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Fetal development: the senses

Fetal development: the senses

For some reason, most of the mothers first ask about what he hears in the stomach, and if they need to talk to him, put on music, read poetry. In fact, hearing is not the first sense organ that appears in a future baby.

First of all, to feel something, you need a nervous system. It is laid very early, on the 5th week, and by 6 weeks the baby already has all the parts of the brain.

How do his organs of perception develop further, in what sequence does the child begin to react to the external environment?

… formed at 6 weeks. And this is not a hearing or a sight, but an organ that we rarely remember, although we all know firsthand how it acts. This is the vestibular apparatus.

The baby itself at 6 weeks still does not move, but he is in a mobile environment: the mother moves, the organs move in her stomach (you can be sure of this during the ultrasound: you lie quietly on the couch, but even at this time the uterus and all the internal organs are in constant motion). So the fruit immediately receives a large amount of information.

Precisely because the child spends his first, pre-natal life in a state of constant movement, he is determined that he will move even after birth. It is not surprising that when the infant is placed in a fixed place, he experiences discomfort, but he calms down and falls asleep faster in motion — on his hands, in a sling or in a kangaroo backpack, in a stroller.

At 7.5 weeks tactile sensitivity appears (skin sensitivity). First of all, on the face, in the area of ​​the mouth (after all, the first thing the baby has to learn to do after birth is to suck).

Already by 8 weeks the entire surface of the face is sensitive, on the 9th week – the palms, and by 10 weeks – the surface of the body.

During pregnancy, the child receives a lot of material for the development of tactile sensitivity. He touches himself, the walls of the fetal bladder, the umbilical cord (there are videos that show how little ones massage the umbilical cord, feel and even lick).

Soon the child will grow up so that it can touch the walls of the uterus and the mother will feel how he touches her from the inside. Now mom and dad have a new wonderful opportunity to communicate with the “inner resident” with the help of touches.

You can arrange this “tactile sessions.” Surprisingly, the unborn babies very sensitively distinguish whether familiar hands touch the stomach. The child is calm when the mother touches, and calms down, if it is done by someone else.

How does he know?

His reaction to the touch of another person is largely dictated by the reaction of his mother. Her breathing, heartbeat, hormones entering the bloodstream show the child how the mother treats the person who is near at the moment. If the mother is good, if she treats someone who touches the stomach, benevolently and trustingly, then the baby quickly begins to respond to touch and behave actively.

And if the mother is experiencing discomfort, then he cautiously freezes.

Children can perceive and touch of domestic animals (for example, cats, dogs). If the mother loves her pet, then the child is not averse to “chatting” with him through the belly. Not yet born babies love to contact with cats, they respond well to cat’s purring.

Big dogs most often touch the belly of the hostess with their nose or tongue, and these active caress for unborn children is also a joy. Of course, only mom can decide if she wants such contact.

As early as the 11th week, the child begins to examine himself, not only with his hands, but also with his mouth. If there is a finger next to the mouth, it captures it.

At the 12−13th week, sucking movements appear, and they are fully formed by the 18th week.

At 9 weeks, the entire digestive system is already laid – from the taste buds on the tongue to the gastrointestinal tract. Baby has something to exercise their taste sensitivity. Almost all substances from the mother’s blood, including hormones, get into the amniotic fluid.

And hormones have their own taste! Adrenaline and other stress hormones in a high concentration have a bitter taste, endorphins – sweet. When a child is born, the child will recognize the mother by the smell and by the same smell, in which she is in a state of mind (that is, what hormones from her are released into the blood).

Before birth, the taste and smell are not yet separated – the baby cannot sniff in the amniotic fluid, its nose is closed by mucus plugs. But our chemical sensitivity is the same, and the nerve centers responsible for the perception of tastes and smells are closely interrelated.

Through the blood and through all the shells of the mother’s body to the unborn baby, aromatic components of food and spices — essential oils perfectly penetrate. In tiny doses, he meets his mother’s food, gets used to his mother’s favorite tastes.

Therefore, if the mother especially loved some products during pregnancy, then the child will love them.

