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What are some of the other milestones of fetal development?

Other important milestones of fetal development include:

  • At 9 weeks after conception, a fetus is able to bend its fingers around an object in its hand, and sucks its thumb. All essential organs have begun to form.
  • At 11 weeks, a fetus is breathing amniotic fluid steadily and will do so until birth.
  • At 12 weeks, a fetus can kick, turn over, make a fist, open its mouth and press its lips together.
  • At 13 weeks, a fetus’s vocal cords and auditory sense are present.
  • At 20 weeks, a fetus can be startled by a loud external noise.
  • At 23 weeks, a fetus can demonstrate rapid eye movements (REM).
  • At six months, fine hair grows on the fetus’s head and eyebrows, and small eyelashes begin to appear.
  • At seven months, a fetus’s hands can support his entire weight.
  • At eight months, a fetus weighs more than four pounds.
  • During the ninth month from conception, a fetus gains half a pound per week. Of the 45 total generations of cell replication that will occur by mature adulthood, 41 have already taken place.
Sources:

Clowes, Brian, PhD. The Facts of Life. Front Royal, VA: Human Life International, 2001.

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