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Serving the Catholic Communities of
Box Butte County


Holy Rosary

St. Bridget's

St. Agnes


























First Month: At fertilization, a new human life begins, complete with his or her own unique set of DNA, which is present from the first day of life. The new little person's sex is also determined from the beginning. During this first amazing month of life, the baby grows to 10,000 times his size at conception. By the third week, the baby's heart begins to beat.

Second Month: The developing baby is now called a "fetus," which is Latin for "Little One." She is making rapid progress developing all her external and internal organs. During the second month baby teeth form; fingers and toes are developing. Ears, nose, lips and tongue can now be clearly seen. Brain waves can be recorded. The skeleton changes from cartilage to bone. Forty muscle sets begin their first exercises. This Little One can now such her thumb. By eight weeks all body systems are present.

Third Month: The baby can now squint, swallow and move his tongue. He sleeps and awakens. Fingernails and toenails form. He now has his own unique set of fingerprints. Sensitive to touch, he will tightly grasp an object placed in the palm of his hand. He breaths amniotic fluid to help develop and strengthen the respiratory system, but he gets the oxygen he needs through the umbilical cord.

Fourth Month: The baby's brain has begun maturing - a process that will continue until she is about 14 years old. Her eyelids are now sealed shut and will re-open at seven months. Her taste buds are working. Nutrients consumed by her mother are passed on to her within an hour or two. Three hundred quarts of fluid a day are sent to the baby via the umbilical cord. Fine hair begins to grow on head, eyebrows and eyelashes. Facial expressions similar to the baby's parents can be seen at this time. This month's REMs (rapid eye movements) have been recorded -- a sign of dreaming.

Fifth Month: This month marks the half-way point to birth and the bay is very active. Sleep habits develop and his mother can feel him move and stretch, particularly when she is resting. He is big and strong enough to kick hard against the outside uterine wall and dent it. Up to now, although he swam with ease in his watery world, he was too small for her to detect because the inside wall of the uterus has no feeling. Babies born at this age have survived.

Sixth Month: The baby can now roll over inside the womb. Her oil and sweat glands are functioning. A white filmy layer called vermix covers the baby and protects her delicate skin from the surrounding amniotic fluid. This waxy substance will be quickly absorbed into her skin soon after she is born. She can now respond to sound. Her lungs are fairly well developed and she would stand a good chance of survival if born at this time.

Seventh Month: Beginning this month, the baby uses all four senses. His eyelids open and close and the eyes look around. The baby can taste, touch, cough, yawn and hiccups. He now recognizes his mother's voice. His grip is even stronger now than it will be after his birth. The hair on his head is growing longer and the downy covering on the rest of his body is disappearing. During this time, the baby will receive antibodies from his mother providing him immunity to a wide variety of diseases.

Eighth and Ninth Months: In the last two months, the baby continues to gain weight. She is developing a layer of fat that will keep her warm after birth. in the 9th month, she will shift to a head-down position, preparing for birth. Her lungs are now fully developed and capable of making the transition to breathing air. After birth, she will continue the human growth process for approximately the next 80 years.

Catholic Communities of Box Butte County - All Rights Reserved 2003.
Last updated 12/01/2004.