An unborn, developing mammal is called a fetus. After the embryonic phase of life, comes the fetal stage, after the 10th Week of your pregnancy or the 8th week of development. The fetal stage of the developing ends only after you have delivered the baby.
On average, a developing embryo begins forming major recognizable features by the end of the 8th Week, such as mouth and nose. Its organs also begin their developmental journey that continues in the uterus, until a baby is born.
As an embryo, inside the uterus of a pregnant woman, grows into a fetus, it begins to develop legs, arms, toes, fingers, ears, eyelids and other organs of a human body. The embryo also starts forming lungs and brain in the 8th week of pregnancy and it continues. Interestingly, even at this stage of your pregnancy, the embryo size is very small, less than even 1/3rd of an inch.
In the commencement of the fetal period of your pregnancy, starting at Week-9 of your pregnancy, the baby shuts its eyelids. The eyes remain shut until the pregnancy is virtually over. Its genitals also begin to develop and the fetus starts producing red blood cells in the liver. Between the Week-9 and Week-12 of your pregnancy, the fetus will have a fully formed face and is able to move its fingers to make a clenched fist.
During the remaining journey of your pregnancy, the fetus will continue to develop and grow. And, it will grow nails, eyelashes and hair. The body of the fetus will start storing fat and the respiratory system will begin developing to attain maturity in due course of time of your pregnancy.
Though the fetuses mostly begin to move by Week-8 of your pregnancy, many “would-be mothers” do not feel their movements until Week-20 or the halfway journey of your pregnancy. By the Week-20, the fetal heart begins throbbing and the beats can be heard with the help of a stethoscope placed where the uterus is located in your body.
Recognizing life in a fetus has always been a debatable issue.
Some people think that a human baby cannot be considered a human child until it takes a birth out of a mother’s body. These people refuse see a human life in a fetus and aborting it in the mother’s body is acceptable to them.
,Some other people disagree with their perception. They firmly believe that life begins as soon as the egg, fertilization takes place in a woman. To this mindset of people, even an embryo meets the criteria of a living being and should enjoy their right to life.
Another viewpoint that is often debated is whether a fetus is capable of feeling pain in the uterus and whether it is okay if the ultrasound images of the developing fetus should be shown to a pregnant woman to take a decision on its abortion.
The females in India are seen as a burden on the families because of the prevalent ill societal traditions in India and the cases of female feticide have been on the rise. In view of the widening gap in the sex ratio between females and males and the increasing number of female feticide, the Indian Government framed a stringent law against gender selection. It is seen to be a welcoming step taken by the government to root out one of the ills in the society.