Fetal Development
(according to the Ohio Dept of Health)

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The following text is extracted from the booklet Fetal Development & Family Planning by the Ohio Department of Health. This is not the entire contents of the booklet, but it is the entire text of the chapter on fetal development. We have had to omit the photographs, which is too bad because they are excellent, but they are copyrighted and we do not have permission to reproduce them.

Note that this material was not written by "anti-abortion activists"; it was written by medical experts from the Department of Health.


Fetal Development

Day One

Development begins on the day of fertilization.

A pregnant woman may notice her first missed menstrual period at the end of the second week after conception, or about four weeks after the first day of her last normal period.

There are different kinds of urine tests for pregnancy. Some may not be accurate for up to three weeks, or five weeks after the first day of your last normal period.

2 weeks
(4 WEEKS after the first day of the last normal menstrual period)

By the 25th day, the heart begins to beat.

4 weeks
(6 WEEKS after the first day of the last normal menstrual period)

6 weeks
(8 WEEKS after the first day of the last normal menstrual penod)

8 weeks
(10 WEEKS after the first day of the last normal menstrual period)

The embryo begins to form arms, legs, hands, toes and a face

10 weeks
(12 WEEKS after the first day of the last normal menstrual period)

The fetal heart beat can be detected electronically.

12 weeks
(14 WEEKS after the first day of the last normal menstrual period)

The doctor can often tell you if the fetus is a boy or a girl by special tests.

14 weeks
(16 WEEKS after the first day of the last normal menstrual period)

16 weeks
(18 WEEKS after the first day of the last normal menstrual period)

The fetus can kick, swallow, and sleep.

20 weeks
(22 WEEKS after the first day of the last normal menstrual period)

The fetus has been moving for several weeks. Now the woman begins to feel these movements.

24 weeks
(26 WEEKS after the first day of the last normal menstrual penod)

About 4 out of 10 babies born now will live

28 weeks
(30 WEEKS after the first day of the last normal menstrual period)

At 28 weeks, the fetus has lungs that can breathe air

36 weeks
(38 WEEKS after the first day of last normal menstrual period)

38 weeks
(40 WEEKS after the first day of the last normal menstrual period)

The baby has reached full term and is ready to be born


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Posted 9 Sep 2000.

Uncopyrighted work. Public record.
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