Pregnancy can be a beautiful experience for many soon-to-be moms. For some women, it just doesn’t seem real until they feel their baby flutter inside their tummies for the first time. That first magical kick is something most moms remember for the rest of their lives. While mom is feeling her baby’s movements, the baby is feeling things too, well before mom goes into labor and gives birth to her precious child
Unborn babies don't only hear their own mothers' voice while inside the womb, but they can actually feel the vibrations of their voice as well. It must be something that is so familiar and soothing to them on delivery day when they finally get to hear their mother's voice like the rest of the world hears it. They can also feel their mother's movements and stress levels too.
It’s like two beautiful souls are connected as one until it's time for the baby's highly anticipated arrival.
This list will give a soon-to-be mom new insight on what is going on with her little one while he or she is still inside the womb. Moms may be surprised by everything their unborn baby can actually feel. It’s really interesting when you think about it.
If you’re even the slightest bit curious to learn about what babies can feel before mom goes into labor, as well as a few things they feel afterward, continue reading!
20 Before: Even The Unborn Can Cry
Babies cry, and they cry a lot, especially since their only way to communicate with mom or dad is by crying. Imagine that the only way you could let someone know that you need something is by letting the teardrops fall; you would be crying a lot too, now wouldn’t you?
A lot of us think that babies don’t start to cry until they are outside of the womb. They may believe that when they take their first real breath of air is when they begin to let everything out. But we now know that is not actually the case.
According to Boldsky.com, during 3D ultrasound scannings, doctors were able to see that unborn babies make all the same exact facial expressions that babies who have already been brought into this world do. It’s actually pretty amazing, don’t you agree? The sound of unborn babies crying can actually be heard using an ultrasound microphone when mom is in her third trimester.
Some moms are lucky enough to hear the sounds of their baby cry this early on, something they will become familiar with all too soon before they are greeted with loving, open arms on the outside world. This means that before mom goes into labor, unborn babies are able to feel themselves crying.
19 Before: Changes In Temperature
There are some very good reasons that pregnant women are told not to take long, hot, relaxing baths and to avoid saunas like the plague.
This is because when mom’s core body temperature goes up or down to an extreme, her unborn baby is able to feel it as well.
The internal body temperature is around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
If a mom-to-be would go into hyperthermia (overheating) or hypothermia (freezing), according to Livestrong.com, it could be harmful to her unborn baby.
Messing around with mom’s core body temperature can become devastating. It could lead to things such as miscarriages – when her internal temperature is above 103 degrees Fahrenheit – if a mom would be in her first trimester when her baby is still developing stages. But by the third trimester, the consequences are not as harsh but could lead to mom going into labor prematurely. That alone could potentially have consequences, but with the medical advances we have made over time, the chances of survival for the premature baby are great.
So, mom, when going outside in extreme temperatures, please be careful and make sure to dress weather appropriate regardless if that means bundling up or wearing the bare minimum. You need to make sure that you and your baby are safe.
18 Before: They Can Even Have A Favorite Song
Have you ever felt like there was a song that you were so connected to that it feels like the song in question was meant just for you? Or you just love a song so much but don’t know why and it happens to be from when you were still inside your own mother’s tummy? If you have ever felt that connected to a song, there is always the possibility that your own mother played that song for you while you were still in utero.
This is because, surprisingly enough, unborn babies can actually develop a liking for a song if their mom plays it often enough. It can actually become one of their favorite songs. Even if mom is just singing for her little one, he or she can still develop a fondness for it, according to Boldsky.com.
Perhaps if you want your child to get a feel for some of your favorite music early on in life, you should try playing certain songs on repeat! Even after your baby is born, they may still show a preference for some of the songs that you played for him or her before s/he was even born. For me, it may have been “Walk Like an Egyptian” by the Bangles. I used to love that song!
17 Before: Tinkle Tinkle Little Star
I found this next one very surprising, interesting and a little bit gross as well. A soon-to-be mom may want to rename everyone’s favorite childhood nursery rhyme, “twinkle twinkle little star” to “tinkle tinkle little star” because around 30 weeks gestation the unborn baby starts to tinkle in moms belly, according to Bellybelly.com.
