Baby This Month
Your unborn child has now advanced from raisin to raspberry size — about a half inch in length. By the end of the month, she will be about an inch long (like a good-sized grape). The fetus is lengthening and straightening from the shrimp-like, curled form it held last month. The tail she was sporting disappears around week 8, and her closed eyes start to move from the sides of the head to their permanent location. The face is further defined by a nose and jaw, and the buds of twenty tiny baby teeth are present in the gums by week 10. The palate and vocal cords also form around this time, although baby isn't ready to make herself heard just yet.
Important organ systems are nearly completed by the end of this second month. The right and left hemispheres of your baby's brain are fully formed, and brain cell mass grows rapidly. Soft bones begin to develop, and the liver starts to manufacture red blood cells until the bone marrow can take over the job in the third trimester.
Boy or girl? Although external sex organs begin to differentiate this month, they won't become visible on an ultrasound until around week 16 to 20. If you're scheduled for an amniocentesis, the gender of your child can be definitively determined at that time. Then again, you might enjoy the element of surprise waiting until birth to find out your baby's gender.
Your unborn baby is also giving his brand new organs a workout. Heart chambers form, the pancreas begins to produce insulin, and the liver secretes bile. The stomach produces gastric juices while the intestines, which have developed in the umbilical cord, move up into the abdomen by the end of the month.
Floating in about 1.5 ounces (approximately ten teaspoons) of amniotic fluid, your baby has plenty of room for flexing the muscles she is now developing. Because of her small size and spacious accommodations, chances are you won't notice these movements now. At about week 18 to 20, when the second trimester is in full swing and her quarters become a bit closer, you will feel the first flutterings, known as quickening.
If you are at risk for passing on a hereditary health condition to your child, you may choose to be scheduled for a chorionic villus sampling (CVS) at the end of this month. A CVS is typically administered between weeks 10 and 12 and involves taking a small sample of placental tissue for laboratory analysis. (See Chapter 5 for details.)