A pictorial guide to fetal development week by week
Nine months can seem like a long time to meet the little person growing inside you. Wouldn't you like to be able to sneak a peek into the womb and see how your baby is growing?
Our gallery of fetal images, drawn by a certified medical illustrator, shows what's happening in your belly from pre-conception until your pregnancy is full term. Browse through the gallery to see how big your baby will be each week, and when the major milestones of development will occur. Watch as his fingers form, his eyelids open and he grows bigger and stronger until he's ready to be born.
First Trimester Fetal Pictures
The first trimester is a time of enormous change. Our first series of fetal development pictures starts off before you're even pregnant, as the ovary prepares to release an egg. Follow its journey from ovulation to fertilization and implantation, and then see how a single cell becomes first an embryo and then a fetus. Around the 7th week, your baby's heart starts beating and by the end of the first trimester he has eyes, ears and twenty tiny fingers and toes!
Second Trimester Fetal Pictures
In the second trimester, your baby's internal organs are maturing, his skeleton is hardening and he begins to grow hair and fingernails. His senses start to develop, and his movements become strong enough for you to feel. Our pictures of fetal development show how he can make facial expressions, suck his thumb, and finally open his eyes by the end of this trimester.
Third Trimester Fetal Pictures
The major changes are slowing down now, but your baby continues to grow, and so does your belly! During the third trimester, your baby plumps up as he puts on a fat layer under the skin, and his head gets bigger and rounder as his brain develops. The last series of pregnancy pictures shows the baby filling out, and conditions in the uterus getting more and more cramped. The average baby will go from about 2.5 pounds to around 7 or 8 pounds in these last 13 weeks.
Your Pregnancy Week by Week
You may not get to see your baby growing and developing, but those aren't the only changes going on from week to week. You're certainly aware of changes in your own body, and you may be wondering what's normal and what's cause for concern. For more detail about how your baby is growing, what to expect in your own body, and how to maintain a healthy pregnancy, check out our Pregnancy Week by Week section.