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Summary of fetal growth and development:
0-4 weeks after conception:
1. Rapid Growth.
2. Formation of embryonic plate.
3. Primitive central nervous system forms.
4. Heart develops and begins to beat.
Limb buds form.
4 - 8 weeks:
1.Very rapid cell division occurs.
2.Head and facial features develop.
3.All major organs laid down in primitive form.
4.External genitalia present but sex is not distinguishable.
5.Early movements visible on ultrasound from 6 weeks.
8 -12 weeks:
Kidneys begin to function and the fetus passes urine from weeks.
1.Fetal circulation starts functioning.
2.Sucking and swallowing present.
4.Moves freely (not felt by mother)
12 - 16 weeks:
1.Rapid skeletal development - visible on x-ray.
2.Meconium present in gut.
4.Nasal septum and palate fuse.
16 - 20 weeks:
1.Quickening - mother feels fetal movements.
2.Fetal heart heard on auscultation.
3.Vernix caseosa appears.
4.Finger-nails can be seen.
5.Skin cells begin to be renewed.
20 - 24 weeks:
1.Most organs become capable of functioning.
2.Periods of sleep and activity present.
3.Responds to sound.
4.Skin red and wrinkled
24 - 28 weeks:
1. Survival may be expected if born.
2. Eyelids reopen.
3. Respiratory movement present.
28 - 32 weeks:
1. Begins to store iron and fat.
2. Testes descend into scrotum.
3. Lanugo disappears from face.
4. Skin becomes pale and less wrinkled.
32 - 36 weeks:
1. Increased fat makes the body more rounded.
2. Lanugo disappears from body.
3. Head hair lengthens.
4. Nails reach tips of fingers.
5. Ear cartilage soft.
36 - 40 weeks:
1. Term is reached and birth is due.
2. Contours rounded.
3. Skull firm.
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