Babies in the womb smell and show emotions – see photos


Sensory organs develop in infants long before birth—scientists have known this for a long time. In 2019, researchers proved that at the beginning of the second trimester of pregnancy, the eyes of unborn boys and girls are so well developed that they can detect light sources. Scientists also know for sure that babies in the womb can express emotions with their facial expressions. Sometimes, with the help of facial expressions, they show their attitude to various smells – recently, experts were once again convinced of this as a result of 4D ultrasound scanning. As it turns out, babies are fine with the smell of carrots, but hate cabbage. It would seem that this is just an interesting fact that broadens one’s horizons a little. But scientists see this as a reason to conduct larger studies.

What is 4D ultrasound

As part of the scientific work, scientists gathered a group of volunteers from 100 pregnant women. All of them underwent 4D ultrasound, in which you can see not only a three-dimensional image of the fetus, but also observe all its movements and facial expressions. It is believed that scanning can be done from the 8th week of pregnancy, but usually parents get to know their baby in this way at 20-25 weeks. This is due to the fact that only during this period the fetus reaches a level of development at which it can move and depict emotions on its face.

This is what a baby looks like in a 4D ultrasound

In addition to the fact that 4D ultrasound allows you to see the face of the baby, doctors can find out in advance about possible pathologies of the joints and other organs. In particular, such a study helps to identify the presence of a “cleft lip”, extra fingers on the limbs and other abnormalities. In addition, based on the scan, doctors can conclude that the fetus is adequately supplied with oxygen, nutrients, and the state of the placental circulation.

Baby movements in the womb

How exactly is unknown, but in the course of scientific work, scientists exposed infants to the effects of flavors with carrots and cabbage. Judging by the facial expressions, the children liked the aroma of carrots – something like a smile appeared on their faces. But the smell of cabbage is clearly not to their liking, since the children exposed to this flavor showed crying faces.

Previous studies have shown that babies can taste and smell in the womb, but they were based on results after birth, while our study is the first to see these reactions before birth, said researcher Beyza Ustun.

Smiling baby in the womb

Crying baby in the womb

How to understand what a child wants

So, scientists have once again proved that babies in the womb are able to smell and express emotions through facial expressions. For researchers, this is not just another interesting fact – they are sure that this knowledge can be used to conduct other studies. At a minimum, by obtaining data on the taste preferences of children in advance, it is possible to plan their diet after birth. After all, it happens that a child refuses to eat mashed vegetables of certain types – having learned about this before birth, you can prepare food for him from those foods that he loves. Of course, this is too rough an explanation, but the essence should be clear.

Thanks to a new discovery, it will be possible to know in advance about the taste preferences of the child

How babies sense tastes and smells

According to scientists, babies in the womb perceive tastes and smells through the amniotic fluid. So it is customary to call the biologically active liquid medium, which is in the fetal membranes during a woman’s pregnancy. It is needed so that the mother can provide the baby with nutrients and to protect the fetus from external influences. When they say that a woman’s waters have broken, this means that this same amniotic fluid has been released. After that, as a rule, contractions begin and childbirth occurs.

Earlier, thanks to ultrasound technology, scientists proved that while in the womb, children do not lie idle – they learn to make sounds. Clear evidence of this is that while in the stomach, children make facial movements characteristic of making sounds. Having learned to scream in the womb, they begin to cry loudly after birth. Based on this, it is assumed that crying is not a normal reflex – it is a pre-learned skill.