Like I said, interesting yet gross. They actually start to produce urine by the end of the first trimester.
Moms should get used to their little one tinkling because they are going to have to do a lot of diaper changes to participate in from the moment their precious bundle of arrives in this world until they are old enough to be potty trained. That is a lot of diapers and diaper changes that are going to be taking place over the next 18 months to three years, according to Babycentre.co.uk, because that is when the average child is ready to start potty training.
At least when their unborn baby takes a wee wee in utero, mom doesn’t have to worry about cleaning that mess up. It will all flow out eventually when the time is right. This is something that I was even unaware of until I began to do the research. I hope you find this tidbit of information interesting as well.
16 Before: Happy Mom, Happy Baby
Almost everyone has heard of the phrase, “happy wife, happy life,” but did you know that can also go for mom and her unborn child.
In other words, “happy mom, happy baby.” Babies pick up how their mom is feeling thanks to their hormones. They may not feel the emotions as strongly as mom does, but they definitely feel them.
According to Boldsky.com, when mom is in a good mood and feeling happy, her baby will move in a happy and relaxed manner. But when mom is feeling sad or any other negative emotion the baby will also act accordingly. That is why they tell moms to try to minimize and, if they can eliminate as much stress as possible.
On a different yet very similar note, when mom and dad are doing the deed, and mom reaches the big O, according to Pregnancy-info.net, there is evidence that the euphoria that mom feels during her big moment, her unborn baby is actually able to feel as well thanks to the endorphins – a type of hormone – that mom’s body is releasing.
It will just relax her little one and give it a sense of happiness making him, or her feel good and calm. But don’t worry, your baby won’t know what you have been up to since s/he is not able to visually see you or anything else going on in the outside world.
15 Before: Can Feel Pain
It has long been debated on whether or not an unborn baby can feel pain. This answer may surprise you a bit, but the answer is actually yes, according to Whattoexpect.com. They may not feel pain in the same way that you or I would because they feel it differently. Their heart rate will accelerate, or their hormone levels could rise up.
The physical sense of pain doesn’t reach their pain receptors until after they have been brought into this world.
If mom would poke her belly with something sharp, they are able to feel it, and there is a good chance that they will reposition themselves to be able to move away from it.
An unborn baby’s sense of touch is the first of their five senses to develop, and it starts a mere couple of weeks after conception. By their eighth week, they start to develop the sense of touch on their lips and their itty-bitty nose. Over the next couple of weeks, there will start to develop of sense of touch to other parts of their body. By 32 weeks, they will be able to feel the sense of touch all over their body. It is a really amazing process.
14 Before: Can Feel Their Eyes Open
Some people may think that because an unborn baby is inside a woman’s tummy that they see nothing but the darkness if they are even able to see anything at all. Well, guess what, they actually are able to see. Before their eyes are fully developed, they are able to “see” light through their eyelids at about 16 weeks, and by 20 weeks their eyes are fully developed. However, their eyes don’t fully open until they are between 26 and 28 weeks in utero.
They won’t be able to see things as clearly as you and I because their vision is very blurry – even right after they are born it is still blurry – but they are definitely able to see the brightness of light, according to Independent.co.uk.
Disneybaby.com even suggests a way to bond with your unborn child using a flashlight and playing peek-a-boo. You shine the flashlight, and your skin and your baby may sometimes react by moving toward the light, almost as if he or she were chasing it. It’s a fun game to play with your little one. If you have other children, this would also be a good way to get them to bond with their new little brother or sister as well. Who knew you could play games with your baby before your delivery date?
13 Before: Mom Poking Her Belly
Have you ever rubbed or even poked your baby bump and felt like you got a response from your little one but wasn’t too sure if it was more like good timing than an actual response? Well, you are not alone, and you may be happy and a bit surprised to know that your precious cargo may actually be responding to your touch, according to Mnn.com. Most moms can expect to feel their baby move for the first time between 16 and 25 weeks of pregnancy. But for some first-time moms, it may be closer to the 25-week mark before they are able to feel that first little flutter, according to Webmd.com.
Even if your significant other or other children rub your tummy or playfully poke at it, there is a good chance your unborn baby will react to their touch too.
