12 Weeks Pregnant Belly 1st Baby

Your uterus has grown to the size of a grapefruit! Your healthcare provider can now feel the top of it (the fundus) low in your abdomen, above your pubic bone.

Miscarriage rate drops

If you’ve been worried about miscarriage (like many expecting parents), here’s some happy news: The risk drops significantly as your pregnancy progresses. Once you’ve had a first prenatal visit and seen or heard your baby’s heartbeat, the chance of miscarriage is very low.

Your baby is fully formed

All of your baby’s vital organs and body parts are in place. They’ll continue to develop throughout your pregnancy.

12 weeks is how many months?

You’re in your third month!

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Baby development at 12 weeks

Small movements

This week, your baby can open and close their hands (making a fist) and curl their toes.

Tiny fingernails

Your baby has itsy bitsy nails growing on their fingers and toes.

Your baby’s intestines

The stomach and esophagus started forming around 7 weeks of pregnancy, and your baby’s intestines grew so fast that they protruded into the umbilical cord. Soon, the abdominal wall will close and their intestines will make their way inside their abdomen.

Having twins?

Learn more about being 12 weeks pregnant with twins.

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Your baby at 12 weeksTap the plus for more details

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Your baby is about the size of a lime

lime

LENGTH

2.13

inches

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head to bottom

WEIGHT

2.05

ounces

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Pregnancy symptoms during week 12

Pregnancy stress

It’s normal to feel some stress during pregnancy. Many moms-to-be (and partners) worry about their baby’s health, finances, and how they’ll handle the changes ahead. But if stress becomes constant or overwhelming, talk to your doctor or midwife. Chronic stress isn’t good for you, and it can spiral into pregnancy depression or anxiety.

Headaches

Headaches are a common pregnancy symptom at 12 weeks. You may be able to avoid them by eating small meals frequently, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, exercising, practicing relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga, and getting a prenatal massage. If you’re suffering from a headache, apply heat or cold to your forehead or the base of your skull, take a shower, and consider acupuncture. Healthcare providers consider acetaminophen (Tylenol) the safest over-the-counter pain reliever during pregnancy, but talk to your doctor or midwife before taking any medication during pregnancy.

Food aversions

Pregnancy hormones and a heightened sense of smell are likely behind any food aversions you’re experiencing. About 60 percent of pregnant women have aversions, often to meat, eggs, dairy products, spicy foods, foods with strong smells, and coffee. The odds are good that food aversions will fade as you enter your second trimester. Until then, try eating bland or cold foods, which can be easier to stomach. If food smells make you sick, see if your partner or a loved one can do the cooking for now.

Fatigue

Still exhausted? Studies show that 95 percent of pregnant women experience fatigue during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. Most likely, you can look forward to having more energy in the second trimester. Many expecting moms start to feel tired again in the third trimester, when they’re carrying more weight and having more sleep disturbances. Though it may seem counterintuitive, gentle exercise is one of the best ways to keep your energy up during pregnancy. And though it’s normal, pregnancy fatigue can be a symptom of iron-deficiency anemia or depression, so talk to your provider if it’s not letting up.

Dizziness

Dizziness in pregnancy happens because your cardiovascular system undergoes dramatic changes: Your heart rate goes up, your heart pumps more blood per minute, and the amount of blood in your body increases by 30 to 50 percent. If you feel dizzy or lightheaded, lie down on your side to maximize blood flow to your body and brain. If you can’t lie down, sit down and put your head between your knees.

Shortness of breath

If you feel like you can’t catch a full breath, you’re not imagining it. Being short of breath during pregnancy isn’t uncommon. You need more oxygen when you’re expecting, and an increase in progesterone actually expands your lung capacity so you can take deeper breaths. However, if you have a respiratory issue like asthma, it may worsen during pregnancy. And while some shortness of breath is normal, if you have symptoms like chest pain, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, or severe or sudden shortness of breath, call your provider immediately.

Don’t see your symptom?

