When a woman discovers she is pregnant, she and her partner frequently want to learn what will be happening to her. They want to know how the fetus will develop during the next several months. Pictures of the stages of pregnancy can help them better understand the process.
A pregnancy lasts approximately 40 weeks. This period is divided into trimesters of approximately thirteen weeks each. Pictures of the different stages of pregnancy can be classified by the week of the pregnancy or by the trimester. Frequently, the pictures will first be found by indicating the trimester of the pregnancy. Once that has been identified, one can then search for pictures of a particular week.
During the first trimester, the fertilized egg develops into a fetus with recognizable human characteristics. In the first two or three weeks, the fertilized egg is called a zygote and it floats through the fallopian tubes until it attaches itself to the uterus. By the third week, the zygote has gotten large enough to be considered an embryo. Though larger, the embryo is still too small to be noticeable, except with high-level technology, so few pictures of this stage will be available.
During the weeks of the first trimester, the embryo grows and develops the nubs that will become the head, the arms and the legs and it is referred to as a fetus. By the end of the first trimester, the fetus will have grown to about ¼ to ½ of an inch. Since the fetus is so small, there will be few recognizable details in any pictures.
Most of the common stages of pregnancy pictures are done by ultrasound. Ultrasound is similar to sonar. A tool much like a stethoscope is placed on the woman’s belly and sounds that cannot be heard by humans are sent into the belly. These sounds produce signals which bounce back to a screen. The screen displays a picture that is very similar to a black and white photograph. With ultrasound, it is possible to actually see the fetus as it develops.
During the second trimester, stages of pregnancy pictures begin to show more recognizable detail. The fetus grows in size during this period and its organs begun to function on their own. Arms and legs become recognizable and fingers and toes begin to develop. The fetus begins to move on its own. In the early weeks of this trimester, the fetus is so small that the gender may not be known if the fetus is not in a good position for a picture. As the trimester progresses, the fetus gets larger and more detail will emerge. Most ultrasound pictures start to be taken during this stage of the pregnancy.
During the third trimester the stages of pregnancy pictures show a fetus that is recognizable as a human infant. Most of the organs have developed by week 30, the last several weeks of the pregnancy allow the fetus to gain weight and a layer of fat that will allow the baby to survive on its own after delivery. Pictures look very similar to first baby pictures.