Pregnancy: Weeks 15-18
In the fourth month, your baby's face looks more human. Her eyes, which started out on the sides of her head, have moved closer together. Her very thin skin is covered with hair (which usually disappears before she's born).
Week Number 15
- Blood vessels can easily be seen through the skin, which is very thin and translucent.
- The legs are longer than the arms.
Week Number 16
- The fetus can make a fist, open its mouth, move its lips, and swallow.
- The fetus might suck its thumb.
- Fine lanugo hairs can be seen on the head.
- The nails are well formed.
- The heart is beating 117 to 157 times per minute.
- The stomach is producing digestive juices.
- The kidneys are producing urine.
Week Number 17
- Brown fat begins to form.
- The rapid growth rate begins to slow down.
- White fatty material begins to enclose the nerve fibers of the spinal cord.
- Between the 17th and 20th weeks hearing develops; the fetus can hear internal-organ and outside-world sounds.
Week Number 18
- The skeleton can be clearly outlined on x-rays of the fetus.
- Ears stand out from the head.
- Lanugo covers the entire body.
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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth © 2004 by Michele Isaac Gliksman, M.D. and Theresa Foy DiGeronimo. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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