Your Developing Baby: Week 7

Your Baby's Brain Development

Your baby-to-be has been busy! Her brain is forming into three distinct parts. The first, the forebrain, is the largest section, which will later become the cerebrum, thalamus, and hypothalamus (the brain's nerve center). The midbrain, as the name implies, sits between the fore- and hindbrain, connects to the brain stem and the spinal cord. Finally, the hindbrain at the back of the head contains the cerebellum and other structures that guide unconscious bodily functions, such as breathing. Each of these delicate and interconnected brain sections is just starting to form.

As her brain develops inside her head, her facial features are taking shape on the outside. You wouldn't be able to tell if she's got grandpa's ears just yet, but her ear structures are beginning to form. In fact, all of her body parts are starting to grow: Where there were only buds, now your baby has paddles for arms and places where her fingers are forming.

Terms to Know

Transabdominal ultrasound: An external examination to create a sonogram image of the uterus's interior by placing the imaging device, or transducer, on the lower abdomen.

Transvaginal ultrasound: An internal examination to create a sonogram image of the uterus's interior by placing the imaging device, or transducer, into the vagina.

Important Information About Your Pregnancy

Copyright © 2010 Meredith Corporation.

Images courtesy of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM.org)

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