Pregnancy is such a special time, and when you look past the morning sickness, your ever-changing body, and the aches and pains- you can embrace the joy and the miracle growing inside of your womb. There are so many changes that happen weekly, and even daily. After all, it only takes 37-40 for a baby to grow from a tiny embryo to an infant! If you’ve seen your ultrasound photos and ever wondered about what really is going on in there- here are some fun facts about the extraordinary human journey that is pregnancy.
Five Fun Stages of Fetal Development
- At only 5 weeks gestation (before many women even know that they are pregnant), your baby’s heart, brain, and spinal cord nerve cells are beginning to develop. External features are also beginning to form during this rapid time of growth.
- Your baby’s heart starts pumping oxygen-rich blood cells from mom very early on, and by the eight week is beating regularly about 160 times a minute. You may have already heard this precious sound through an ultrasound. On average, between fertilization and birth, your baby’s heart will beat approximately 54 million times!
- Your baby can hear both inside and outside of the womb at 16 weeks! Most of the ear structures required to pick up sound are formed at this time. Your uterus is actually very noisy, and your baby is busy listening to your heartbeat, your breathing, and all of the other sounds inside your body. Meanwhile, on the outside, your little one can listen to you talk and sing, and may actually find these sounds very comforting. Research has shown that babies actually react to mom’s voice while inside the womb! There have also been studies done to show that music can be very calming to your baby.
- Your baby’s tiny eyes are fully developed by 20 weeks and they open around weeks 26-28. While their vision is a bit blurry, they do react to light. Try shining a flashlight on your belly, or head out into the sunshine to see what happens! You may feel some kicks or your baby shifting positions.
- Your baby can actually taste what you eat! Multiple studies have shown that throughout your pregnancy, your little one will taste certain foods since taste and smell travel through the amniotic fluid. While this does not harm your baby in any way- the interesting result is that your baby can develop certain food preferences based off of what you eat during your pregnancy! Some woman will switch up their diet during their pregnancy to introduce different tastes and smells to their baby.