Research on this long period of nine months between conception and the birth of a child is becoming more evident. What happens in the mother’s womb is still a mystery, but we can already say that the fetus is not passive.
This period of gestation is crucial for the development of the child and here are the five most important discoveries that the baby makes while in the womb.
The fetus discovers noise
Among the many things that a fetus recognizes in the early stages of his or her existence are the noises made by the mother: the beating of her heart, her breathing, her voice, and even her digestion.
The baby begins to react to sounds starting from the 16th week of pregnancy, but their hearing is perfected during the 30th week. He or she will be able to enjoy songs and will be disturbed by noises that are too violent. They will also love to hear the mother sing or whisper to them.
“For a Gypsy child to become a musician, it was decided that every day, the best musician of an instrument would play for the last six weeks before their birth and the first six weeks of their life,” said Françoise Dolto in 1985. “And it seems the child wished later to play this instrument and excelled in it.”
The fetus learns to recognize words
According to a study published in 2013 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, fetuses are also able to remember words. In reaching this conclusion, researchers from the University of Helsinki, Finland told the fetuses the same simple word on many occasions during pregnancy.
At birth, the researchers repeated the word and found that when the newborns heard it, they exhibited a neuronal recognition signal.
Another US-Swedish study from 2013 revealed that babies learn their native language as early as the 30th week of pregnancy when their hearing system is all set up.
Once born, babies do not react in the same way when they hear a song in their mother tongue or a song in a foreign language.
The fetus learns emotions
The fetus also does his or her emotional apprenticeship in the womb. His or her feelings follow those of the mother. If she laughs, the baby will be happy; if she cries, they will feel her distress. It should not be forgotten that a fetus is much more sensitive than they appear to be.
The fetus is believed to be in their own bubble, but he or she can suffer from the stress of his or her mother, for example. Psychologists have repeatedly found that specific traumas of adults date back to this period of life in utero.
According to Professor Charles Cohen-Salmon, a researcher at Inserm, “The stress that their mothers are subjected to can produce behavioral disorders that manifest later in the life of the little ones – especially in males.”
The fetus discovers the taste
Numerous studies have shown that babies do not react the same way to the food their mother eats. If the mother tastes something sweet, for example, the fetus will swallow more of her amniotic fluid than if she had eaten something salty.
A study conducted by a team of researchers at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, also revealed that fetuses start learning about taste beginning from the fifth month of pregnancy. It is, therefore, essential to diversify your diet when you are pregnant for the baby’s papillae to develop correctly.
The fetus learns to sleep and dream
One might think that rest is not discovered and that a fetus spends his or her entire time in the womb sleeping, but all pregnant women know that their baby goes through different stages of consciousness and that he or she even does their own exercise several times a day.
The rest of the time, however, the child sleeps. Researchers have also determined that the fetus can have dreams starting from the 32nd week of pregnancy. Fetuses have been spotted smiling while sleeping, isn’t that proof that they are dreaming?