While older children have school playgrounds, tiny tots have playpens. What do unborn babies have? Their mother’s safe and cozy womb! The mother’s womb is the perfect playground where the baby spends so much time stretching and wriggling around.
Well, what does the baby do in the womb? The mother’s womb is the first “school” where the baby starts sensing and learning. Research suggests that babies comprehend in utero and the senses of unborn babies develop in different fetal development stages, especially, throughout the last trimester, which prepares them for the world outside.
Here are some amazing things a baby does in the womb
“Hark! That sounds like someone I know…”
Babies feel all the sounds and vibrations through your body when they are just 23 weeks. The baby is accustomed to the mother’s heartbeat, stomach growling, breathing, and her voice is often the first thing a baby hears. During the seventh or eighth month, the unborn baby’s heart rate slows down whenever the mother speaks, indicating the soothing effect of her voice.
It’s called the mother tongue for a reason
Babies are smart to recognize certain sounds. Research shows the babies tend to suck more vigorously when they listen to someone speaking their mother’s language as opposed to a foreign language. It could be possible that the babies are picking up on a familiar rhythm and melody of speech rather than words.
The light at the end of the uterus
In the womb, the baby is unable to see anything, as their eyes don’t develop until the seventh month of pregnancy. Doctors have also reported that babies respond to bright light shown inside the uterus. They could also detect a faint glow when shown towards the mom’s belly. Ultrasound has shown the fetus opens eyes quite frequently as they near delivery as if they are preparing to blink and see the outside world.
“That tastes familiar”
If you want your newborn to gorge on veggies and fruits, you can start by having veggies and fruits during pregnancy. It not only nourishes but also shapes their food preferences. The babies gulp several ounces of amniotic fluid when in the womb. Research suggests the fluid to be flavored by the foods the mother has eaten and affects the baby’s taste preferences after birth. According to Biopsychologists, breastfed babies accept new food than formula-fed babies because they accept many flavors that have passed through her breast milk.
“Is that you, mom? I can smell you!”
Studies show that the amniotic fluid sometimes smells of garlic or spices the mother has eaten while pregnant and probably the scent of the mother herself. This could be the reason how the newborns recognize their mothers. During the first couple of hours after birth, the baby’s strong sense of smell helps him to identify his mother. Studies have shown that if a mother washes just one breast after the birth, the baby prefers to nurse the unwashed breast.
Good night and sweet dreams
Based on researches, it is found that babies while in the womb experiences rapid eye movement REM sleep, which is associated with dreams. Various sensors put around the pregnant woman’s womb have detected the baby to be in REM phase of sleep, proving that fetuses dream.
Getting ready for the world
Interestingly, babies start exploring the world around them before birth itself. They learn to move their legs and hands more while in the womb after the third trimester. Their mouth also starts exploring and feeling things out. Moving their lungs up and down is also a way of practicing breathing after birth. This is a way of developing and getting their reflexes ready. When the fetus pushes off the uterine wall, it develops the ability to reach his mother’s breast soon after. A newborn baby’s primal instinct kicks in when placed on mother’s abdomen and when he pushes his way up to her breast.
In the womb, the babies are learning skills that are important to survive and get ready for their new world, and thus build a strong bond with their mother.