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Category: Obstetrics or Midwifery

First month. There are indications of the eyes, mouth and anus. The
extremities are rudimentary. The heart is 4/10 of an inch long.

Second month. It is now about one inch long. The eyes, nose and ears can
be distinguished. External genitals. There are suggestions of the hands
and feet.

Third month. The ovum is now the size of a goose-egg. Fingers and toes
separate, nails look like fine membranes. The neck separates the head from
the body. The sex can now be told. Length is five inches. Weight about 460

Fourth month. Six inches long and now weighs 850 grains. Short hairs are
present. Head equal to about one-fourth entire body. May perceive

Fifth month. Ten inches long; weighs eight ounces. Eyelids begin to
separate. Heart sounds can be heard. Quickening takes place.

Sixth month. Twelve inches long; weighs 23-1/2 ounces. There is hair on
the head, eyebrows and eyelashes are present. Testicles show near the
abdominal rings (openings).

Seventh month. Fifteen inches long; weight 41-1/2 ounces. Pupillary
membrane disappears.

Eighth month. Sixteen inches long; weight 3-1/2 pounds. Left testicle has
descended into the scrotum. Nails protrude to end of finger tips.

Ninth month. Eighteen inches long; weighs 4-1/2 to 7 pounds. Features are

While this growth goes on in the embryo the womb itself shows changes. The
virgin womb averages 2-3/4 inches in length, 1-3/4 inches in width and 1
inch in thickness and weighs about 12 drams. At term (confinement) the
womb is about 14 inches long, 10 inches wide, and 9-1/2 inches thick. This
increase in size is necessary for its growing contents and is due to both
an enlargement of its tissues (hypertrophy) and to an increase in the
number of its cells (hyperplasia). The muscular fibres are elongated to
about 11 inches, and they are five times thicker than they are in a womb
that is not pregnant. The cervix or neck of the womb participates but
little in these changes, and remains practically the same until a few
weeks before confinement. It becomes softened as the result of congestion,
and the glands are more active, secreting a thick glairy mucus. The canal
also is more or less dilated.

While this process is going on in the womb, various other conditions show
themselves, sometimes in the parts of the body so distant that it may not
be easy to discover the connection with the womb. Almost any part of the
body is liable to show changes from its normal condition; and yet some of
these changes are so constant and regular as to be regarded as signs of
pregnancy. It must not be forgotten, however, that sure signs of
pregnancy, such as cannot be induced by other causes, are very limited,
especially in the early months.

Changes occur in the genital organs that may lead a physician to suspect
that pregnancy may exist; but the first symptom that attracts the
attention of the woman, is the passing of the monthly period. This is not
an absolute sign of pregnancy, since other things or conditions may cause
it. The effect of the mind upon the body may cause it, and it also occurs
sometimes in early married life without any appreciable cause, unless it
may be then due to the effect upon the nervous system of the marital
relation. Again, the monthly sickness sometimes continues in a greater or
less degree, during a part or even the whole of pregnancy. Usually this
discharge is due to some diseased condition of the cervix. The fear of
impregnation in unmarried women after illicit intercourse will
occasionally suspend menstruation for one or two months.

Next: Nausea and Vomiting


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