetus develop?

 

How does a foetus develop? Take a look at this timeline for more information. First trimester (months 1-3)

  • Day 1 - conception takes place.
  • 7 days - tiny human implants in mother’s uterus.
  • 10 days - mother’s periods stop.
  • 18 days - heart begins to beat.
  • 21 days - pumps own blood through separate closed circulatory system with own blood type.
  • 28 days - eye, ear, and respiratory systems begin to form.
  • 42 days - brain waves recorded, skeleton complete, reflexes present.
  • 7 weeks - photo of thumb sucking.
  • 8 weeks - all body systems present.
  • 9 weeks - squints, swallows, moves the tongue, makes a fist.
  • 11 weeks - spontaneous breathing movements, has fingernails, all body systems working.
  • 12 weeks - weighs one ounce.

Second trimester (months 4-6)

  • 16 weeks - genital organs clearly differentiated, grasps with hands, swims, kicks, turns, somersaults (may now be felt by the mother)
  • 18 weeks - vocal cords work – can cry.
  • 20 weeks - has hair on head, weighs one pound, 12 inches lon
  • 23 weeks - 15% chance of viability outside of womb if birth premature
  • 24 weeks – current legal limit for abortion

Third trimester (months 7-9)

  • 24 weeks - 56% of babies survive premature birth.
  • 25 weeks - 79% of babies survive premature birth.
  • 37 weeks – pregnancy classed as full term

This information is taken from the BBC Health website.

Reflect Christians might quote some verses from the Psalms in the Bible: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:13-16) Compare these verses with the development timeline. How might these shape a Christian's understanding of the value of a foetus?