The Whole Process of How A Baby Grows Up In The Womb

The magical moment  has arrived. Your gynecologist just confirmed you are on the family way. Yes, there’s a baby forming in your womb. There’s going to be a big change in your lifestyle for the next 36 to 42 months at best. All other things need to take the back seat. This is when infant care officially begins.

Preparing for the whole process of baby growing in the womb

The tiny human developing in the tummy will be your main concern from here on. Each month will present difficulties that would entail personal sacrifices, lots of them. It’s a long wait before birth date but a welcome period for your motherly instincts to develop. The ride may be bumpy but it’s all worth the wait.

Pregnancy does a lot of crazy things to the female not just physically but emotionally. Those are challenges that you need to overcome as the health and safety of your baby takes precedence. With the anticipated changes, it would be ideal to condition your mind and body for the whole nine yards until childbirth.

• Feel confident with your body and keep a cheerful attitude. Your baby is sure to pick-up the positive vibes you will radiate.

• Start a healthy diet and eat whole, nutritional foods and consume plenty of protein.Since you’re eating for two, you can keep your blood sugar level up. Eat small but frequent meals all through the day, changing the menu whenever possible. Watch this short video* to know the Top 10 Food to Eat While Pregnant.*

• Take plenty of liquid to keep your body hydrated. Water is sufficient. You can alsoease nausea by spicing up your water with a spoonful of sugar and a pinch of salt. This solution will rehydrate you quickly and counter your nausea.

• Be sure to get plenty of rest to gather strength. You can squeeze in naps in between meals and keep an early bed time schedule. You’ll need plenty of energy as your pregnancy progresses.

• Do not miss out on prenatal care where the state of your pregnancy and your baby’s development will be monitored. The schedule is monthly for 6 months then every two weeks on the 7th and 8th month. The final leg is weekly on the 9th month leading to delivery.

The First Trimester (1- 3 Months) – Critical Stage

The first trimester is the critical period of your pregnancy . As bodily changes occur, you’ll feel tired and bushed. It is also during this stage that the “morning sickness” manifests. The feeling is one of nauseous or sea-sickness. The cause is the hormone hCG which is very high in the morning.

First Month

o The magic begins when the fertilized egg grows and capsulized ina water-tight sac called the amniotic sac.It fills up with water to serve as cushion to the developing embryo.

o The placenta also develops and facilitates the transfer of nutrients from youto the baby.

o Your baby’s face will take form (mouth, jaw, and throat) and appears with a pair of large dark circles (eyes). Blood cells are appearing to begin circulation. At the end of the 4th week,your baby’s extra-tiny "heart" tube beats 65 times per minute. The sign of life is unmistakable.

Second Month

o Your struggle with the morning sickness continues. While you need to keep a healthy diet, you are likely to shun them and will eat only the food that you crave for. That’s part of conceiving.

o Meanwhile, your baby's facial features continue to develop. The pair of ears appears as very tiny skin folds at the side of the head. Tiny buds are forming too that will eventually be the pairs of arm and leg. Simultaneously, the eyes, fingers, and toes eyes are starting to form.

o Your baby’s head is larger in proportion to its full body. During the monthly check up or at about 6 weeks, your doctor can already detect your baby's heartbeat.

Third Month

o On the third month or after 8 weeks, your baby is already a fetus and no longer an embryo. The full human form is apparent - arms, ears, hands, fingers, feet, and toes. Your baby is now able to open and close its mouth and fists.

o Finger nails and toenails are starting to develop while the reproductive organs also develop. Finding out your baby's gender can’t be determined with certainty on ultrasound.

o As things progress, smell of certain foods still bother you. Force yourself to eat bland foods when nauseated but always stock up on food high in carbohydrates.

o As your first trimester of pregnancy comes to a close, your baby is fully formed. All the organs and extremities are present and in the process of maturing until all become functional. The circulatory and urinary systems are working with the liver producing bile.

o When this critical stage has lapsed, you can breathe easy knowing the risk of miscarriage is significantly diminished.

The Second Trimester (4-6 months) – Coolest Stage

The middle trimester of your 9 months pregnancy is when you are undeniably pregnant in appearance. The bulge is bigger now. This is also the energy building phase as you say goodbye to the morning sickness, fatigue, and the feeling of anxiousness.

