When Does Human Life Begin?

  • Conception sperm fertilizes egg
  • Fertilized egg implants in lining of uterus
  • Mother misses first menstrual cycle
  • Eyes developing
  • Foundation laid for brain and spinal cord
  • Heart beats regularly (24 days)
  • Arm and leg buds appear
  • Muscles forming
  • 1/4 inch long -10,000 times larger than the fertilized egg

At 8 weeks, you swam freely in the amniotic sac with a natural swimmer’s stroke. Your mother didn’t feel you until about 4 1/2 months into the pregnancy. (This little one pictured left is only 6 weeks old).

At this stage you were approximately the length of an adult thumb. You could respond to painful stimuli, such as a needle prick, and could grasp an object and make a fist. Each of your organs were present. Your heart beat sturdily, your stomach provided digestive juices, your liver make blood cells and your kidneys began to function.

By 9 weeks, you were cute as a button – with large eyes, a fine little nose, and a mouth which occasionally sucked a tiny thumb.  Since you were still so small and not cramped for space you had plenty of room to move.  Even though your mother couldn’t feel you yet, you had already perfected a somersault, backflip and scissor kick.

  • Can hear
  • Begins to hiccup
  • Fingers can grasp object
  • Lung and brain growth largely complete
  • Eyelids close if touched
  • Baby moves vigorously
  • 3 inches long
  • Looks like a tiny human doll

By 16 weeks, you were 5 1/2 inches long and weighed nearly a pound. You had fingernails and eyelashes.

Throughout your time in utero, you were nourished with food, water and oxygen by your mother through the placenta. May quadruple weight in 4th month.

  • Grows from 4 inches at 13 weeks to 6 inches at 16 weeks
  • Heart pumps 6 gallons of blood each day
  • Downy hair covers body
  • Mother feels baby moving
  • Weighs 1 lb. (5 months)
  • 1 foot long
  • Has chance to survive outside the womb
  • Fingernails and toenails present
  • Mother feels baby hiccup
  • Weighs 3 pounds. (7 months)
  • Lungs continue to mature
  • Fat deposits make skin smoother

At the end of the ninth month, baby weighs 7-1/4 pounds, is 20 inches long.

Above  image – 20 weeks gestation.

Click on this link to see the amazing process of human development