Your baby’s journey over the first 9 months is incredible. From a single cell to a little person, here are 8 amazing facts about their life in the womb.
1.Their heart starts to beat from just 6 weeks
The heart has divided into the right and left chambers from very early on in pregnancy and is beating about 150 beats per minute – that’s about twice the rate of an adults!
2. They are covered in hair
Your baby is covered in fine hair called lanugo all over their body. This helps to insulate their body which is lacking fat and regulates their temperature. Unless your baby is born prematurely, it will most likely shed the hair before birth. If the hair is present at birth, it will usually be shed soon after birth.
3. Their eyes stay closed for most of your pregnancy
From when their eyelids form to around week 28 of pregnancy your baby’s eyes will remain shut. This is so that their retina’s can fully develop.
4. Their eyes are almost always blue!
At this stage baby’s eyes are almost always blue! But they may change in colour either just before birth or during the first 6 months of life.
5. They can hear you clearly
From around week 16 your baby’s ears may be developed enough to hear some limited noises. These would mostly be internal noises at this stage such as the gurgle of your stomach or your breathing. By week 24 they have developed further allowing them to hear noises on the outside world. Your voice will be clearest to them but they will be able to hear Dad’s voice too so make sure you and your partner talk to him or her every day!
6. They taste what you taste
Research has shown that your baby can be exposed to different tastes in the womb through swallowing small amounts of the amniotic fluid. The tastes won’t be as strong as you experience as they haven’t yet developed a strong enough sense of smell to amplify the flavours. This may even have an effect on their tastes later in life – one study even found that mum’s to be who drank carrot juice during their final trimester had babies who showed less negative reaction to carrots in the weaning diet!
7. They practice breathing from an early age
From week 13 of pregnancy, even though they get their oxygen from the placenta they are already practising breathing. This allows the process to come naturally to them when the supply from the umbilical cord is cut off.
8. They are unique!
By 10 weeks old your baby is already developing their own unique set of fingerprints which will identify them for the rest of their lives. Fun fact! Did you know that our fingerprints are formed by pressure on the fingers from touching and exploring our surroundings in the womb? This pressure creates what are called “friction ridges”, the faint lines you see on your fingers and toes.
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