The miracle of life begins when the sperm of a father unites with the egg cell (ovum) of a mother. The two cells then combine and become a single living cell. At this exact moment, a whole new life has begun.
- The cell starts dividing, from one to two, then from two to four, and so on.
- The cells is so small it cannot be seen by the naked eye.
5 - 9 Days
- The new life attaches to the soft wall of the uterus.
- Even at this stage, the gender of the child can already be determined.
14 - 35 Days
- The mother first misses her menstral period
- The heart of the baby is already beating around day 18.
- Arms and legs of the baby are budding
- The pituitary gland in the brain is forming
- The mouth, ears and nose of the baby begin to take shape.
- The skeleton is formed.
- The brain begins to co-ordinate movement of muscles and organs
- Brainwaves can be recorded.
- Buds of milk teeth are beginning to form.
- The ears of the baby may even resemble the family pattern!
- The baby is now about 3cm in length and weighs only one gram.
- The baby has fingerprints
- At this point, the baby will bend his/her fingers around an object placed in the palm.
- Thumb sucking occurs at this stage
- The baby squints, frowns and smiles.
- Hair begins to grow on the baby’s head
- The child now swims, turns, and somersaults in the mother’s womb
- Even at this early stage, the mother begins to feel the movements of the baby.
- A wonderful experience occurs at this point — the baby hears and may even recognise his/her mother’s voice!
- Sleeping habits are formed but the baby responds to sounds even adults fail to detect.
- The child is now 23cm in length and a weighs 640 grams.
- Babies born at this stage and even earlier have survived.
- The lungs are already developed and often, ready to function.
- Little teeth are formed in the baby’s delicate mouth
- The baby finds his/her “home” a little cramped and moves around to be more comfortable.
- The baby moves down into the mother’s pelvic cavity, usually head first
- The baby stops growing and triggers labour.
- It’s been 255-275 days since conception, from a single living cell.
The milestones listed have been documented by scientific research. Slight variations, of hours or days, may exist and future research may show that some milestones occur earlier than is now being realised.