Fourth Month

o Things turn for the better during the second trimester of pregnancy . Your nausea is over, anxiety dissipates and even your sex drive makes a comeback.

o You will be feeling more energetic with increased appetite.

o Inside the womb, your baby's eyelids, eyebrows, eyelashes, nails, fingers,hair,and toes are fully formed.

o Your baby’s heartbeat may now be distinct. Your doctor can use a Doppler for you to hear. Even the teeth and bones are solider. Your baby can suck the thumb, stretch out, yawn, and make facial expressions.

o The nervous system is beginning to function. The fully developed genitalia and reproductive organs can be seen on ultrasound.o You can now determine and confirm your baby’s gender on ultrasound if you can’t hold on to the surprise any longer.

Fifth Month

o Your baby is growing during this period and you can sense the movement are increasing in frequency. Your baby is actually developing and flexing muscles.o The first movement of your baby is called “quickening.”

o Hair on your baby's head begins to grow. The shoulders, back, and temples are sheltered by a soft fine hair called lanugo. This hair covering protects your baby and will disappear by the first week from birth.

o Your baby's skin is also insulated by a whitish coating called vernix caseosa. The "cheesy" substance protects your baby's skin from the extended soaking in amniotic fluid. The coating is also shed just before birth.

o Since you’re in the energy building stage, load up on foods that are rich in calcium, magnesium and vitamin-D for stronger bones and teeth. For brain development, foods containing omega-3 oils are the best bets.

o By the end of this month, your baby can weigh up to1 pound and measure 10 inches in length.

Sixth Month

o More transformation is happening inside your womb. The skin of your baby is wrinkled and turning reddish in color. The skin is still gleaming but the veins are visible.Your baby's finger and toe prints are noticeable. The eyes open up when the eyelids begin to part.

o Your baby is now responsive to sounds and you’ll also be thrilled with your baby’s jerking whenever he or she hiccups.

o By the end of the sixth month, your baby‘s weight is almost double at 3 pounds and length is about a one-foot ruler.

The Third Trimester (7-9 Months) – Homestretch

After the cool stage, you now move into the last leg of pregnancy. By this trimester, your baby has grown enormously. The extra pounds you’ve gained plus the weight of your baby begins to take its toll.

There is added pressureon your back so expect ache, pains and soreness. You will also experience discomfort in your pelvis and hips as your ligaments loosen in preparation for labor. In short, the third term is the most challenging stage of pregnancy.

Seventh Month

o The seventh month is the beginning of the countdown. As you prepare for labor, your baby is making preparations too. Your maturing darling will stock up on body fat. Movements are more vigorous now than ever before. The sudden kicks will startle, if not hurt, you at times.

o Your baby can now hear clearly. Together with frequent changes in position,your baby responds to stimuli, including light, pain, and sound.Better prepare a list of soothing lullabies to sing to your baby.

o The amniotic fluid begins to subside. At the end of this seventh month, your baby is heavier (up to 4 pounds max) and 2 inches longer than 1 foot.

Eight Month

o Your baby’s growth is unstoppable and by this time, she will be stashing more body fat. The kicks are escalating.The brain is developing at a furious pace. Your baby’s sense of sight and hearing has expanded. Most, if not all, internal systems are well developed except for the lungs that are still to reach maturity.

o You’ll start to feel mild contractions which are glimpses of what to expect when the real labor comes. The so-called Braxton Hicks contractions are not as intense as the real labor contractions. However, they’ll feel a lot like labor but in a lesser degree. Sooner or later the contractions will progress to it.

o You’ll know the real contractions when the time in between is getting shorter within creasing intensity.

o Your baby’s length has extended to about 18 inches and weighs close to 5 pounds.

