The beginning of the fetal period

Your Child

The beginning of the fetal period

At week 10, the most critical stage is now over. It’s the end of the embryonic period and the start of the fetal stage. 

The three stages of development
The first two weeks after conception are known as the germinal stage. Then came the embryonic period. This week, the little embryo has acquired its basic form and is referred to as a fetus. During this last period, Your Child’s organs become fully developed, and the brain begins to take control of the body.

Begins to look like a baby
Your Child’s eyes and eyelids are more developed, and eyebrows are beginning to grow. The jawbone is beginning to form and already contains the future milk teeth, which will break through the gums when the baby is around 6 months old.

Movements become visible
Your Child is still so tiny and has plenty of room to move in your warm, protective amniotic fluid. Even if you can’t feel those movements yet, they might be visible in an ultrasound scan.

Hand and feet
Paddle-like hands and feet will now separate into fingers and toes. Your Child’s nails are starting to form. Your baby is getting more active, moving the little arms and legs as they continue to develop muscles and the bones begin to harden.

Amniotic fluid and blood cell
Your Child’s lung tissue is continuing to develop. Amniotic fluid surrounds Your Child on the outside, and your baby does swallow it. But don’t worry, ingesting amniotic fluid isn’t harmful to your growing baby. In fact, the exchange of fluids helps Your Child’s lungs develop. Cells in the tiny hollows of the baby’s bones will soon start making blood cells, a function that until now has been the job of the liver and spleen.

The brain
The outline of Your Child’s spine is clearly visible through translucent skin, and spinal nerves are beginning to stretch out from the spinal cord. Your baby’s forehead temporarily increases with the developing brain and sits very high on the head, which still measures half the length of the body.

The yolks sac shrinks
The yolk sac, which provided your baby with nutrients before the placenta developed, is now beginning to shrink. 

If you’re growing a baby boy, Your Child’s testes start producing the hormone testosterone right about now.


Dr. Wanwadee Sapmee Panyakat (OB-GYN) (10 April 2019)


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