When does health begin? Well, right from the very beginning of course. Health before birth matters. It’s just the perfect head start that your baby needs to begin life on the right footing.
We watch with awe after birth as baby makes amazing milestones; the first smile, the first word, the first step. But equally amazing are the ones we don’t see – the ones in the womb, before your baby is born. Here are just a few…
No one like you
The magical moment of conception is the awesome beginning of a unique individual. In that instant when the sperm and egg come together to form a single entity, your baby’s genetic code is complete. The color of your baby’s eyes and hair is already contained in this code. Will your baby have dimples? Are you having a boy or a girl? These and many other secrets will be unveiled gradually over time, but the answers are already there, in baby’s genetic code right from the start.
A cheerful heart
Did you know that at 6 weeks pregnant your baby’s heart has already already beat more than one million times! Baby’s heart begins beating at 5 weeks and one day. You can see this cheerful heartbeat by ultrasound almost immediately. By 6 weeks, the little heart has all four chambers and is already hard at work, pumping blood to baby’s brain and body.
It’s a boy! Wait…no…it’s a girl!
If your baby is a girl, 11 weeks into the pregnancy, her ovaries already have reproductive cells and she has a uterus. At 16 weeks of pregnancy, your daughter moves her jaw more often than boys of the same age. Perhaps she’s preparing for a tete-a-tete with the girls.
Babies suck their thumb for the first time in the womb. At about 11 to 11 and a half weeks into pregnancy, your baby can stretch, yawn, and yes, suck his thumb. Baby also swallow amniotic fluid, which is filtered through his little kidneys, then pees it back into the uterus.
Mamma, can I have some broccoli
Your baby’s mouth and tongue have developed taste buds by 14 weeks into your pregnancy. Research has shown that your baby’s palette begins to develop in the womb, where amniotic fluid is flavored by the food you eat. Your baby will later be more accepting of flavors first encountered in the womb!
Singing in the womb
A study showed that babies are able to hear sounds as early as 16 weeks into pregnancy. Not only did the babies in this study hear music, they responded by moving their mouths and tongues as though they were trying to sing.
Smile and the world smiles
Baby’s first cry at birth is exciting for us, but did you know your baby has the ability to cry in the womb during the third trimester. Research showed babies appear to cry in the womb in response to disruptions such as ingestion of cigarettes or cocaine. Babies also smile in the womb from about 26 week into pregnancy. So go ahead, give your little one something to smile about.