Wondering about a symptom you have? Find it on our pregnancy symptoms page.

baby in womb at 12 weeks

Your body at 12 weeksTap the plus for more details

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Pregnancy checklist at 12 weeks pregnant

Make a baby budget

Sit down with your partner to discuss how you’ll handle baby expenses – baby clothesdiaperstoys, feeding supplies, and baby gear add up fast. If you’ll pay for childcare, it can take a huge bite out of your monthly budget. Brainstorm where you can trim your spending to save money for your baby. This may feel like a chore, but the resulting peace of mind can be worth it.

Start a pregnancy workout

Exercise helps you develop the strength and endurance you’ll need to manage the extra weight you’ll be carrying; prepare for childbirth; and prevent some of the aches and pains of pregnancy. It’s a great stress reducer and mood booster, too. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends at least 20 to 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most or all days of the week (to equal 2.5 hours per week). If you haven’t been exercising during your pregnancy, check in with your healthcare provider before you start and make sure to take it easy, listen to your body, and follow these guidelines for safe pregnancy exercise.

Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water can help prevent common problems in pregnancy such as constipationhemorrhoids, and urinary tract and bladder infections. It’s recommended that pregnant women drink about ten 8-ounce cups of water or other beverages each day, although this target isn’t an exact science. Your needs may vary based on your activity levels, your size, and the weather. For example, you’re likely to need more fluid than usual when it’s hot outside or if you’re exercising. The best way to tell if you’re getting enough water: Your urine should look pale yellow or colorless, and you should feel thirsty only occasionally.

Keep a journal

Pregnancy journaling is a powerful way to record and reflect on all the changes you’re going through. And keeping a journal can actually be good for you: Research shows that writing in a journal (also called expressive writing) can improve your emotional well-being, mental clarity, and even physical health. Your pregnancy journal is also a keepsake you’ll enjoy looking back on – and maybe sharing with your child.

Do your Kegels

Kegels are exercises that strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor. Do them consistently and you may have an easier time healing post-birth. Kegels also help prevent urinary incontinence, and can make sex after birth more enjoyable. You can do Kegels anytime – while brushing your teeth, sitting at a red light, or waiting in line at the coffee shop. Squeeze and hold your pelvic floor muscles, starting with a quick squeeze repeated 10 to 20 times.

Get vaccinated

The flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine are safe and recommended for all pregnant women. Both shots significantly lower your chances of getting a severe infection and being hospitalized. There’s also an important benefit to your baby: Antibodies that you develop during pregnancy in response to the flu shot and COVID vaccine are passed to your baby and provide protection after birth. Learn more about which vaccines are safe for pregnancy and which ones to avoid.

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12 weeks pregnant bellies

Is it time to start shopping for maternity clothes? It depends. For now, you may be comfy wearing roomier items from your existing wardrobe, such as leggings, maxi dresses, and oversized sweaters. There are also many tried-and-true pregnancy clothing hacks you can use, such as threading a hair tie around your pants button to leave more room for your growing belly, or making your own belly band to wear on top of unzipped pants.

But once you start showing and your belly pops, maternity clothes are often most comfortable. When shopping, know that maternity sizes work the same as regular clothing sizes, so you can stick with your pre-pregnancy size. Sizing remains true for plus-size maternity clothes, too.

Can You Feel Your Baby In Your Stomach At 12 Weeks

Just 12 weeks after your last period, the foetus is fully formed. All the organs, muscles, limbs and bones are in place, and the sex organs are well developed.

From now on, the baby has to grow and mature.

It’s too early for you to be able to feel the baby’s movements yet, although they’ll be moving quite a bit.

You at 12 weeks

You might notice you’re a bit constipated. Not everyone gets constipation in pregnancy, but it’s fairly common and can make you feel uncomfortable.

Find out about common health problems in pregnancy.

You may feel stomach pain or cramps from time to time. These are usually nothing to worry about, and can be caused by constipation, wind or your ligaments growing as your womb gets bigger.

But if you have stomach pain that does not go away, is severe or you also have bleeding or other symptoms, you need to see your midwife or doctor.

Find out when to get help for stomach pain in pregnancy

Things to think about

Make sure you find out about all the health things you should know when you’re pregnant, such as stopping smoking, avoiding alcohol, getting exercise and having a healthy diet.

