A fertilized egg can grow into a full-fledged baby inside the mother’s womb within 38 weeks, and it goes through a series of radical developments in this duration. Except for vision, the time spent in the womb facilitates the growth of all the baby’s senses, including sound and taste.
This means that the baby slowly begins to get accustomed to aspects of the world outside while still inside the womb. These sensations prepare it for the world outside after its birth.
An interesting fact to note is that even though it is said that pregnancy begins from the last period, and lasts for 40 weeks, the first two weeks mostly deal with the body preparing for the pregnancy. And, it is from the third week that the fetus can be traced.
As the fetus develops in the womb, its movement can be traced and observed with the help of ultrasounds. It is between the 16th and 20th weeks that a fetus begins to move inside the womb. The ultrasound scan, however, helps to view the fetus in the 8th week itself.
In the 20th week, the fetus can be seen clearly, and this shows its rapid development. With time, its development becomes more complex, which facilitates the development of the brain as well as the joints, bones, and muscles.
While inside the womb, the fetus breathes through the mother with the help of the umbilical cord that connects the mother and baby. However, the fetus begins to practice breathing as early as in the 9th week of pregnancy. This practice ensures that when the fetus is born, it can breathe almost immediately and on its own, without any difficulties.
The fetus does not open its eyes till birth, but eye movement begins in the 14th week of pregnancy. Gradually, these movements become more and more complex, just like human eye movements when they are asleep.
Sensitivity to sound is something that the fetus begins to develop inside the womb itself. This process begins in the 20th week of pregnancy, when it can hear low scale sounds. As it develops, it becomes sensitive to high-pitched sounds as well, and often moves on hearing something loud.
As the fetus grows, it begins to recognize the different voices and sounds, and might also react to them.
Urinating, Drinking, and Tasting:
Urinating begins when the fetus is 10 weeks old, and this is passed out through the amniotic fluid, which is the fluid in the womb protecting the fetus. It also drinks this same liquid, and begins to develop its taste buds gradually. This provides essential nutrients to the fetus in its developmental stages as well. .
Becoming Conscious/Feeling Pain
Sensations of pain and reflex begin only in the 17th week, and the nervous system is somewhat developed by the 26th week. This is when the brain of the fetus has developed to a stage, where it becomes aware of things going on outside the womb.
In a few more weeks, the parents can hold a baby shower as the due date inches closer and the baby is ready to come out into the world. This is the time they will receive some of the best Baby Shower Gifts from friends and family and celebrate the coming of a baby.
Prenatal Stress- Fetal Responses:
The fetal response to a mother’s prenatal stress shows how much it develops while inside the womb. It can sense when the mother is anxious or stressed and this can be understood as the heart rate of the fetus increases as a reaction.