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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.

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

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