Many can agree that pregnancy is a miracle. A woman carries a baby in her womb for nine months and provides life, but did you ever wonder what that fetus that turns into a screaming (yet adorable) baby is capable of doing in the womb?
It turns out a lot more goes on in a mama’s belly than you may think.
Bill Fifer, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Columbia and researcher on fetal development has dedicated a lot of time studying what happens in the womb:
“Everything that a newborn baby does, a fetus has pretty much done already,” Fifer said.
Ultrasounds and other technology now show how babies in the womb respond to sounds, stress, tastes and more. All five senses are rapidly developing, and you may be surprised how much is actually going on with a developing fetuses senses in utero.
Hearing: Did you know that at 20 weeks, a child can hear sounds and by the third trimester most babies have developed hearing?
Interestingly, some sounds, such as songs and stories told outside of the womb, may comfort the baby after birth. One study even showed that babies were comforted by nursery rhymes that they heard in utero.
Taste: Babies are developing tastes and receiving nutrients in the womb. Studies have shown that what mom eats, especially during the third trimester, affects food preferences for the baby down the road.
This information is important for mothers who may want to focus more on their nutrition and what they want their little nugget (pun intended) eating in the future.
Touch: Babies move around a lot; they respond a lot by kicking and seem to react to sugary foods and even mom’s moving hands on that belly.
Stress can also cause these fetal movements and have been shown to possibly lead to some lasting negative behaviors in the future.
Smell: Babies develop smell receptors as early as 10 weeks. They breathe in and swallow amniotic fluid, a substance that smells similar to breast milk and also carries the smells of the food you eat.
Sight: Sight is the last sense that develops, and fetuses can even interpret the difference between light and dark in the womb!
So the next time you encounter a pregnant lady or if you happen to be pregnant yourself, think about all the amazing developments that go on inside that belly. That fetus is constantly active, growing, and learning and has more experiences going on in there than you may have previously thought.
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About the Author: Amanda Clark resides with her family in Ocala, Florida. In addition to contributing works for Peace Quarters, she also creates educational content for Atlas Mission. She is recently transitioning from a full-time middle school English teacher to a stay-at-home mom, tutor, transcriber, and writer. She has written four books of poetry: Looking at the Moon, Beautifully Mixed-Up World, Flying Fall, and Through the Blinds. She loves technology, juggling pins, and playing with her two-year-old son who will become a big brother in February. She also is a pro at multitasking.