If you're lucky you may even be able to get in a nice game of pat-a-cake going with your little one!
According to Mnn.com, when a mom-to-be touched or rubbed her growing baby bump, older fetus’ showed much more movement and activity as well as touched their own hands and face more often. It’s amazing what an unborn baby is capable of doing.
12 Before: Feel The Vibrations (Of Mom’s Voice)
Most of us are already aware of the fact that unborn babies can hear their mother's voice, even from inside the womb. It seems like they are drawn to their mother’s soothing voice after they have been greeted. According to Nypost.com, a growing and developing fetus can actually pick up on their mother's voice and the vibrations from it as well. It must be a feeling like no other to actually feel the vibration.
If only a baby could be born with the ability to speak, we could be able to know a lot more about what goes on before the delivery day, and things like this would no longer feel so mysterious. Although, it would take away from some of the excitement.
All of this is why experts say it is a good idea for moms to sing, talk, and read to their developing little one while they are still inside the womb.
A study was done in 2014, according to the Nypost.com, regarding premature babies and it was found that when they were played a recording of their mother’s voice, it reduced the stress-producing hormone, cortisol, and increased their levels of oxytocin, which is a hormone that can be used for social bonding.
11 Before: Bursts Of Flavor
Have you ever wondered if your little one was able to tell what you have been eating and snacking on? Well, the answer to that question is yes.
Whatever you eat makes its way to the amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby before they have been welcomed in the delivery room and they actually have functioning taste buds and are able to get a hint of whatever you have just gobbled down.
It may not be as spicy, sour, or sweet as it is to us, but it can definitely still carry a nice little kick to it.
It kind of makes a person wonder what would happen if mom would snack on lemons while getting an ultrasound if her baby would start to pucker up from the bitterness of it. If so, that would be amazing to see. Unfortunately, we were unable to find a study involving lemons at this time.
According to Bellybelly.com, a fetus will start to show a preference for the sweeter things that it’s mother consumers around 15 weeks by gulping more amniotic fluid. And with bitter things, like lemons, they will gulp less of it. This site also mentions that researchers believe this is mother nature’s way of preparing a baby for the massive amounts of flavor they will be experiencing once they are born.
10 Before: Hiccups Galore
Anyone who has ever been pregnant knows what it is like when the baby gets hiccups inside of the womb, at first it can be a little confusing to feel, as some women are not sure what it is and may think that something is wrong. However, as the pregnancy progresses you get more and more used to it, and though they might be a little pesky at times, it is a reminder that the baby growing inside of us is alive and well.
According to Bellybelly.com, hiccuping in the womb can start to occur as early as the first trimester, although most women will not begin feeling the hiccups until well into their second trimester. Some people find that they feel their babies hiccuping way more right before they go into labor. Although we are unsure why this happens to some babies before labor, it does seem to be a recurring thing with many babies before their mothers give birth to them.
So next time you are in your last trimester of pregnancy, if you notice that your baby’s hiccups seemed to have picked up a bit then maybe you should start preparing for the big day. Get that hospital bag ready, because labor could right around the corner.
9 Before: They Can Suck Their Thumbs
A lot of people may think that babies only begin to suck their thumbs after they are born, but the fact that they are stuck in mom’s tummy for about nine months leaves them to their own devices for a bit of solitude.
It seems only natural that they begin to suck their thumbs inside the womb. It has been captured on so many different ultrasounds for so many different moms, according to Babiesonline.com.
That would make the perfect ultrasound picture. Being able to see your little one so active and doing something that seems so normal for babies who are outside of the womb. Since they are able to taste things thanks to their taste buds as early as their eighth of gestation, according to Whattoexpect.com, they are most likely able to taste their own skin as well. It is left up to anyone’s imagination what that would actually taste like though, and I do not want to be the one to find out by licking a newborn baby. Not that that is something a normal person would do anyway.
Unborn babies are also able to feel the sucking sensation on their thumbs thanks to their sense of touch that develops fully by the time they are 32 weeks.
