By Sara Lindberg, September 30, 2020

The first trimester is a time of rapid development and separation of the various parts of the brain, according to Kecia Gaither, MD, MPH, double board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and maternal-fetal medicine, and director of perinatal services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln. Within 4 weeks, the rudimentary structure known as the neural plate develops, which Gaither says is considered the precursor to the nervous system. “This plate elongates and folds on itself forming the neural tube — the cephalad portion of the tube becomes the brain, while the caudal portion elongates to eventually become the spinal cord,” she explains.

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