Antenatal screening tests are offered by the NHS in pregnancy to check if a baby has a higher chance of having a health condition, such as Down’s syndrome. It’s up to you whether to have screening tests or not.

Find out what antenatal screening is and what’s involved to help you decide what’s best for you.

Sometimes antenatal screening tests find something to indicate your baby has a higher chance of having a health condition. You’ll receive support and advice from your midwife or doctor if this is the case, and they’ll discuss your options and next steps with you.

You can start thinking about where you’d like to give birth – at home, at a birth centre or in hospital. Your options will depend on your circumstances and what’s available in your area.

What Is A Baby Before A Fetus

The start of pregnancy is actually the first day of your last menstrual period. This is called the gestational age, or menstrual age. It’s about two weeks ahead of when conception actually occurs. Though it may seem strange, the date of the first day of your last period will be an important date when determining your due date. Your healthcare provider will ask you about this date and will use it to figure out how far along you are in your pregnancy.

How does conception work?

Each month, your body goes through a reproductive cycle that can end in one of two ways. You will either have a menstrual period or become pregnant. This cycle is continuously happening during your reproductive years — from puberty in your teen years to menopause around age 50.

In a cycle that ends with pregnancy, there are several steps. First, a group of eggs (called oocytes) gets ready to leave the ovary for ovulation (release of the egg). The eggs develop in small, fluid-filled cysts called follicles. Think of these follicles as small containers for each immature egg. Out of this group of eggs, one will become mature and continue on through the cycle. This follicle then suppresses all the other follicles in the group. The other follicles stop growing at this point.

The mature follicle now opens and releases the egg from the ovary. This is ovulation. Ovulation generally happens about two weeks before your next menstrual period begins. It’s generally in the middle of your cycle.

After ovulation, the opened (ruptured) follicle develops into a structure called the corpus luteum. This secretes (releases) the hormones progesterone and estrogen. Progesterone helps prepare the endometrium (lining of the uterus). This lining is the place where a fertilized egg settles to develop. If you don’t become pregnant during a cycle, this lining is what is shed during your period.

On average, fertilization happens about two weeks after your last menstrual period. When the sperm penetrates the egg, changes occur in the protein coating of the egg to prevent other sperm from entering.

At the moment of fertilization, your baby’s genetic make-up is complete, including its sex. The sex of your baby depends on what sperm fertilizes the egg at the moment of conception. Generally, women have a genetic combination of XX and men have XY. Women provide each egg with an X. Each sperm can be either an X or a Y. If the fertilized egg and sperm is a combination of an X and Y, it’s a boy. If there are two Xs, it’s a girl.

What happens right after conception?

Within 24 hours after fertilization, the egg begins rapidly dividing into many cells. It remains in the fallopian tube for about three days after conception. Then the fertilized egg (now called a blastocyte) continues to divide as it passes slowly through the fallopian tube to the uterus. Once there, its next job is to attach to the endometrium. This is called implantation.

Before implantation though, the blastocyte breaks out of its protective covering. When the blastocyte makes contact with the endometrium, the two exchange hormones to help the blastocyte attach. Some women notice spotting (slight bleeding) during the one or two days when implantation happens. This is normal and isn’t something you should worry about. At this point, the endometrium becomes thicker and the cervix (the opening between your uterus and birth canal) is sealed by a plug of mucus.

Within three weeks, the blastocyte cells ultimately form a little ball, or an embryo. By this time, the first nerve cells have formed.

Your developing fetus has already gone through a few name changes in the first few weeks of pregnancy. Generally, it’s called an embryo from conception until the eighth week of development. After the eighth week, it’s called a fetus until it’s born.

How early can I know I’m pregnant?

From the moment of conception, the hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) will be present in your blood. This hormone is created by the cells that form the placenta (food source for the growing fetus). It’s also the hormone detected in a pregnancy test. Even though this hormone is there from the beginning, it takes time for it to build within your body. It typically takes three to four weeks from the first day of your last period for the hCG to increase enough to be detected by pregnancy tests.

When should I reach out to my healthcare provider about a new pregnancy?