8 Before: The Rollercoaster Ride (When Mom Moves)
This next one is something that should be a bit of common sense, but not always for some people. And if you weren’t aware of this, that is okay too. We are all here to learn! Since unborn babies are these adorable little beings that are floating in a bubble (sac) filled with just them, their placenta, and amniotic fluid it is only natural that when mom is out and about or moving around that they will be rocked back and forth within the sac.
It may even seem that an unborn baby is resting the most when mom is going about her day and much less active at night when mom is trying to sleep. If this feels like this is your third trimester summed up, you are not alone.
It is believed that the rocking movements produced by mom moving around actually rocks the unborn baby to sleep, according to Babycenter.com. Almost like how newborns fall asleep in the car or when their mom is cradling them in her arms and gently rocking them to sleep.
It’s soothing to a baby. And when mom is resting and trying to get some shut-eye, the baby takes that as a good time to get moving since everything feels very still and they are not being rocked anymore. Maybe a little exercise before going to bed will rock the baby to sleep long enough for mom to get after a few hours of sleep. Light exercise though, nothing too intense that would wake mom up completely.
7 Before: The Smiling Baby
Throughout your entire pregnancy, you wait patiently, or impatiently for some of you, for your little bundle of joy to be welcomed into this world. You cannot wait for the perfect moment when you are holding your baby safe inside your arms, and you envision him or her looking up at you and smiling with a beautiful toothless grin.
Well, according to Bellybelly.com, you don’t have to wait to see that precious little smile as long as you are using a 4D ultrasound and are at least 26 weeks pregnant.
That’s right ladies, you can get a glimpse of their smile that early on with the right equipment.
Unborn babies may actually be able to feel the corner of their lips turn up in a perfect little grin since they have the sense of touch by the time they are 32 weeks along.
They may even be able to touch their own smiling lips if their timing is spot on. Can you image touching your face the first time you ever smiled? That would be something purely incredible. Now if only you were able to remember it. It makes you wonder if this exact thing has ever been caught on an ultrasound before.
6 Before: The Bonding
Sometimes moms spend hours scouring the internet looking for ways to bond with their unborn baby thinking if they don’t find ways to start bonding with their little one now, they may miss some kind of pertinent bonding time.
But did you know, according to Bellybelly.com, unborn babies actually bond with their mothers while their mom is out and about while taking care of her daily activities? While it is good to look for ways to bond with your child, there is still a connection going on regardless of if you find ways or not.
Babies do seem to love when they hear their mother's voice from inside the womb. That is why moms are generally encouraged to talk to their little one, sing to them, or even read them stories.
The first thing that a baby will recognize on delivery day is moms soothing voice since they got to hear it from the moment their sense of hearing started to kick in around 18 weeks, according to Healthline.com. Their hearing is usually developed by the time they are around 24 weeks.
Since there is a good possibility that they can even have favorite songs within the womb, it only seems natural that they will be able to pick up others voices as well, just not as good as mom’s voice, like dad or maybe an older sibling. Happy bonding!
5 After: Sleepy Baby
When babies are born, they are naturally sleepy. It is very controversial as to whether or not an epidural will make a baby even more tired than they naturally are. Some studies say yes, while others say no. One study that was done, according to Journals.sagepub.com, found that an epidural can technically make a baby drowsy, but not for the reasons that you or I may have believed.
According to this study, the reason that babies are born even more drowsy is that epidurals happen to relax mom a bit more while easing her pain.
And when mom is relaxed, the baby is relaxed thanks to the reduction of the stress hormone called cortisol.
During an epidural, it is true that unborn babies will receive whatever medication(s) the doctors have pumped into mom’s system via the placenta. This is part of the reason it is largely assumed that epidural born babies will be drowsy.
Interestingly enough, they call a newborn baby’s first few days of life the “honeymoon” stage since they will want to sleep more often than not, according to Romper.com. This is moms last chance to get some shut-eye before her little one starts to become more active and, in turn, more demanding.
4 After: Changes In Temperature
We already know that unborn babies are able to sense drastic changes in temperature from inside of the womb when mom is either in a hypothermia or hyperthermia stage. In other words, when mom is subjected to severe external temperatures either from weather conditions or because she joined the polar bear club or hopped into a hot tub, they will feel the changes in temperature too, according to Livestrong.com.
