Tracking The Development Of A Fetus

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The creation of a human being is a remarkable event in itself, and given the sheer magnitude of the developmental changes that take place for the fetus in such a short amount of time is nothing short of amazing. Tracking the development of a fetus is primarily broken down week by week. Although we often generalize into nine months or three trimesters, it takes places over the course of approximately 37 to 41 weeks. The gestation period is the time span between conception and birth, and while it is difficult to pinpoint the exact moment of conception we typically consider the beginning of a pregnancy to be the first day of the woman’s last period or menstrual cycle. A nine-month pregnancy breaks down into three trimesters. The first trimester is week one thru week twelve; the second trimester takes place from week thirteen thru week twenty-seven; and the third trimester is week twenty-eight thru week forty or the birth. Because the exact date of conception is not usually known, weekly development of the fetus can vary a little. During the first two weeks, the mother is not even pregnant yet. Week 1 is the first week of her menstrual cycle; and during the second week, the ovary releases an egg to flow into the fallopian tube. At this point, the mother can become pregnant and if a sperm makes it to the egg in the fallopian tube, conception begins. At this point, it is called a zygote and has half of its DNA from each parent. During week 3, the zygote makes its
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