FINAL DEVELOPMENTS

At nine months the fetus is fully formed and its head is in proportion with the rest of the body. Increasing amounts of fat have been laid down, and the face has lost most of its wrinkles, making it appear plump. The fetus is covered in protective vernix, which is especially thick in skin creases such as the armpits. Small amounts of body hair (lanugo) may still be present but these disappear soon after birth. The fingernails and toenails are almost fully grown and may extend to the ends of the digits. The fetus tends to lie with its arms and legs drawn up and can grip quite strongly with its fingers. Many-but not all-babies are now in the head-down position ready for birth.

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  • Category: Pregnancy and childbirth