Most healthcare providers will have you wait to come in for an appointment until you have had a positive home pregnancy test. These tests are very accurate once you have enough hCG circulating throughout your body. This can be a few weeks after conception. It’s best to call your healthcare provider once you have a positive pregnancy test to schedule your first appointment.

When you call, your healthcare provider may ask you if you are taking a prenatal vitamin. These supplements contain folic acid. It’s important that you get at least 400mcg of folic acid each day during a pregnancy to make sure the fetus’s neural tube (beginning of the brain and spine) develops correctly. Many healthcare providers suggest that you take prenatal vitamins with folic acid even when you aren’t pregnant. If you weren’t taking prenatal vitamins before your pregnancy, your provider may ask you to start as early as possible.

What’s the timeline for fetal development?

The fetus will change a lot throughout a typical pregnancy. This time is divided into three stages, called trimesters. Each trimester is a set of about three months. Your healthcare provider will probably talk to you about fetal development in terms of weeks. So, if you are three months pregnancy, you are about 12 weeks.

You will see distinct changes in the fetus, and yourself, during each trimester.

Traditionally, we think of a pregnancy as a nine-month process. However, this isn’t always the case. A full-term pregnancy is 40 weeks, or 280 days. Depending on what months you are pregnant during (some are shorter and some longer) and what week you deliver, you could be pregnant for either nine months or 10 months. This is completely normal and healthy.

Once you get close to the end of your pregnancy, there are several category names you might hear regarding when you go into labor. These labels divide up the last few weeks of pregnancy. They’re also used to look out for certain complications in newborns. Babies that are born in the early term period or before may have a higher risk of breathing, hearing or learning issues than babies born a few weeks later in the full term time frame. When you’re looking at these labels, it’s important to know how they’re written. You may see the week first (38) and then you’ll see two numbers separated by a slash mark (6/7). This stands for how many days you currently are in the gestational week. So, if you see 38 6/7, it means that you are on day 6 of your 38th week.

The last few weeks of pregnancy are divided into the following groups:

  • Early term: 37 0/7 weeks through 38 6/7 weeks.
  • Full term: 39 0/7 weeks through 40 6/7 weeks.
  • Late term: 41 0/7 weeks through 41 6/7 weeks.
  • Post term: 42 0/7 weeks and on.

Talk to your healthcare provider about any questions you may have about gestational age and due date.

Stages of Growth Month-by-Month in Pregnancy

First trimester

The first trimester will span from conception to 12 weeks. This is generally the first three months of pregnancy. During this trimester, the fertilized egg will change from a small grouping of cells to a fetus that is starting to have a baby’s features.

Month 1 (weeks 1 through 4)

As the fertilized egg grows, a water-tight sac forms around it, gradually filling with fluid. This is called the amniotic sac, and it helps cushion the growing embryo.

During this time, the placenta also develops. The placenta is a round, flat organ that transfers nutrients from the mother to the fetus, and transfers wastes from the fetus. Think of the placenta as a food source for the fetus throughout your pregnancy.

In these first few weeks, a primitive face will take form with large dark circles for eyes. The mouth, lower jaw and throat are developing. Blood cells are taking shape, and circulation will begin. The tiny “heart” tube will beat 65 times a minute by the end of the fourth week.

By the end of the first month, the fetus is about 1/4 inch long – smaller than a grain of rice.

Month 2 (weeks 5 through 8)

Facial features continue to develop. Each ear begins as a little fold of skin at the side of the head. Tiny buds that eventually grow into arms and legs are forming. Fingers, toes and eyes are also forming.

The neural tube (brain, spinal cord and other neural tissue of the central nervous system) is well formed now. The digestive tract and sensory organs begin to develop too. Bone starts to replace cartilage.

The head is large in proportion to the rest of the body at this point. At about 6 weeks, a heartbeat can usually be detected.

After the 8th week, healthcare providers refer to it as a fetus instead of an embryo.

By the end of the second month, the fetus is about 1 inch long and weighs about 1/30 of an ounce.

Month 3 (weeks 9 through 12)

The arms, hands, fingers, feet and toes are fully formed. At this stage, the fetus is starting to explore a bit by doing things like opening and closing its fists and mouth. Fingernails and toenails are beginning to develop and the external ears are formed. The beginnings of teeth are forming under the gums. The reproductive organs also develop, but sex is still difficult to distinguish on ultrasound.

