Fetal Development

What is happening with your baby as he/she develops inside of you?

Let our own Baby “Iowa” walk you through all nine months of development.


Month 1 (Weeks 1-4):

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Hello world! I’m here! I may look tiny, but just wait. By the end of the month, I will be ten thousand times larger than when I was first conceived.

My inherited features have been determined – eye color, hair color, facial features, body type – it’s all in my genetic code. I am already a unique individual and Mom doesn’t even know I’m here. I hope she will like that I have her dimples…and Dad’s smile. My little face is just starting to show.

I’ve already had my first road trip – down the fallopian tubes and into the uterus, my home for the next eight and a half months. I better dig in.

My heart has started to beat with my very own blood – which is different from Mom’s. I feel so independent! My little tongue is starting to form. My spinal column, lungs, liver, kidneys and intestines are all beginning to take shape.

Little arm and leg buds are beginning to grow and muscles, too! Just look at my muscles! You want a piece of me? Okay, so I have a little bit of attitude – that was determined at conception, too.


Month 2 (Weeks 5-8):

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All five major areas of my brain are present – I feel so smart! My hands and legs are beginning to form. And I’m getting fingers – whoo hoo! High five! And toes, too! I can’t wait for Mom to do “This Little Piggy…” with me. That will be a rip-roaring good time.

Although I am not much bigger than 1 ¼ inches, I can already tell I’m a girl. Girl power! Yeah! Even the doctor won’t know until the ultrasound at 12-20 weeks. I wonder if Mom and Dad will want to know or to be surprised? My mouth and lips are forming – can’t wait to give them a big kiss when I see them.

My ears are starting to show – I hope they don’t stick out too much. My nose is starting to form, too. What’s that? I think I just heard my first sound. That’s cool! All my organs are now in place. What’s a pancreas for, anyway? And here’s my skeleton. My muscles are starting to work together. I even have reflexes.

Hey! Look at me now! I’m kicking and swimming! Backstroke, butterfly, crawl…whee! Wow! There’s so much room – it’s like having my own Olympic-sized pool.


Month 3 (Weeks 9-12):

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I am getting cuter by the moment! I have big eyes and a fine little nose. I could be prom queen. Or maybe I can be an Olympic athlete. I am already practicing somersaults, backflips and scissor kicks.

My vocal chords are complete, too – I could be the next American Idol…at least I could be in 2030. La, la, la!…If I only had a brain. Oh wait, I do. My brain and lung growth are almost complete.

Hiccup! Uh-oh…where did…hiccup…those come…hiccup…from? Whew! I think they’re gone…. HICCUP! Rats!

I can turn my head and even move my lips. And I’m getting buds of little teeth! Where did those come from? I am going to make some serious cash off the Tooth Fairy some day.

Bad news – my nervous system is developed, so I can feel pain. Ouch! I want my Mommy! Oh wait – she’s already here. I can grab onto things with my hands – I can’t wait to hold Mom’s hand when I’m out.

This thumb tastes great! I can tell this is going to be a hard habit to break.


Month 4 (Weeks 13-16):

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Just wait until they see me on the ultrasound! I am so adorable! I am starting to show my parents’ facial expressions. Watch – here’s my imitation of Dad when he found out about me.

I am really getting big now. My weight has quadrupled this month and I grew a few inches and I am up to half a pound. Not that I’m sensitive about my weight or anything. My marrow is taking form – I can feel it in my bones. And I am pumping up – up to 25 quarts of blood a day.

And I now have an adult’s taste buds. Mmmmm, First, I’d like a lobster bisque, followed by a sorbet palette cleanser, then beef Wellington… Just kidding. Make mine a breast milk when I get out of here.


Month 5 (Weeks 17-20):

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My fingernails and toenails are now present. I wonder how old I will have to be to get my first manicure and pedicure? Do they cost a lot?

My oil and sweat glands are now functioning – that sounds kind of gross, but everybody needs ‘em.

Hiccup! Oh no…they’re…hiccup…back. I think…hiccup…Mom can feel…hiccup…it now too. Hiccup!

Mom, can you feel me now? Hey! Hey! I’m in here! Can you feel me now?… Can you feel me now? Feel that little bulge? That’s my elbow! My little elbows and ankles are so cute.


Month 6 (Weeks 21-24):

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(Stretch!) That was the best sleep I’ve had in awhile. I have REM sleep, which means I can dream. I have been dreaming of my new digs, once I get out of here. I hope there’s a window in my new room.

I could probably live outside the womb now, but I am going to hang out and get a little bigger. I’ll work on my breathing exercises too – inhaling and exhaling the amniotic fluid into my lungs.

Wait, I just heard Mom yawn. She thinks she’s going to take a nap. But I just woke up…I need to go to work here. Wake up, Mom! I’m not tired!


Month 7 (Weeks 25-28):

I can open and close my eyes, now. Wink! Wink! Look out, little boys! I’m going to steal your hearts!

I can also relate to my mother’s moods. She seems a little nervous – I’m her first. She will be so happy to see me when I’m out. Wait until she sees my pretty little eyelashes that have developed.


Months 8 (Weeks 29-32):

I am starting to get a thicker skin and a layer of fat. The fat deposits have made my skin so smooth – smooth as a baby’s… well, you know.

I’ve built up antibodies and my heart pumps 300 gallons of blood per day – I feel like Super Baby!

I can hear what’s going on outside now. Mom’s asking Dad to fetch some ice cream again. She finished that last quart. I can taste now, so mint-chocolate-chip for me, Dad! I’ll kick a little to get their attention.


Month 9 (Weeks 33-36):

The space is getting tight – I can’t wait to get out of here! Still, I think I am going to give Mom a few false alarms before I actually show myself. Hee, hee, hee! That will be hilarious!

I’m going to stick my head down here towards the birth canal. See you soon!