Ninth Month

o By the final month of pregnancy, your baby’s lungs are fully established.

o Reflexes are more synchronized. Your baby can blink and close her eyes. Your baby can turn its the head without strain, clutch firmly, and actively react to light, touch and sounds.Your baby is showing impatience and waiting for the moment to come out.

o The activity inside your tummy has lessened. The space inside your womb has become tighter, leaving no room or space for your baby to move in the uterus.

o Your baby then will instinctively change position for the upcoming labor and delivery.Your baby descends in your pelvis with the head down in the direction of the birth canal.

o Once your baby is firmly settled,you’ll feel electrical sensations running along your legs and vagina. These are caused by the baby hitting your nerves.

o Your baby will be writhing more than kicking. You can expect a few blows from your baby’s feet and knees. Sometimes there will be sharp kicks under either side of your ribs.

o As your due date draws near, you may start to see a yellowish fluid sneaking out from your nipples. This fluid, called colostrom, is essential and will nourish your baby in the first few days after birth. Baby is coming!

You can watch a recap of the First, Second, and Third Trimester of Pregnancy here.

The child bearing experience with your unborn baby will definitely be stored in your memory bank for a lifetime.But now that you’ve reached the tail end of your pregnancy, all difficulties, strain and backaches are of no consequence anymore. Make preparations for the coming of a new member of the family.

Fetal Brain Development

One of the key highlights during the growing up process of your baby in the womb is brain development. That is the reason why you have to be mindful of what you consume and put in your body on during pregnancy. It will have a significant impact on your child for the rest of his or her life.

The fetal brain passes through several stages of development as well.During pregnancy, 60% of the genes are dedicated to fetal brain development. By the time you give birth, your baby would have developed a total of one billion neurons. Here are the brain development milestones per trimester:

• First Trimester

The nerve cells are formed but are not developed as a brain yet. Impulses begin to emit although aimlessly, without pattern or direction. Sensory organs and nerves are not developed during the period, so the fetus does not feel pain.

During this trimester, it’s chiefly important to avoid chemicals and dangerous substances. This is the time of exponential growth. Healthy fats from natural foods are important because almost 70% of the new tissues are fat based.

• Second Trimester

Nerve functions are starting to synchronize and differentiate. The sensory organ begins development simultaneous with the nerves. By the fifth month, you baby will now start to feel, although the sensations they feel are very limited and inconsistent. The healthy fats provide faster development and healthier nerve connections.

• Third Trimester

The brain is now forming learning abilities and beginning memories. This is a time where you can expose your baby to sounds and soothing lullabies. This is a great occasion for bonding moments with your child before your face to face encounter.

All it takes is just 3 weeks from conception before the human brain begins to develop inside the womb. From the point of conception, little cells converge to set in motion the development of the most important organ of the evolving fetus.

You know how important the function of the brain is for adults and children.The brain process everything, from cognitive to motor reflexes as well as how people see,feel, and perceive the environment around.

Right when three weeks have elapsed, your baby’s brain will automatically divide itself into three fundamental sections. These sections comprise the forebrain, the midbrain, and the hindbrain.

Further on towards the later period of your pregnancy, each part will develop other important organs.The cerebrum will fill up most of the midbrain and take its position in the skull. Its main function is for recalling or remembering.

On the hindbrain, it is the cerebellum that will sit on it and will be responsible for directing control of balance and coordination.The forebrain is where the brain stem will hold everything together in the brain.

What are the peculiar things happening to your baby in the womb?

More peculiar but important things are happening while your baby is growing inside your womb.You may find it hard to believe that it but your baby is beginning to learn and acquire skills too before birth.

1. Your baby has a heart on the first month

Your baby will have a heart by the first month inside the womb. That’s the average time within which a baby develops a heart and starts using it.

2. Your baby is covered with hair

As mentioned earlier, your baby’s body is covered by fine hair called lanugo. A fine moustache will first develop then progressivelyspreads all over her body. The hair will eventually be shed into the amniotic fluid. Your baby will eatthem andexpelout after being born on her first poo. The substance iscalled meconium.

3. Your baby will grow more bones than you

By the time you give birth, your babywould have grown 300 bones in her tiny frame.Adults only have a total of 206 bones. Sometime soon, the bones in your baby's body will eventually merge together to have the same number of bones as adults.

4. Your baby is sleeping in the womb

Your baby will begin to sleep 4 weeks after conception. The REM sleep waves linked with the eye movements of dreams have been recognized by 30th week after conception. In that case, your little one might be starting to dream by then.

