Life Before Birth: Physical Development and Characteristics of Your Unborn Baby
BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre p>Stage Three: Growing Through 29 Weeks to Birth
Fetal Age 29-32 Weeks
Approximately 16 inches (41 cm)
Weight 4lbs (1814 gms)
- Your baby’s body is well formed and has a good change of survival if he or she is born now.
- They will continue to grow and put on weight.
- Their lungs become mature.
- You may feel the baby hiccup as well as notice a change in the baby’s movements, moving side to side and rolling movement.
- Baby begins to be able to focus and follow an object up/down and side to side.
Fetal Age 33-36 Weeks
Approximately 18 inches (46 cm)
Weight 5 ½ lobs (2500 gms)
- Your baby’s kidneys are fully mature and the liver is able to cope with some waste products.
- The testicles have descended.
- Accumulating antibodies.
- The hair on their head may be 1-2 cms long.
- Soft nail beds have grown to the end of fingers and toes.
- Your baby will assume the birth position.
- There is clearer movement and sleep patterns develop
- Coordinating sucking, swallowing and breathing movements
- Movements may indicate likes and dislikes of sounds. Quiet movements may indicate baby likes the sound; very active or agitated movements may indicated dislikes.
- Rapid development of vision; by 34 weeks baby has the full vision of a newborn and is able to follow objects in all directions.
Fetal Age 37-40+ Weeks
Approximately 20 inches (51 cm)
Weight 7-8 lbs (3175 – 3629 gms)
- You’re in the home stretch now!
- The vernix decreases, the nails grow longer and most of the downy hair is gone.
- The baby continues to gain weight and could be born at any time now.
- All the senses are developed and functioning.
Prepared by: Childbirth Education Curriculum Project Ad Hoc Committee
Approved by: BC Women’s Family Education Advisory Committee
May 1991, Revised December 2001