A commonly asked question we hear come from people in our personal lives is “What is the proper way to address the child during a pregnancy?” “Is the child a fetus or a baby?” We know that once conception occurs, an embryo begins to form for the first eight weeks. During the second to third month, the embryo becomes a fetus, and continues to stay a fetus until s/he is born. So do people think that the term fetus is more suitable than baby, or is fetus too dehumanizing?
How is Fetus Defined?
The biggest reason the term fetus tends to receive a bad rap is that people often use it to describe “a clump of cells” to degrade the life of the unborn child. At Options for Women, we know that every unborn child is valuable and has a purposeful life to live. According to Oxford Dictionary, a fetus is “an unborn human more than eight weeks after conception.” The definition clearly mentions that the fetus is in fact a human that is being described during a specific time-frame of their life.
Additionally, baby is defined as “a very young child.” In this moment, the baby is a young child, not yet born, in the mother’s womb. Human connects both of the words fetus and baby. We know this to be true since human is defined as “relating to or characteristic of human kind.” A baby is part of human kind from the moment s/he is conceived until the day they pass away.
What Should I Call My Unborn Child?
The child may be appropriately addressed as fetus from the eight week mark and on, and baby the entire pregnancy. Rest assured there is no harm in addressing the child as a fetus. Calling the child a fetus may be used to describe a specific time within the pregnancy stage. You may encourage your friends, co-workers, and parents to use both fetus and baby when talking about the unborn child.
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