5. Your baby is urinating in the womb

In about 12 weeks inside your womb, your baby is alreadygenerating urine. Your baby willswallow the amniotic fluid thendigest it to besifted by her kidneys and urinated back into your uterus.

6. Your baby doesn't have knee caps

Inspect your baby after birth to see that she is born without knee caps. Babies won’t develop knee caps inside the womb. Your baby’s will develop knee caps 6 months after birth.

7. Your baby can detect flavors

Your baby can detect flavors in the womb because the food you eat alters the flavor of the amniotic fluid. From 15 weeks, your baby will exhibit preference for sweeter taste. Babies swallow more fluid when it's sweet and less when the taste is bitter or sour. 

8. You baby is reacting to noise

Starting on the 23th week, your baby can hear faint noises and in particularly, your heartbeat.Your baby can be startled by your sneezing and alarmed by your rumbling stomach.Sudden, loud noises will not damage your baby’s hearing in the womb as she is totally insulated in amniotic fluid.

9. Your baby is crying

Your baby will start to cry by the 26th week. There’s no cause for worry as your baby is merely practicing the technique before coming out. Besides, crying is a form of exercise as well as communication tool babies employ to convey a message.

10. Your baby can smell what you smell

Your baby’s sense of smell should be working by the 28th week. What you smell, your baby can smell too. Again you can’t see your baby’s facial expression when you both smell a pungent odor. Your baby is likely to move around when she finds the smell intolerable. 

11. Your baby is bouncing

Your baby will respond to your laughter. Although you don’t actually see your baby’s facial reaction, you can feel her bouncing up and down whenever you giggle or laugh. Your connection with your baby is developing on the 32th week.

12. Your baby knows your voice

If there’s one thing your baby will learn in the womb, it’s the sound of her mother’s voice. Your baby should be hearing voices or sounds from the outside sometime by the 4th month. The sounds from the outside are muted and subdued as the sound waves travel from the outside through your abdominal tissue then through the amniotic fluid that envelopes your baby.

However, your voice would resonate through your baby’s body, reaching her much easily. Since the two of you are inseparable, your baby will respond to you with an increased heart rate whenever you speak.That means too that your baby is more alert when you talk.Once born, your baby will immediately recognize the sound of your voice which would be the only voice she would love to listen to.

Healthy diet from conception to childbirth

A healthy, balanced diet will dictate your pregnancy. Your diet and the countless nutrients, or lack of it, you shall consume for the entire maternity period will have a direct and profound effect on your baby’s development and growth inside the womb.

Since it’s actually a meal for two every time, you have an obligation as well as the responsibility to provide your baby with the healthiest foods. You need to ensure that your baby acquires all the nutritional value from the foods you eat.You need to be strong too in preparation for labor and a problem-free delivery.

• The critical first month& the first 12 weeks

When your pregnancy is confirmed, you’re technically 2 to 2 ½ weeks on the family way. Once the realization that there’s a baby in the womb sinks in, things are bound to change. Your diet, in particular, would have to be altered that you’d be thinking “nutritional value” every time you eat a meal.

In general, the first month is the riskiest in maternity. Your baby’s brain development will begin so you’ll need to be exacting when it comes to your diet.At the onset, you should be conscious in keeping a healthy, balanced diet to ensure a healthy mom and baby.Every meal needs to contain the essential nutrients and vitamins.

