During pregnancy, you are carrying a unique and separate life within you. This incredible journey from adulthood to parenthood is a life-changing experience. As parents-to-be, you are about to embark on a new relationship with someone you have never met before. The thought of having created a tiny human being is nothing short of remarkable.
Contrary to popular belief, a baby’s development does not start only at birth. The time spent in the womb plays a critical role in shaping the baby’s future. The activities and experiences that an unborn baby undergoes have a lasting impact on their life outside the womb.
Here are some interesting facts about unborn babies that may surprise you:
#1 They know you
Your baby’s sensory development begins early in the womb and is shaped by a variety of experiences, including the sound of your voice, the food you eat, and the music you listen to. Your unborn child views you as their entire world and has been studying you for nine months. As a result, they find comfort in the sound of your voice and heartbeat, which they perceive as familiar and soothing.
#2 They know what you eat
The placenta plays a crucial role in transmitting the flavours of the food you eat to your unborn baby. Studies have shown that by 15 weeks old, babies have a preference for sweet flavours and will swallow more liquid if it is sweet and less if it is bitter. This sense of taste is an early indication of your baby’s developing preferences and helps them prepare for life outside the womb.
#3 They know your voice
Your unborn baby is not only familiar with the sound of your voice, but also the emotional tone. They can sense when you are happy, sad, angry, or excited, even from inside the womb. To create a calm and stress-free environment for your baby, it is important to try to maintain a positive and upbeat mood. Although your baby may not fully understand your emotions, they are still picking up on them and reacting to the stimuli around them.
#4 They know your tone
Reading to your unborn baby, singing to them, or simply talking to them are excellent ways to bond with them and let them know you are there for them. By doing so, you are creating a strong emotional connection with your baby and preparing them for the world outside the womb. Your baby’s emotional state in the womb is directly related to your own, so it is important to create a positive and calming environment for them to thrive in.
#5 Babies open their eyes inside the womb and can see light from the outside
Light has the ability to penetrate the uterus and has been shown to have an effect on the baby, causing them to respond in a reflexive manner. It is believed that light may play a role in developing the baby’s eyes and vision.
Starting around week 16, the baby is able to detect light, but it isn’t until week 20 that their eyes are fully formed. During the 26th to 28th week, the baby’s eyes will begin to open for the first time. Although their vision at this stage may still be somewhat blurry, they are able to see strong light sources such as the sun or a bright spotlight placed on the mother’s abdomen. This can result in movement, as the baby will flutter their limbs in response.
Spending time in the sun or being exposed to bright light sources may aid in the development of the baby’s eyes and reduce the risk of certain eye disorders.
#6 They can laugh or cry
It may be surprising to learn that a fetus can actually cry within the womb, starting around 26 weeks from conception. Although this behavior resembles crying, it is actually an important form of communication for the developing baby as they practice and perfect their abilities before entering the world.
#7 They know when you touch your belly
It is well known that a baby can respond to touch, such as when a mother rubs her belly. As the baby’s body develops, various areas of their body will begin to form touch receptors, allowing them to detect and respond to various forms of touch sensations. This can include kicking or movement in response to increased pressure on the amniotic sac. It is important to note that the baby is not capable of experiencing pain until late in the pregnancy.
The journey to parenthood is full of surprises, and your baby is no exception. While they are still growing inside you, take advantage of these interesting facts to form a deeper bond with your little one. The excitement of getting to know them will only grow as their due date approaches.