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You are here : home > Pregnancy Month by Month > Third Month of Pregnancy > Baby's Development

Baby's Development


Are you are concerned as your baby’s heartbeat is not detected even in the 3rd month of pregnancy? Do not worry and find the reasons why your baby’s heartbeat cannot be detected.

I am in my 3rd month and cannot hear my baby's heartbeat

There is also the possibility that you could have miscalculated your date. So just have patience and do not worry. Still, if you like, you can request your doctor for an ultrasound, which is sure to pick up the foetal heartbeat. Quite like music to your ears.

How is baby’s heartbeat detected?

It is possible to detect a baby’s heartbeat by using different methods. The baby's heart beat can be seen on an ultrasound at around 7 weeks. In case of Doppler test it may be possible to hear the heartbeat at around 10 to 14 weeks. While making use of stethoscope you can hear it only during the late pregnancy stages. In majority of cases the heart beat can be heard only by 15 to 16 weeks of pregnancy or at the beginning of the second trimester.

The detection of heart beat depends on two important factors - size of the baby and how quickly it is growing in your womb. Since each woman and her pregnancy are bound to be different there is no standard time after which heartbeat of a baby in the womb can be heard.

Why is it not possible to detect the heartbeat sometimes?

Sometimes the position of the uterus and the position of the baby within the uterus can also make it difficult to hear the heartbeat. Another probable reason for the heart beat not being heard could be the presence of an additional layer of fat just above the pubic bone. Since scanning for heartbeat is done from this part of the body, listening for faint foetal heartbeat can become a little hard because of the extra layer of body fat. In certain rare cases the placenta position can also interfere while detecting the baby’s heartbeat.

Do not be unduly worried if you cannot find a heartbeat. In most cases the heart beat will not be heard until at least the 14th to 16th week.

How is my baby growing?

By this month, the foetus has become 2 1/2 to 3 inches long and weighs about 1/2 an ounce. The circulatory and urinary systems are in operation, the reproductive organs have developed and the liver has started producing bile. But still, the gender is undistinguishable.

The baby in medical terms is now considered a foetus. The growing baby loses his or her yolk sac and starts feeding on nutrients from the umbilical cord. The circulatory and urinary systems of the baby start functioning. The urine produced is passed into the amniotic fluid which is then passed through your system. The reproductive organs develop and the liver starts producing bile by the time your baby is 12 weeks old in the womb.

You will not be able to sense your baby’s movement in the womb. However, when stimulated, he or she may squint, open the mouth or make movement of the mouth, finger or toes. The digestive system will make contractions so as to push food through the bowels. The baby will not be able to absorb sugar also. Hormones are produced by the pituitary glands by the time the foetus is 12 weeks old.

The growing baby develops reflexes and the brain is almost fully formed by this time. The foetus will be in a position to feel pain. The baby may even start sucking the thumb. The eyelids of the baby will start covering the eyes which will remain closed till the seventh month to protect the delicate optical nerve fibres.

Soft, non-pigmented hair which plays an important role in protecting the baby's skin before birth will begin to appear on the baby’s body at week 12. Most of this hair, called lanugos, will disappear soon after birth.

By week 12 the body of the baby has a complete profile with a little chin and a tiny nose. The mouth is well developed with mouth folded tissues joining in to form the palate inside the mouth.

It is interesting to note that it takes about approximately 20 weeks for a baby to be formed fully in the womb from the day of its conception. To be born healthy it takes another 22 weeks for the baby to grow and develop in the womb.

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