Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Week 14--Developments and Changes

Today officially marks the start of the second trimester (some resources say week 13, but all agree that by week 14 you are definitely in the second tri). The baby now is between 3.2 to 4.5 inches long and weighs between 1 and 2.5 ounces. This week, apparently, my child will start to look like a monkey, as it develops a soft, fine hair over its body called lanugo. Lanugo provides protection to the developing skin and should be shed before he or she is born. The baby's sex is also well defined at this point, even though we're still not sure if we'll find out the sex or not.
Other fetal development that is occurring around week 14 of pregnancy includes the following:
  • The ears have moved from the neck onto the head
  • The digestive glands are complete
  • The vocal cords are complete
  • The thyroid gland starts to produce hormones
  • The baby begins to practice inhaling and exhaling
  • The baby's chin no longer rests on his or her chest
  • For boys, the prostate gland is developing
  • For girls, the ovaries move from the abdomen into the pelvis
  • The hands are becoming functional.
The baby is now receiving all of its nutrients from the placenta, which has also taken over all hormone production from the ovaries. So that's what is happening with our little one. It's still hard to believe that there is a life growing inside of me, but I'm sure it will become more real once I can start to feel some movements (although Dr. appointments where we hear the heartbeat and ultrasounds help too).
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