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fourteen inches. If born at this period, the fetus is able to breathe,
cry and nurse, and may live if properly cared for.
"At EIGHT MONTHS, the fetus seems to grow rather in length than in
thickness; it is only sixteen to eighteen inches long, and yet weighs
from four to five pounds. The skin is very red, and covered with down
and a considerable quantity of sebaceous matter. The lower jaw, which at
first was very short, is now as long as the upper one. Finally, at term,
NINE MONTHS, the fetus is about nineteen to twenty-three inches long,
and weighs from six to eight pounds. The red blood circulates in the
capillaries, and the skin performs the functions of perspiration; the
nails are fully developed."
Another writer says: "There is a superstition that a child born at eight
months is not as liable to live as if born at seven months; indeed, many
suppose that an eight months' child never survives. Facts do not prove
this idea to be correct. Personally, I have known several eight months'
babies to live and do well, and I believe that their chance of life is
much greater than if born at seven months."
Children born in the seventh month of gestation are capable of living,
though great care is required to rear them for the first few months
after birth. The "incubators" now so common in large cities have greatly
increased the chances of the "seven months' child," and, for that
matter, of those born even earlier. There are a number of cases of
record where children have been born after six months of gestation, and
a few even before the six months, but these cases are rare and unusual,
and such children usually die soon after birth.
The following table, given by a good authority, shows the average length
and weight of the human embryo and fetus:
Age. Length in inches. Weight.
2 weeks 0.1 Not given
3 weeks 0.2 3 grains
4 weeks 0.3 Not given
5 weeks 0.5 Not given
6 weeks 0.7 Not given
7 weeks 0.9 Not given
8 weeks 1.5 4 drachms
3 months 3.0 2 ounces
4 months 6.0 5 ounces
5 months 9.0 10 ounces
6 months 12.0 1 pound
7 months 15.0 3 pounds
8 months 17.0 5 pounds
9 months 20.0 6 to 9 pounds
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