A few tips to encourage sensory development in the womb
Did you know that the very first sense to develop inside of the womb is touch?
Followed by smell, taste, hearing, and finally sight! It is kind of hard to believe, isn't it?
I developed a fascination of understanding our senses better while working in the Flavor & Fragrance industry. Engaging with food scientists and perfumers was exciting and extremely educational.
I learned a lot about how our senses interact with one another. For example, did you know that...
80-95% of our sense of taste is actually coming from our sense of smell?
It wasn't until I got pregnant that I truly became amazed with how our senses actually develop! I started researching more on the subject and loved learning what my baby was going through at different stages in the womb.
Why is this important?
By educating yourself on the subject, research shows that you can actually help your baby develop their senses better. In addition, you can help create a smoother transition from the womb into the world.
I like to think of it like a game that you play with your baby in the womb. Is the baby hiding or being very still? Try a certain touch he/she will respond to and can become a secret code for you both. Not only does this help mama relax but the baby will feel more connected to you.
There is a lot going on in the womb which creates noise for the baby. Mommy's heartbeat, the fluids flowing around, indigestion, and more. Outside of these noises, the clearest sound a baby can hear are voices.
Which is why a lot of research shows that the baby is already learning from mommy and the way she reacts to things as well as her language. How do you want your baby to hear your voice and feel your reactions?
I was once speaking to a Doula who challenged me to think about how I was holding my stress during pregnancy. If my husband and I have an argument about something and I start to get emotional, it is best to communicate to the baby and let him/her know what is going on.
You may think this is silly but by having this discussion with your baby, you will be calmer. In addition, research has shown that how you react and communicate to the baby is super important for building a foundation of their language and emotion.
Did you know that your baby's taste buds emerge at about 8 weeks in the womb and by 13-15 weeks, the taste buds are similar to adults?
Enjoying a variety of food which is healthy and offers nutritional value is key for mommy and baby. The choices you make can impact their sense of taste when they enter the world.
During pregnancy, women often become super careful about what foods they are putting in their body. There is a huge list about what foods to avoid during pregnancy in order to ensure the safety of your little one.
However, no one talks about the importance of your dental hygiene during this time. Did you know that your dental care also has an impact on the safety of your pregnancy? It is important to continue regular check ups as well as pay special attention to the ingredients in your dental products (mouth wash, toothpaste, etc.) during pregnancy to avoid any risks to your baby. For more info, read here.
Do you have a favorite odor? Chances are it has a lot to do with conscious and unconscious memories from your childhood and even from when you were in the womb.
The development for taste is the same as smell. Exposing the baby to a variety of scents (which you can manage) is a great way to develop the sense of smell and give greater opportunities for creating memories and associations.
What sensory play do you engage in?
These are just a few tips that I hope spark interest in sensory development while your little one is in the womb. However, I am curious about other ideas you mamas have. So please share!
Pregnancy can be such a magical time for mama and baby. Discovery and exploration of the senses can create even more special moments and begin to strengthen these amazing muslces for your little one!