By the end of the third month, the fetus is fully formed. All the organs and limbs (extremities) are present and will continue to develop in order to become functional. The circulatory and urinary systems are also working and the liver produces bile.

At the end of the third month, the fetus is about 4 inches long and weighs about 1 ounce.

Since the most critical development has taken place, your chance of miscarriage drops considerably after three months.

Second trimester

This middle section of pregnancy is often thought of as the best part of the experience. By this time, any morning sickness is probably gone and the discomfort of early pregnancy has faded. The fetus will start to develop facial features during this month. You may also start to feel movement as the fetus flips and turns in the uterus. During this trimester, many people find out whether their baby will be designated male or female at birth. This is typically done during an anatomy scan (an ultrasound that checks physical development) around 20 weeks.

Month 4 (weeks 13 through 16)

The fetal heartbeat may now be audible through an instrument called a doppler. The fingers and toes are well-defined. Eyelids, eyebrows, eyelashes, nails and hair are formed. Teeth and bones become denser. The fetus can even suck his or her thumb, yawn, stretch and make faces.

The nervous system is starting to function. The reproductive organs and genitalia are now fully developed, and your doctor can see on ultrasound if the fetus will be designated male or female at birth.

By the end of the fourth month, the fetus is about 6 inches long and weighs about 4 ounces.

Month 5 (weeks 17 through 20)

At this stage, you may begin to feel the fetus moving around. The fetus is developing muscles and exercising them. This first movement is called quickening and can feel like a flutter.

Hair begins to grow on the head. The shoulders, back and temples are covered by a soft fine hair called lanugo. This hair protects the fetus and is usually shed at the end of your baby’s first week of life.

The skin is covered with a whitish coating called vernix caseosa. This “cheesy” substance is thought to protect fetal skin from the long exposure to the amniotic fluid. This coating is shed just before birth.

By the end of the fifth month, the fetus is about 10 inches long and weighs from 1/2 to 1 pound.

Month 6 (weeks 21 through 24)

If you could look inside the uterus right now, you would see that the fetus’s skin is reddish in color, wrinkled and veins are visible through translucent skin. The finger and toe prints are visible. In this stage, the eyelids begin to part and the eyes open.

The fetus responds to sounds by moving or increasing the pulse. You may notice jerking motions if the fetus hiccups.

If born prematurely, your baby may survive after the 23rd week with intensive care.

By the end of the sixth month, the fetus is about 12 inches long and weighs about 2 pounds.

Month 7 (weeks 25 through 28)

The fetus continues to mature and develop reserves of body fat. At this point, hearing is fully developed. The fetus changes position frequently and responds to stimuli, including sound, pain and light. The amniotic fluid begins to diminish.

If born prematurely, your baby would be likely to survive after the seventh month.

At the end of the seventh month, the fetus is about 14 inches long and weighs from 2 to 4 pounds.

Third trimester

This is the final part of your pregnancy. You may be tempted to start the countdown till your due date and hope that it would come early, but each week of this final stage of development helps the fetus prepare for birth. Throughout the third trimester, the fetus gains weight quickly, adding body fat that will help after birth.

Remember, even though popular culture only mentions nine months of pregnancy, you may actually be pregnant for 10 months. The typical, full-term pregnancy is 40 weeks, which can take you into a tenth month. It’s also possible that you can go past your due date by a week or two (41 or 42 weeks). Your healthcare provider will monitor you closely as you approach your due date. If you pass your due date, and don’t go into spontaneous labor, your provider may induce you. This means that medications will be used to make you go into labor and have the baby. Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider during this trimester about your birth plan.

Month 8 (weeks 29 through 32)

The fetus continues to mature and develop reserves of body fat. You may notice more kicking. The brain developing rapidly at this time, and the fetus can see and hear. Most internal systems are well developed, but the lungs may still be immature.

The fetus is about 18 inches long and weighs as much as 5 pounds.

Month 9 (weeks 33 through 36)

During this stage, the fetus continues to grow and mature. The lungs are close to being fully developed at this point.