  • Folate-Rich Foods should be included in your diet from the beginning. It is vital for sustaining your as well as the development of the embryo inside the womb. You can start eating asparagus, beans, broccoli, eggs, greens, oranges and potatoes. All of them are rich in folate. In addition, you can take supplements of organic folic acid
  • Vitamin B6 is the most important vitamin you should be taking during your first month diet. Vitamin B6 will help you counter the effects of nausea and vomiting which are the biggest concerns in the first trimester. You can opt to forego of medication and consume foods rich in Vitamin B6 like bananas, nuts, peanut butter, salmon, and whole grain among others.
  • Fresh fruits will always top the list when you’re looking for the perfect, healthy recipe. These mega foods contain ‘zero’ fats and would have a little bit of everything you need. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and water content. Other fruits are rich in fiber as well. Try to have at least 3 fruit servings daily. Fruits are the best to jumpstart your way to a healthy pregnancy.
  • Milk is the best source of calcium, folic acid, healthy fats, protein, water and Vitamin D. Other dairy products like ‘hard’ cheese and yogurt are equally good for you. The suggested daily milk or milk products consumption should at least be a litter.
  • Meats are safe to eat for the first month except for pork. Avoid eating seafood too if possible. Under cooked pork carries harmful bacteria and viruses. Some seafood or fish contains high measures of methyl-mercury which is not good for fetal development. All hygienically cooked meats are safe for moms-to-be with the exception of pork and seafood.
  • Iron-Rich Foods when consumed will work to bring about a steady flow of blood for you and your baby. More importantly, it is from the supply of iron rich blood where your fetus derives oxygen and nutrients. Your doctor will prescribe iron pills on the fourth month for added iron. Beetroot, beans, bran, chicken, dried fruits, mutton, oatmeal, and tinned tuna are all rich in iron.
  • Protein is best added to your diet.Don’t wait until the second and third trimesters. Load up on extra protein early on to ensure the proper supply of blood to your baby. Protein also aids in the normal development of muscles.
  • Calcium, at least 1,000 mg every day, should be taken by the second month.Your baby needs calcium as the bones are beginning to ossify. Dairy products and leafy green vegetables are great sources of calcium.
  • Sugary Foods are not harmful and prohibited contrary to the common notion.You would need sugar and carbohydrates to maintain the ideal target of 200-300 extra calories a day.
Remember that your weight gain does not immediately start in the initial stages.Natural sugars from fresh fruits and fruit juices and non-complex sugars from pancakes, puddings, and sweetened porridge will give you the extra energy to overcome the feeling of tiredness.

• Next 13 to 24 weeks

After your grueling bout with the morning sickness, your appetite will improve. New foods will have to be added to the foods and vitamins you’ve by now integrated in your diet. Your unborn child will need plenty more for brain development and others.

Your focus for the second trimester is growth. Your tiny baby is fully formed by the fourth month. Nearly every organ, including the brain, eyes, fingers, heart, kidneys, lungs, toes, and spinal cord are formed and functioning. For fine tuning of all the organs, a new diet to augment the first trimester’s plan is necessary.

  • High Fiberfoods like green vegetables, oats and whole grains are important not only for building a strong foundation but would be beneficial in the latter part of your pregnancy. Food with high fiber content would relieve, if not eliminate, constipation.You might as well add iron fortified whole wheat bread to complement your high fiber diet.
  • Omega3 Fatty Acids will play an important role during pregnancy. It is essential to your body and the bay because it lowers the risk of low birth weight and premature labor. Omega 3 fatty acids are “healthy fats” that also work to prevent mental and cognitive retardation. Your diet should contain adequate amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids.Fresh water fish (12 ounces a week), tinned tuna, olive oil and nuts are rich in them.
  • Fluid intake is vital during the 6th month. Monitor you intake of water and fruit juices to meet the experts’ recommendation of 6 to 8 glasses every day for your body’s replenishment.Drinking plenty of water will also allow your baby to draw the essential minerals found in in water. Naturally, fresh fruit juices give you the indispensable nutrients.

• 25 weeks to full-term

A new wave of food dishes and vitamins should form part of your diet for the third and final trimester. It’s time to build and boost your energy. Also, during this last leg leading to delivery, your diet should be focused on the health of your arriving baby.

Moderation is needed although you can eat a large meal then have frequent, small servings throughout the day. Your baby will not be deficient in daily nutrition.

