Human gestation, the approximately 266-day
period between fertilization and
birth, is a miraculous period of growth
and development. Scientific research of the past decade
has been able to determine much information about
the unborn fetus. The photograph on the left is proof of technological
advancements as it is a picture of a fourteen week-old fetus. Following
is a sketch of the development of
the unborn entity from conception through
birth along with a description of the capacities and abilities
of an unborn fetus as summarized from Focus on the
Family's pamphlet "The First Nine Months"
Day 1: The sperm
and egg join to form one cell which contains 46
chromosomes and the genetic blueprint detailing all of
Day 20: The foundations
have been laid for the brain, spinal cord, and
Day 21: The heart begins to beat.
Day 28: Arms, legs, eyes, and ears have begun to appear.
Day 30: Blood is being pumped
throughout the circulatory system by the
Day 35: Each hand now consists of five defined fingers.
Day 40: Brain waves can be detected.
Week 6: The liver functions fully,
and the brain begins to control muscle
movement and organs.
Week 7: The jaw, teeth buds, and gums develop.
Week 8: The unborn child is now
referred to as a fetus and has everything
that is found in a fully developed adult.
Week 9: Fingerprints are apparent
in the skin, and the grasping reflex is
Week 10: Squinting, swallowing, and wrinkling
of the forehead are added
to the list of the fetus' abilities.
Week 11: The fetus begins to urinate,
and its face resembles a baby's
Week 12: The fetus exercises its muscles
by turning its head, curling its
toes, and opening and closing its mouth. The respiratory system
is in the process of developing as the baby breathes amniotic
Week 13: Hair is growing on the fetus' head, and the sex becomes apparent.
Month 4: The ears begin to function.
The umbilical cord transports 300
quarts of fluids per day.
Month 5: The fetus is approximately 12
inches long and reacts to loud or
Month 6: The oil and sweat glands begin
to function. A baby born now could
survive outside of the womb if given the proper care.
Month 7: The senses of vision, hearing,
taste, and touch are utilized by the
Month 8: As the skin thickens, a layer
of fat begins to be stored under the
skin for insulation and nourishment.
Month 9: The baby is now prepared for
birth toward the end of this month,
normally weighing between 6 and 9 pounds and fully capable of
life outside of the womb.
During this important prenatal period in everyone's life, the unborn being develops from a one-celled zygote to a baby ready to face the world. While in the womb, the unborn entity does begin to resemble a baby, and in many ways it functions as a baby would with a beating heart and brain waves to name a few ways. The unborn being clearly is human.
Ultrasound. This site explains obstetric
ultrasound which is utilized to monitor fetal development. This site
explains what obstetric ultrasounds are and why and when they are used. The different methods, transvaginal
scan and Doppler ultrasound, are also explained. Safety issues are also addressed. Finally, videos and images
are available along with a recording of how the beating heart sounds in an ultrasound.
Is the Unborn Baby a Human Being? This web site provides information describing prenatal development and
includes amazing photographs of the being in the womb. The question is then raised to determine if the unborn
being is human and if it deserves protection. Finally, abortion complications are addressed.
Return to the Biological Facts.
This page was made by
Christina Rutten, a student at Wayne State College,
on April 20, 1999. If you
have any questions or comments, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.