PREGNANCY HOTLINE: For immediate assistance, call 610-626-4006 or text 484-451-8104.

Development of the Unborn

“…[E]very human being is endowed with a dignity that must never be lessened, impaired or destroyed but must instead be respected and safeguarded…”

– Pope John Paul II 

The development of the unborn child is one of the most beautiful and profound mysteries known to man. It is crucial to understand the unparalleled value of the human person, especially the unborn, and to know how prenatal development occurs. Such an understanding will allow us to communicate just how much of an injustice abortion is. 

The First Trimester

  • 8 weeks – The hands and feet begin to development, along with neurological pathways in the brain.
  • 9 weeks – The unborn child can stretch her developing limbs, open his/her jaw, and sigh. In addition, the heart has completed its division into four separate chambers.
  • 10 weeks – Nails begin to develop on the hands and feet. The vital organs have further developed and begin to function.
  • 12 weeks – Neurons and neurological pathways are functioning so that the child develops reflexes and responds to touch. In addition, the child can now open and close his/her fingers and move his/her mouth.



The Second Trimester

  • 13 weeks – Fingerprints are visible and through the think skin that has developed, one can see the child’s vital organs.
  • 16 weeks – The unborn baby’s heart pumps approximately 25 quarts of blood each day.
  • 20 weeks – The Nervous System has experienced enough development so that the unborn child can feel pain. Furthermore, the unborn child can feel pain more intensely due to the fact that his/her pain inhibitors have not yet developed. The mother should be able to feel the child’s movements.
  • 24 weeks – The child is approximately one foot in length. The brain is experiencing a rapid period of development and the lungs are beginning to develop their branch-like shape. The child, with proper support, could survive outside of the womb.

The Third Trimester

  • 25 weeks – The child is considered “viable”. The hair continues to grow and the color and texture are distinguishable. The child is a little over a foot in length.
  • 27 weeks – The baby has regular sleep-wake cycles. The tissue of the brain continues to grow and expand. Interestingly enough, the mother could even feel if her child hiccuped!
  • 31 weeks – The child continues to develop a layer of fat under the skin and is very active in womb. It is known that the unborn can do somersaults in the mother’s womb.


More information can be found at: LiveAction