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A summation of fetal brain development week-by-week

Posted on 01-27-2015


Brain development is an important subject for all parents, especially those who have a preschooler. However, most parents are unaware that much of a young child’s brain development occurred in utero, long before birth or enrolling him or her in preschool. This blog will focus on some of the week-to-week development of your infant’s brain prenatally.

A milestone at Week Three

Although still considered an embryo at this stage, there are several important organs and systems now forming. These include the spine, cardiovascular system, and the brain.

Weeks Four through Ten

This period of development is characterized by the formation of three different sections of the brain. These essential components include the forebrain, the hindbrain and the middle brain. The hindbrain develops more rapidly than the other two sections since it regulates vital bodily functions such as breathing, the heartbeat, and early muscle control. Also amazingly, by the tenth week of a pregnancy, the fetus will be forming approximately 300,000 neurons every minute.

Week Eleven through Twenty Five

A baby’s spinal column will have clearly and properly formed by this stage with countless nerves now sprouting from the spinal cord. The fetal brain receives external sensory stimuli during the 25th week, while the brain will begin to regulate most bodily functions.

Weeks Twenty-six through Forty

The fetal brain is now starting to form folds where previously the surface was smooth. Brainwaves are also becoming stronger, further enhancing sensory stimuli. The brain has completely taken control of breathing and body temperature.

The final trimester allows the brain to continue developing an increasing number of folds. The brain has now established innumerable connections between nerve cells. The brain and the lungs are the last organs to fully develop prior to birth.

The day care team at Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Oakbrook in Norcross offers unparalleled infant care services. Contact us today to learn more about our renowned facilities and outstanding programs. 

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