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When does your baby develop fingerprints in your womb?

December 3, 2020

It's so heart-melting to see those tiny fingers and toes. All experiences of becoming a mother and seeing a life develop within one’s self are different. But the love, that’s always unconditional because it’s from a mother to her child. The delight a couple feel and the warmth they experience holding their tiny bundle of joy cannot be described in words.

“The littlest feet make the biggest footprints in our hearts.”

Isn’t that fascinating?

The way life finds a way and flourishes through all living being especially through babies is truly magical.

When does a baby’s fingerprint appear?

Fingerprints begin appearing during the phases of fetal development and continue transforming and developing as the baby does. They end up being a unique pattern of arches, bridges, whirls, and loops by the end of those 9 months.

During the second and third month of pregnancy:

  • The fingers start developing on the baby
  • This is the beginning of fingerprint development
  • The overall growth rate of the finger pads on the developing fingers helps to determine where the future fingerprints and identifying skin indentations will be placed
  • The exact position of the baby in the womb will determine how the ridges of fingerprints form
  • This happens because babies touch the uterus lining and surrounding structures in the womb

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By the tenth week, your baby has developed fingerprints

  • Fingerprints form the main feature to confirm the identity of an individual and they are unique always
  • Fingerprints might be a way to detect future diseases and provide information as well
  • At the time of the baby’s development in the womb, fingerprints begin appearing and continue transforming and developing as the baby does
  • Fingerprints become a unique pattern of arches, bridges, whorls, and loops by the end of the 9 months

Finger Pad Development

  • The development of pads on the fingertips and palms marks the threshold for fingerprint development
  • Pads start forming during the second and third months of pregnancy
  • When this starts happening, the fetuses can be between 1 and 3.5-inches in size
  • The growth rate and placement of the pads on the fetus determine where the future identifying fingerprint ridges, arches, whorls, and loops will be placed

Skin Layer Growth

  • During the third and fourth months of gestation, the skin of the baby starts as a thin transparent layer and transforms into a wax-like coating
  • The middle layer of the skin begins to outgrow the inner dermis and epidermis
  • The buckling and folding of this skin layer are partially responsible for the unique markings on the pads on the fingertips of the baby

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The occurrence of ridges on the baby's skin

  • Ridges are the first identifying marks that can be observed on a baby's skin
  • They are the faint lines on the fingertips that create a foundation of the fingerprint
  • The density of the amniotic fluid determines how every individual ridge will form
  • The level of activity of a baby and the general chaos happening inside the womb prevent fingerprints from developing the same way for every infant

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Ridge Patterns

  • By 6  months, the baby is about 12-inches in size and its fingerprints and footprints are fully developed
  • The ridges on a baby's fingertips have formed three main patterns
  • They are identified as arches, loops, and whorls, with numerous patterns in between
  • These patterns are found on the fingertips, palms, and soles and are utilised to grasp objects

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Arches, Loops, and Whorls

  • Arches - The primary ridges appear while the volar pad is nearly absorbed
  • Loops - The primary ridges appear while the volar pad is less defined
  • Whorls -  The primary ridges appear while the volar pad is still quite defined

Did you know? Fingerprints are unique and have no study proof of genetic inheritance. Also, Ridges are features which are not inheritable, making every fingerprint unique.

Must Read: What does a maternal fetal medicine specialist do?

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