Stages of Prenatal Development
Stages of prenatal development can be divided into three stages, and each of these stages involves the development and formation of certain body organs and systems. The gestation process an embryo undergoes from fertilization to childbirth is known as prenatal development. Prenatal development is also referred as embryology or antenatal development. The stages of prenatal development are divided in such a way to simplify the study of the child‘s growth and health. This article focuses on the various stages of prenatal development.
Prenatal Development – Stages
In order to reach readiness for birth, a child takes 40 week or nine months. During this time a lot of changes occur in a mother’s body as well to the child’s body. Prenatal development gives a clear picture of the development of the child in the womb.
Stage 1 – Conception Stage
- During the first two weeks of pregnancy, conception stage occurs. This process prepares the body itself for the pregnancy and takes the necessary steps in order to enhance the process.
- During the conception stage the body grows a thick layer of blood-perfused tissue in the womb.
- The process of the conception stage lasts two weeks and after that the eggs reaches the uterus where it starts growing.
- Thus, the conception stage is more of a preliminary and preparatory process for prenatal development.
- It prepares the body for the impending pregnancy.
Stage 2 – Embryonic Stage
- The embryonic stage begins when the egg reaches the uterus. This is one of the most important stages of prenatal development. This stage continues until 11 weeks of pregnancy, and during this stage a lot of care and precaution should be taken.
- Cellular division is happening during the fourth week, and divisions are made between the cells.
- Around the sixth week, the baby’s arms, legs, and heartbeat are developed. This process continues until the eighth week, and during this time the teeth and intestine also begins to form
- At the end of eleventh week the embryonic stage ends. The child starts developing all the major organs, various joints in the body, and the central nervous system.
Stage 3 – Fetal Development
- This stage is the last amongst the stages of prenatal development. At this stage the baby is called fetus.
- During the sixteenth week the baby starts developing nails, vocal cords, genitals, hardened bones, and hair.
- By the twentieth week the heart starts pumping the blood each day and hiccups are experienced by the baby.
- By the end of twenty–fourth week prenatal development slows down. At this stage the child has formed eyebrows, eyelids, and the child weighs about 1 pound or so.
- Slowly the lungs start getting developed and at the end of twenty-eighth week the lungs starts breathing air to prepare for birth.
- The nostrils start opening, the ligaments start forming, and the child is able to open his/her eyes.
- At the end of fortieth week the organs, formation of lungs, and other body parts are ready.
- The child starts fattening and developing necessary immunities.
- The child is ready to come into this world by the thirty-seventh week.