  • The amount of extra calories you should be consuming on a daily basis is approximately 500. The dose has increased from the required minimum of 300 in the second trimester. If you are gaining weight faster than usual, you have to moderate consumption. Too much calories beyond the right amount have serious consequences for you and your baby including. Gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and premature birth points to excessive calories. Be sure to adjust your diet by avoiding processed foods that are dense in calories but lacking in nutritional value.
  • Vitamin D taken with calcium-rich foods rich will help your baby in growing strong bones and teeth. Only few foods contain a hefty amount of vitamin D like herring and cod liver oil but these are not regular fares. Even cow’s milk lacks the substantial amount. See the table of foods with Vitamin D content here.
  • ​Eating foods that are rich in magnesium will help your body absorb the calcium while providing relief when leg cramps set in. Taking 350 to 400 mg of magnesium daily will relax your muscles and avert premature labor. Your sources of magnesium can be from almonds, artichoke, barley, black beans, oat bran, and pumpkin seeds among others.
  • Vitamin K is the least mentioned among all vitamins since the minimum requirement for a pregnant woman and a female that is not are just the same. However, your body would need about 90 micrograms of vitamin K daily during pregnancy. Vitamin D is taken in moderation as excessive consumption could be harmful especially because the vitamin can thin your blood.
  • Taking vitamin K by the third trimester is equally vital as it helps accelerate healing after labor and childbirth. Further, a deficiency of vitamin K in pregnancy could be risky for the mother and the child. A condition that affects pregnant women in the third trimester is Cholestasis. You do not want the flow of file in the gall bladder to be disrupted. The symptoms would include appetite loss, dark urine, depression, fatigue, and severe itching. Therefore, the intake of vitamin K during pregnancy is significant and an absolute necessity.
  • As you prepare for the home stretch, it should be emphasized that eating foods that are rich calcium and iron should form a greater part of your diet in pregnancy. Blood loss is a major part of giving birth and extreme blood loss can be contained by iron-rich foods.

Food to avoid during pregnancy

When a baby is growing in the womb, you should know that smoking, drinking alcohol or using drugs are harmful to your baby. That’s a given since these things cause serious health problems and likely birth defects for your unborn child.

But in so far as your diet is concerned, there are certain foods that you need to side-step and avoid eating during your pregnancy.

  • Skip on soft and unpasteurized cheeses, such as blue, brie, and feta because they can breed dangerous bacteria called listeria. The bacteriacan cause miscarriage.
  • Deli meats are a delight but be sure to steam them first before eating to also prevent contamination from the dreaded listeria.
  • For seafood, better turn a blind eye on king mackerel, swordfish, tilefish and shark because of the inherent high mercury content. Consuming large amounts of mercury will severely damage your baby’s developing nervous system.
  • You should desist from eating raw or under cooked meat or eggs. They also carry a strain of bacteria that can lead to food-borne illnesses.
  • Limit or forego caffeine from coffee and soda. Don’t just shift to herbal without prior consultation with your doctor.

In effect, child development in the womb is co-terminus with the pregnancy period which lasts for about 280 days or 40 weeks. Delivery date is not precise but normally,first-time moms go eight days past their expected due dates.

About 50% of first time mothers deliver their babies more than a week late.Even in succeeding pregnancies, women can go past the due date, with three days late being the average and a delay of 14 days is still within normal range.

Your pregnancy is considered full-term at 37 weeks. In the last few weeks before birth, your baby drops lower into your pelvis. The activity is termed as ‘lightening’, meaning your baby is engaged and ready to spring out into the world.

This event can happen anywhere from 2 to 5 weeks before due date or earlier in some cases. Your trips to the bathroom become frequent because there is added pressure on your bladder.The last sign is the ‘meconium’ in your baby’s digestive system.

It’s the sticky, green substance that will form your baby’s first poo after birth. The wait is almost over.

Welcome to the world

The period of waiting and nervous anticipation is over.It’s a time of great joy.The owner of the baby things, baby movement monitor and gears you’ve bought in the last few months has arrived.

Finally, you’d be able to hold the little mortal you’ve nourished and cared for during the whole nine yards. If you’re excited, your baby is more ecstatic to meet you. Once your baby is born, a new phase in parenting begins. Life’s a ball when you’re raising a child.

I hope you found this article enlightening and we would appreciate if you can share some valuable insights from your own experience. You can comment or share this article for other readers who would be interested to know the whole process of how a baby grows in the womb.


Hello! I’m Rose Ingram and I’m happy of being mother of my two beautiful daughters. They are the most wonderful gifts that I receive in my life. Thanks for having them ‘cause it makes me feel how my life meaningful is. I am working as a designer, specialize in designing safe things for houses or schools to protect babies with utmost care….

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