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From Conception to Birth

How does the foetus develop?

Free Man in White Long Sleeve Shirt Holding 2 Photos Stock PhotoHow 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 long
  • 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?