The fetus has coordinated reflexes and can blink, close the eyes, turn the head, grasp firmly, and respond to sounds, light and touch.

The fetus is about 17 to 19 inches long and weighs from 5 ½ pounds to 6 ½ pounds.

Month 10 (Weeks 37 through 40)

In this final month, you could go into labor at any time. You may notice that less movement because space is tight. At this point, The fetus’s position may have changed to prepare for birth. Ideally, it’s head down in your uterus. You may feel very uncomfortable in this final stretch of time as the fetus drops down into your pelvis and prepares for birth.

Your baby is ready to meet the world at this point. They are about 18 to 20 inches long and weigh about 7 pounds.

Why Am I Showing At 12 Weeks Pregnant

  • Those overwhelming first-trimester symptoms may begin to wane. That means morning sickness may start fading soon and the outrageous exhaustion-fog may lift. Hope is on the horizon!
  • Have you bought maternity pants yet? If not, it’s time to loosen your purse strings—and your belt. Your belly is expanding and a budding bump is probably visible at this point.
  • Baby continues to develop by leaps and bounds every day. Their fingers and toes are no longer webbed, and their eyes, nose and fingernails are forming—so cool!
  • Getting a 12-week ultrasound? Your tech might be able to determine the sex of baby at this point, but it’s not guaranteed, nor is it foolproof.

Things are changing fast at 12 weeks pregnant. You’re reaching the home stretch of the first trimester (we know, finally!), which means your hormones are likely to tone things down a bit. It also means you may be ready to share your pregnancy news with family and friends. So exciting!

Baby at Week 12

Your 12-week fetus is almost done developing their body’s important systems and parts, which means it’s all about getting bigger and more mature from here on out. Yep, baby’s about to enter the growth and maturation stage, in which organs and tissues will grow and develop rapidly.

Baby at 12 weeks is opening and closing their fingers and curling their toes, and their brain is developing fast!

Baby is now developing reflexes—if you poke your 12-week pregnant belly while looking at baby on an ultrasound, you’ll likely see movement. If you’re 12 weeks pregnant with twins, your twosome is developing at a similar rate as singleton babies at 12 weeks. Later on, they’ll have a slightly slower rate of growth.

How big is baby at 12 weeks?

At 12 weeks pregnant, baby is as big as a plum. The average 12-week fetus is about 2.1 inches long and .49 ounces. Now that baby’s got pretty much all of their important organs, their main job is to keep on growing. Go, baby, go!

12 weeks pregnant is how many months?

At 12 weeks pregnant, you’re about three months pregnant. Remember, pregnancy is 40 weeks long, which doesn’t break down cleanly into nine months. Just two more weeks until you can officially put your first trimester behind you!

12 week ultrasound

You may have one more prenatal checkup before the end of your first trimester. Whether or not you have a 12-week ultrasound may depend on your doctor’s preference and maybe also on what your insurance covers. If you do get an ultrasound at this time, you’ll notice that you can see your 12-week fetus more clearly this time around, which may make you want to start spreading the news that you’re expecting.

Itching to find out if it’s a boy or a girl? We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but on a 12 weeks pregnant ultrasound, the sex isn’t usually revealed. Between 12 and 13 weeks is the very earliest a boy or girl could possibly be seen on an ultrasound, and the anatomy is still difficult to make out with any certainty. Your OB or technician is much more likely to be able to see baby’s sex at the mid-pregnancy anatomy scan, which will happen around week 20. However, if you received DNA blood testing for chromosomal disorders, you may find out baby’s sex when you get those results—if you want to know, that is!

Around week 12, you might want to know more about baby’s health, so you may have genetic testing done to determine the risk of birth defects or other problems. This can be a little scary—and confusing—so be sure to ask your OB plenty of questions, and know that it’s much more likely that baby is a-okay than anything else.

What does a 12-week fetus look like?

With the first trimester almost done, you may be wondering, “what does a 12-week fetus look like?” New and exciting changes are happening for baby at 12 weeks! The eyes and nose take shape, fingers and toes lose their connective webbing, fingernails develop, teeth buds crop up and organs such as the kidneys and intestines keep growing.

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