What this also means is that they will also be able to feel the temperature changes outside of the womb as well – just like pretty much every other human being out there unless they were born with a rare disorder.
Generally, when born in a hospital, at home, or even during a water birth, by the time a newborn baby is ready to take their first breath of fresh air, they will sense the drastic change in the outside world temperature compared to being in the 98.6 degrees from inside the womb; a place where they called home for about nine months.
According to Babycentre.co.uk, newborn babies cannot regulate their own body temperature yet, so they will most likely feel a bit of chill from the change in temperature. That is why it is a good idea to hold your newborn close after they have arrived to help give them some of your warmth and heat them up.
3 After: First Breath
The moment that sometimes keeps first-time parents in a lot of suspense, after their baby has been delivered, is waiting for the very moment their newborn baby will take their first breath of fresh air. It has been long anticipated, and some parents worry that they may not hear that first sound. But as long as the pregnancy ran smoothly, and there were no congenital disabilities or complications that you were aware of, you should be able to breathe easily yourself.
As your baby is brought into this world, according to Babycentre.co.uk, you may hear a little bit of a sputter, cough, or cry. Now, if you hear a sputter or a cough don’t fret. Remember, your baby has been taking in oxygen via the placenta these past nine months and will have amniotic fluid in their lungs.
But as their body begins to function, you’ll most likely hear more coughing as your baby is clearing out all that fluid that he or she was encased in.
At this point, your baby will finally be taking in their first breath of fresh air and letting it fill their lungs for the first time, as long as he or she was not born too prematurely, your baby will be breathing on their own from here on out. However, it should be noted that some babies do require a pat on the back by either the doctor or a nurse to help get the fluid out of their lungs easier. Either way, everything is usually just fine!
2 After: Feeling Mom’s Warm & Soft Skin
After your baby is born, they are going to be feeling and touching new things throughout their entire life.
Even though they started touching things since their sense of touch was fully formed at around 32 weeks in utero, they were limited to what they would actually be able to feel.
I mean, when you think about it, what is there inside the womb besides them, the placenta, and amniotic fluid? Sure, they were able to touch and feel what was pressed up against mom’s belly, but that was with a protective barrier surrounding everything. Almost like wearing a glove, they were only able to feel and touch so much.
By the time they are born, they will feel gloved hand all over their body; then within the next few new sensations, they will finally be able to feel mom’s warmth and her soft skin pressed against their little, adorable body.
They will finally be able to greet the woman whose voice they have been hearing since their sense of hearing first developed around 18 weeks. It is a very beautiful thing when mom and baby finally get to see and touch each other for the very first time. There will never be another thing quite like it. That is, unless you get pregnant again.
1 After: Sensory Overload
Have you ever been in the dark for a long time, maybe overnight, without any light shining in the room for a great majority of the time – maybe even with a blackout curtain up – and then all of a sudden was awoken to bright lights for the first time in a while? It’s like sensory overload!
Everything seems bright, and you may not even be able to make out everything that is in front of you right away. If you have ever been in that situation, you may be able to get only the tiniest gist of what happens to your newborn when they are first brought into this world. The only thing is that for your baby, everything he or she is seeing is for the first time and it’s all brand new to him/her.
It may feel scary or confusing at first until they get used to the brightness and to their new surroundings. It may be like walking into a new house for the first time; you don’t know what to expect. Even using this scenario, you are still at an advantage because you have been in other houses before. So your kind of still has an idea of what to expect even though it is still all brand new to you. When babies are in the womb, they are living in the bubble-like sac for nearly nine months, and they don’t get to see or experience as much as they will in the outside world.
According to Babycentre.co.uk, your baby may react in one of two ways; s/he may begin to cry, or s/he will take it all in silently. You will never know until the day your baby is finally here!
References: Madeformoms.com, Disneybaby.com, Boldsky.com, Bellybelly.com, Livestrong.com, Babycentre.co.uk, Pregnancy-info.com, Whattoexpect.com, Mnn.com, Webmd.com, Nypost.com, Babiesonline.com, Whattoexpect.com, Healthline.com, Journals.sagepub.com, Romper.com, Babycentre.co.uk