Parenting is hard, so are the days of pre-parenting. Let’s get it right from the start, these are the days of ‘prenatal development’. There is no denying the absolute joy, the first time you find out you’re going to become a father. There’s also no sugar coating the absolute happy chaos that’s to follow. Doctor visits, family advice, nursery prep… apps sending you updates that your baby is no longer a grape and is now, in fact, an orange. There is so much information and of course the expectation that you’re up to speed, always, all the time. What does this all mean? It is important for every to-be father to be ‘in the know’. What is happening from the moment of conception to the time of birth? The science is fascinating, and the development is magical.
So, we at Daddy’s Digest have broken it all down for you dudes. Know just enough not to be the least informed in the room, but not too much that it’s garble. Remember, the nine months of pregnancy have been broken into distinct three-month periods called Trimesters, owing to the unique developments that occur in each phase.
Size: Quarter of an inch
The egg has fertilized and is growing. A protective sac called the amniotic sac has now formed around the embryo filled with what is known as the amniotic fluid. The placenta, a round flat organ that shares nutrients from the mother and transfers waste from the baby has begun to develop. Your child’s face is beginning to form, and the eyes, mouth, lower jaw and throat are developing. Blood cells are forming and beginning to circulate.
At the end of week 8:
Size: Approx. 1 inch
By the end of this month, your baby is no longer an embryo. It is now a fetus. By week six you can expect to detect a heartbeat.
At the end of week 12:
Size: Approx. 4 inches
Weight: 1 ounce
By this point most critical development has taken place, reducing the chances of a miscarriage considerably. It’s after this point that most couples make their birth announcements.
By the end of month three, your child will be fully formed. All organs and extremities have also formed and will continue to mature to become functional.
At the end of week 16:
Size: Approx. 6 inches
Weight: 4 ounces
The heartbeat is now audible and may be heard using a Doppler scan. Reproductive organs and genitalia are fully formed, and should your country of birth allow it, your doctor may perform an ultrasound to determine your child’s sex.
At the end of week 20:
Size: Approx. 7-10 inches
Weight: 1/2 to 1 pound
Your partner may begin to feel your child move. The baby’s muscles are developing, and they begin to exercise them. The first movement is called quickening.
At the end of week 24:
Size: Approx. 12 inches
Weight: 2 pounds
This is a great time to get some 4D images.
At the end of week 28:
Size: Approx. 14 inches
Weight: 2-4 pounds
Your child’s hearing is fully developed and he or she changes position frequently. At this time, they actively respond to external stimuli, including sound, light and pain.
At the end of week 32:
Size: Approx. 15-18 inches
Weight: Up to 5 pounds
Your baby’s brain is developing rapidly, and they can now both see and hear. Kicking becomes more noticeable.
At the end of week 36:
Size: Approx. 18-20 inches
Weight: 7 pounds
Your baby is ready for the world, and you are ready to be a great father.
It is important to use this information as a guide only and seek the informed opinion of a qualified medical professional through the course of pregnancy.
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