by Pam Otis
Have you felt the wonder?
A woman may not be consciously aware the moment she has conceived a child in her womb, nonetheless, LIFE has begun! Has your heart felt the wonderment of being a mother instantly when after your pregnancy test you heard the words pronounced, “You are pregnant?”. Yes, an event has happened. Life within your womb has become flesh. Those words echo the reality that has occurred. You are the mother of that life which has no hesitation in actualizing that YOU are “Mother” and NEEDS you to be so.
The development of the child begins immediately at the moment of conception and the first weeks of gestation can be understood simply, yet profoundly. Here are the first 23 weeks of pregnancy.
- Visible signs occur during the 3rd to 6th weeks. Vital organs are already developing and that is usually when a woman experiences the first thoughts, “I am pregnant.” Blood vessels start about 13 – 18 days after fertilization. 20th day, the foundation of the brain, spinal cord and nervous system has begun. Near the 22nd day the heart begins to beat.
- 4th week – eyes, esophagus, gallbladder, liver, lungs, pancreas,
pharynx, stomach and trachea begin to form. The 26th – 28th day arms, legs begin to form, the mouth opens for the first time. Muscle building blocks appear for 40 pairs of muscles, intestines and larynx are defined. Spinal nerves begin to form. 33rd day intellect and motor activity begin along with forearms and shoulders.
- 5th week – Kidneys develop, the face starts to appear “human” with jaws and ears.
- 6th week – eye, eyelids, and fingers
- 7th week – heart is contracting 40-80x/min
- 8th week – few, if any new structures begin to form. The remainder time is for maturation of the already present body parts. Breathing begins and has been linked to mother’s eating pattern, limb stretching begins.
- 10th week – child’s sex is visible
- 12th week – sucking and swallowing begin.
- 13th week – changing positions within the womb.
- 14th – 22nd week – eye movements, child’s heart rate follows changes in mother’s heart rate.
Life has truly begun in your womb upon the moment of your child’s conception. Pregnancy care is essential as soon as possible. There are excellent pregnancy resources that are free to anyone seeking counseling, assistance, or other care of a variety of needs. WE are here for YOU and YOUR CHILD. Let US celebrate with you that new LIFE within you!
About the Author
Former Birthright of Pittsburgh volunteer.