Pregnancy by itself can be a strange process. There’s the morning sickness that you wish would go away. Then there’s the swollen feet and ankles that only a good recliner can comfort. But have you ever thought about what the baby is doing? We know that babies move, kick, and punch, but is that it? Absolutely not! Those little babies are doing all types of things in your belly. Would you be surprised if I told you that they can hear you? Well they can! If you’re at least 20 weeks into your pregnancy, your little one might be listening to you right now. Down below we’ll discuss a few things that your little one might be doing in your tummy.
- They’re learning to breathe.
Throughout the pregnancy, the mother is breathing for the baby through the umbilical cord. While mommy breathes in oxygen through the umbilical cord, carbon dioxide is being released through the placenta. However, by the 9th week of pregnancy the baby starts practicing the movements of breathing. The baby’s diaphragm moves up and down, preparing them for their first breath. Occasionally, inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid by the end of the pregnancy.
- “I can hear you, you know!”
This might come as a shock to some people, but babies can hear you in the womb. Actually, they can hear more than that. They can hear the sounds around you like the TV, car horns, and other voices. By the time you’re 20 weeks pregnant, your baby starts to develop their sense of sound. Since the uterus isn’t exactly as quiet as we thought, the baby gets plenty of practice. Babies can hear the noises our bodies make like our hearts beating, blood flowing, stomachs gurgling, even our hiccups. By the 27th week of pregnancy, babies begin to react to the sounds and vibrations traveling through our bodies. This might seem like a noisy place to be, but it’s not. All these sounds are just ambient noise to babies. This is why white noise can soothe them in their first few months of life.
- “Wait, I think I see something!”
Believe it or not, babies begin opening their eyes around the 28th week of pregnancy. They can’t see much, but they do react to light during the 2nd trimester. Light reaches the baby by filtering through the abdomen. As early as week 15 of pregnancy, your baby may even turn away from the light.
- Taste this!
Who ever knew that babies could taste anything while they’re in the uterus? Well they can! Once you’re 13 weeks pregnant, the baby has already developed taste buds. As their brains become more developed, they can determine strong flavors like ginger, garlic, curry, and anise. They can also distinguish sweet, salty, bitter, and sour flavors. The flavors of what we eat are passed through the amniotic fluid. The baby then swallows the fluid. Most babies are predisposed to prefer a sweet taste. Researchers discovered that babies swallowed more amniotic fluid when it was sweet. They then noticed that babies swallowed the amniotic fluid significantly less when it was bitter. This is something to think about since breastmilk absorbs the flavors from the mother’s diet too. During the last trimester, babies swallow roughly a quart of amniotic fluid a day. This prepares them for breastfeeding.
- Touch & Explore
During the 11th week of pregnancy, babies begin investigating their little space by using their mouths and moving their hands & feet. All the movement you feel is the baby exploring their environment and learning their bodies. You may even notice your baby react to your touch when you caress your belly. They also react to other movements you do like laughing, walking, or a light jog.
- “I’m crying in here!”
While doctors were studying the effects of alcohol and drugs on the fetus, they ended up finding something else. They found that babies practice how to cry during pregnancy! It’s not the typical out loud crying that we’re all accustomed too. They mimic the movements and gestures of crying without making a sound!
Babies do a lot of fascinating things while we’re pregnant. This is just a few to name. You would be surprised by all the things our little ones do in the womb. Pregnancy truly is a strange and beautiful process.