Michigan Christians for Life

What happens after conception?

First of all conception occurs when the father's sperm penetrates the mother's egg cell.   Genetic instructions from parents interact to begin a new and unique individual - no bigger than a grain of sugar.

Then the following things happen:

1st. day:  The first cell divides into two, the two into four, and so on.

5-9 days:  The new person burrows into the wall of the womb. At this point the gender can be determined.

14 days:  Mothers's menstrual period is supressed by a hormone produced by her baby.

18 days:  Heart is forming; eyes developing.

20 days:  Foundations of brain, spinal cord and nervous system are laid.

24 days:  Heart begins to beat.

28 days:  Muscles are developing along the future spine.  Arms and legs are budding.

30 days:  Baby has grown 10,000 times to 6-7mm. (1/4 in.) long.  Brain has human proportions.  Blood flows in veins (but stays separate from mother's blood).

35 days:  Pituitary gland in brain is forming.  Mouth, ears and nose are taking shape.

40 days:  Heart's energy output is 20% of adult's.

42 days:  Skeleton is formed.  Brain coordinates movement of muscles and organs.  Reflex responses have begun.

43 days:  Brain waves can be recorded.

45 days:  Spontaneous movements have begun.  Buds of milk teeth have appeared.

7 Weeks:  Lips are sensitive to touch.  Ears may resemble family pattern.

8 Weeks:  Baby is well-proportioned, small-scale baby, 3cm. (1 1/8 in.) sitting up and a gram (1/30 oz.) in weight.  Every organ is present.  Heart beats sturdily.  Stomach produces digestive juices.  Liver makes blood cells.  Kidneys begin to function.  Taste buds are forming.

9 Weeks: Baby will bend fingers around an object placed in the palm.  Thumb sucking occurs.  Fingernails are forming.

10 Weeks:  Body is sensitive to touch.  Baby squints, swallows and frowns.

11 Weeks:  Baby urinates, makes complex facial expressions - even smiles.

12 Weeks:  Vigorous activity shows distinct individuality.  Baby can kick, turn feet, curl and fan toes, make a fist, move thumbs, bend wrists, turn head, open mouth and press lips tightly together.  Breathing is practiced.

13 Weeks:  Face is prettier, facial expressions resembling parents.  Movements are graceful.  Vocal cords are formed (but without air baby cannot cry).  Sex organs are apparent.

4 Months:  Baby can grasp with hands, swim and turn somersaults.

4 - 5 Months:  Mother senses movements.

5 Months:  Sleeping habits appear.  Baby responds to sounds in frequencies too high or low for adults to hear.

6 Months:  Fine hair grows on eyebrows and head.  Eyelash fringe appears.  Weight is about 640g. (1 lb. 6 oz.) and height 23 cm. (9 in.). Babies born at this age have survived.

7 Months:  Eye teeth are present.  Eyelids open and close, eyes look around.  Hands grip strongly.  Mother's voice is recognized.

8 Months:  Weight increases by 1Kg. (over 2 lbs.) and baby's quarters get cramped.

9 Months:  Baby triggers labor and birth occurs, usually 255-275 days after conception.  Of 45 generations of cell divisions before adulthood, 41 have already taken place.

Adapted from "Milestones of Early Life" by Heritage House 76, Inc.  The milestones listed above 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 realized.

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