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First Trimester Fetal Development

More than 89% of all abortions in the United States are performed before the end of the first trimester (12 weeks) of pregnancy. Here are just a few amazing developments that take place within the womb during that time.

The circulatory system develops and the baby’s heart begins to beat. An ultrasound shows the visual image of a heartbeat at 5 weeks gestational age.

Basic facial features form, complete with eyelids, nostrils, outer ears, lips, and tooth buds. Detailed facial structure, such as the chin, nose, and mouth are apparent.

The baby has grown from one cell to nearly 3 inches long and weighs almost 1 ounce. Hair color, eye color, height, body frame size and shape were all determined at conception.

The baby makes spontaneous movements with his or her new muscles, bone, and connective tissues.

Speaking of gender, the baby’s external genitalia are visible through ultrasound.

Tiny finger and toes are complete with soft fingernails and toenails. Wrists, elbows, knees, and knuckles are visible.

The brain is active and rapidly growing by 250,000 neurons every minute.

Sources: National Library of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Baptists for Life, and the National Institutes for Health.

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