Month 2

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At 22 days, your embryo resembles a seahorse. It does not have a face yet, and the brain is unprotected. The heart takes up a lot of room and begins to beat. This new muscle is contracting. It plays a vital role because it distributes oxygen and nutrients to all the organs. The right side of the heart receives recycled blood, and the left side releases oxygenated blood into the body. The placenta provides oxygenation while the baby is in utero, and then the lungs take over after birth.

The embryo’s heart beats twice as fast as yours. Your physician or midwife will listen to its heart very often because it is an important indicator of good health.

At 24 days, your embryo measures about 4 mm. It will grow about 1 mm per day, and double in size in a week.

At week six, you can make out the vertebrae. There will be 32 or 33 vertebrae, which will then go down to 29. The vertebrae are not fused together, so the embryo trends stay curled up, but the muscles and the cartilage keep them separate. Tiny nerve clusters pass between the vertebrae and form a fragile network throughout the body. Between weeks six and seven, the nervous system begins to function and sends messages up the spinal cord to the brain, or the brain and the spinal cord send signals to all the muscles telling them to contract to create movement. The embryo is starting to look more like a human being: the head straightens, the body stretches out a bit, the brain begins to develop, and you can see the frontal lobe growing, as well as three lumps that are precursors of other major parts of the brain. The head looks way too large for the body and makes up about 25% of the newborn’s total length.

The nerve framework that enables us to sense things is formed very early on. Receptors are developing for touch, pressure and temperature. The eyes, nose, tongue and mouth are connected to the brain by nerve impulses.

In the seventh week, we can see the heart (which has been beating for two weeks), the hands and the first signs of fingers, the spine containing the spinal cord, the eyes starting to form and the initial phase of the brain. The mucous plug protecting the uterus from bacteria is firmly established.

In such a short time, your body has already changed with the first signs of pregnancy. You can feel some of the signs as your hormones levels rise: your breasts are tender, you can feel a heaviness in your lower abdomen, you have to urinate more often, you are sleepy, moody or nauseous, and salivating more than usual. You often get the impression that you get tired at the drop of a hat.

In the eighth month of life (Week 10 of your pregnancy), the embryo becomes a fetus!

It measures around 0.79 to 1.18 inches and weighs about 0.35 to 0.53 oz.

The heart has been beating for a month, and the arm, torso, and leg muscles have begun to move. All the organs are in place, although they are still small and immature, and they have yet to function in a coordinated way. This is when the embryo is considered to have successfully made it through the first stage of pregnancy and will keep growing into a viable baby.

Here are the major developments we can observe at this point:

In the brain, we can see the cerebral cells rapidly increasing, and the connections become more and more numerous. Nerve cells are growing at an amazing pace: over 100,000 per minute.

The umbilical cord is fully formed and has three blood vessels (one artery and two veins) that bring in nutrient-rich oxygenated blood and carry out waste.

Your circulatory system is totally separate from the fetus’s, which prevents certain substances absorbed by the mother from being passed through the placenta’s filter. That is why the mother can take some medications advised by a doctor without putting the fetus in danger. On the other hand, the placenta does not filter some substances, such as alcohol and tobacco, so they can endanger its development.

The feet develop after the hands, and the first signs of toes appear.

The fetus is floating in a pouch of water filled with amniotic fluid. This pouch of water is surrounded by a firmer membrane that protects the fetus.

Your uterus is larger and softer than before you were pregnant.

The placenta is doing its job producing all the hormones needed to keep your fetus comfortable and growing. The ovaries have stopped producing progesterone because the placenta has taken over. When the progesterone levels drop, the uterus begins contracting, and the baby is about to be born.

The placenta is growing as the baby develops to ensure it has enough room to move. It delivers the baby nutrients and oxygen throughout the pregnancy.

During the second month, the vital organs vital organs have already begun to work properly. 

The alimentary canal is fully formed, as are the esophagus, liver, and pancreas, which can already regulate incoming carbohydrates. The respiratory system begins forming around the heart. The sexual glands appear, but there is still no gender determination. The urinary system is forming, and we can see the rectum, anal canal, and bladder. We can clearly make out both hemispheres of the brain, and the pituitary gland. The upper limbs are a bit more developed than the lower limbs. 

Around the ninth or tenth week, the fetus’s face is for the most part fully formed.

The embryo already has eyelids and an upper lip, and the nose and ears are developing. The baby’s body is getting longer, and we can tell what will become the arms and legs. We can also see bones through its translucent skin. The skeleton is made up of cartilage that is still soft and there are no bones yet. Organs like the heart and liver are working and continue to grow.

At the end of the second month: the sense of touch appears after a few weeks due to the pressure of the amniotic fluid against the skin. Receptors first begin appearing around the mouth and then spread to the rest of the face, the palms of the hands, the bottoms of the feet and finally on the tips of the fingers. The fetus reacts to your caresses. Some babies even begin sucking their thumb, caressing their face, and playing with their umbilical cord. You can make contact with your baby just by pressing your hands on your belly.

Your changes: During the eighth week of pregnancy, your uterus gradually grows in size. As the uterus gets bigger and takes up more room, you’ll start feeling a little uncomfortable in the lower abdomen. You feel a bit strange, you’re hypersensitive, cry easily, or are easily irritated. You know you’re pregnant, but you’re not telling anyone yet. You’re extremely aware of the slightest physical sign, maybe you feel nauseous, you’re tired, and your breasts are swelling. Your body is changing, but no one can really tell yet; it all feels very odd.

You start remembering your childhood and your family, especially your relationship with your mother. You slowly begin realizing that you are about to become a mother, too. You are asking yourself a million questions, all while being extremely careful as you wait for the first three months to pass. 

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