18 weeks gestation (16 weeks since conception)
The brain is fully developed and the fetus can suck, swallow, and make irregular breathing sounds. Fetus can feel pain (New England Journal of Medicine). Fetal skin is almost transparent. Muscles tissue is lengthening and bones are becoming harder. Liver and organs produce appropriate fluids. Eyebrows and eyelashes appear and the fetus makes active movements including kicks and even somersaults.
“Quickening” (when the mother can feel the fetus moving) usually occurs around this time. Finger and toenails appear. Lanugo, a fine hair now covers the entire body. The fetus can hear and recognize the mother’s voice. Sex organs are visible on ultrasound devices.
Continue to 3rd Trimester…