When Does Life Begin?

When Does Life Begin? With so many theories, Right to Life of Southwest Indiana believes life begins at conception. Indisputable scientific fact claims that from the moment of conception (fertilization) there is a living human present.  There is not a single moment from conception (fertilization) to birth when this unborn child is not living, not human, and not a complete individual person.

Science proves everything about what makes us individual, including height, eye color, and skin tone, was all determined at the time of fertilization; thus answering the when does life begin question. The monthly journey in the womb shows exactly why a child inside a woman is just that, a human child worthy of legal protection. When does life begin does not have to be a mystery. Educate yourself on all the amazing things even YOU were able to do from inside the womb.

MILESTONES OF GROWTH 1

Month 1

  • A primitive face with large dark circles for eyes forms
  • The mouth, lower jaw, throat begins developing
  • Blood cells take shape and circulation begins
  • A tiny “heart” beats at 65 times a minute
  • The baby is smaller than a grain of rice

Month 2

  • Facial features continue to develop
  • Each ear begins as a little fold of skin on either side of the head
  • Tiny buds that will grow into arms and legs soon
  • Fingers, toes, and eyes begin to form
  • A well-formed neural tube (brain, spinal cord, neural tissue of central nervous system)
  • The head is a large portion of the baby’s size
  • A heartbeat able to be detected externally
  • The baby is about 1 inch long and less than 1 ounce

Month 3

  • Arms, hands, fingers, and toes are fully formed
  • Has the ability to open and close their fists and mouth
  • Fingernails and toenails begin to develop
  • External ears are formed
  • Teeth begin forming
  • Reproductive organs begin to develop
  • Baby is fully formed – all organs and extremities are present and will continue to mature to function
  • Circulatory and urinary systems are working and liver produces bile
  • The baby is about 4 inches long and approximately 1 ounce

Month 4

  • Presence of a fully detectable heartbeat
  • Well-defined fingers and toes
  • Formed eyelids, eyebrows, eyelashes, nails, and hair
  • Teeth and bones become denser
  • Baby can suck their thumb, yawn, stretch, and make faces
  • Nervous system is starting to function
  • Fully developed reproductive organs and genitalia for external detection
  • The baby is about 6 inches long and approximately 4 ounces

Month 5

  • Baby is developing muscles and exercising – kicking, punching, rolling
  • Hair begins to grow on baby’s head
  • The baby is about 10 inches long and approximately ½ to 1 pound

Month 6

  • Skin is reddish in color and wrinkled
  • Blood vessels and veins become visible
  • Finger and toe prints are visible
  • Eyelids begin to part and the eyes open
  • Baby responds to sounds by moving, thus increasing their pulse
  • Distinguish between the mother’s voice and that of another
  • Baby hiccups may occur
  • Experiences rapid eye movement (REM) sleep of dreams
  • Taste and savor mother’s meals
  • The baby is about 12 inches long and approximately 2 pounds
  • Ability to survive outside the womb by 23 weeks with intensive care

Month 7

  • Develops reserve of body fat
  • Hearing becomes fully developed
  • Changes position frequently and responds to stimuli, including sound, pain, and light
  • The baby is about 14 inches long and approximately 2 to 4 pounds
  • May survive outside the womb after the seventh month

Month 8

  • Continues to develop reserves of body fat
  • Baby is kicking and changing positions more in order to respond to stimuli, including sound, pain, and light
  • Brain is developing rapidly
  • Baby can see and hear
  • Development of most major internal systems – lungs may still be immature
  • The baby is about 18 inches long and approximately 5 pounds

Month 9

  • Baby continues to grow and mature: the lungs are nearly fully developed
  • Reflexes are coordinated so the baby can blink, close their eyes, turn their head, grasp firmly, and respond to sounds, light, and touch
  • Baby moves less due to tight space
  • The position changes in order to prepare for labor and delivery
  • The baby is about 18-20 inches long and approximately 7 pounds

REFERENCES

  1. Fetal Development: Stages of Growth, 2014, Cleveland: Cleveland Clinic, 2020, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/7247-fetal-development-stages-of-growth