At 10 weeks, there is another type of sensitivity that is often forgotten, proprioceptive sensitivity, or muscle feeling. These are receptors in the muscles that allow us to coordinate our movements.

After 10 weeks, the child begins to move in a coordinated way, he easily does everything he wants: turns over, moves his arms and legs. By the time of birth, he perfectly controls his body: he can scratch, roll over, suck a finger, and the twins feel each other, stroke and kiss.

At the same time, having been born, the child suddenly turns out to be completely helpless. It is all about gravity, the difference between water and air.

Imagine that you wake up, and your arms and legs do not obey you, you can not even turn around! Most likely, any of us would feel uncomfortable.

So the newborn has something to worry about.

And only after the formation of the movement system is the ear formed. The hearing aid is already by 14 weeks, and by 16 weeks it is fully functional, the child demonstrates an indicative response to the sound.

Thus, by the 16 weeks he already has all the senses, except his eyesight, and he actively responds to the environment. By the time the mother feels the first movements, the baby is already very well acquainted with her.

What does he hear there? There is a myth that a newborn is moving from a quiet place to a noisy and loud space.

But from the quiet? When an adult is offered to listen to intrauterine noise through headphones, he does not stand up: in decibels, this is comparable to the noise of the stadium at the time of scoring a goal.

Attach the ear to someone’s stomach – and you will see that there is something going on all the time: grumbling, purring, gurgling, flowing. These are sounds of the bowels, heartbeats, the sound of blood flow in the vessels, the sound of the lungs, like a swelling of fur.

Therefore, after birth, not all children want to fall asleep in complete silence – you can easily talk and go about your business where the child is sleeping.

And there is also the voice of the mother – “from the inside,” it doesn’t sound like we used to, but as if from a water pipe. The aquatic environment contributes to the conduct of noise and even enhances certain sounds.

Studies show that the child’s sensitivity to low frequencies is reduced. There, in the stomach, a lot of noise at low frequencies, and if he heard them all, then most likely it would be excessive stimulation.

But the baby has a selective sensitivity to high frequencies – that is, the frequencies of the human voice. And he listens carefully, catches them.

After birth, children will recognize the voices of people around them, and the emotional reaction to these people will be the same as their mother had. Therefore, perinatal psychologists advise: if you plan that the child will often meet with some people, especially if these people sit with him, then it makes sense to “introduce” them to them in advance (and at the same time set yourself up for a good attitude to him).

It is very interesting to observe how children meet with someone whose voice was heard before birth, for example, with a doctor, a psychologist who conducted childbirth preparation classes or consulted a mother. The children, having opened their mouths, listen to the familiar voice … such a reaction happens in a year, in 2–3 years, and even in an adult state – if this is a very significant person for the mother.

The idea of ​​learning before birth has long been in the air. Once the senses of an unborn baby are already working with might and main, then maybe it is necessary to arrange additional classes for it? Putting music, reading poetry or words in foreign languages ​​- you see, a genius will be born …

Perinatal psychologists say: yes, the fetus can be trained, it can take some experience out of its intrauterine life. But the child needs this experience not to become a genius, but to build relationships with her mother, to adapt to our world after birth.

Of course, if the mother loves music, the child will also enjoy listening to it. And he can quite clearly give his mother to understand whether this or that composition is suitable for him or not. Firstly, by movements – for example, if a baby is strongly pushed, it does not move in time with the music.

In addition, in the second half of pregnancy, not only the child receives her mother’s hormones, but also the mother receives hormonal signals from him. She does not need to think about it, she just feels comfort or discomfort.

The musical preferences of unborn children to scientists are well known: they reject unstructured music, which is too complex, with low-frequency bass components. And vice versa: children love high-frequency, melodic, well-structured music.

Best suited folk music, children’s folk songs. From the instruments, children do not like drums, but they love the flute and other wind instruments, as well as singing.

The categorical recommendation of perinatal psychologists – do not put any headphones on the stomach, do not try to talk to the stomach with a horn, etc. Those who come up with such recommendations and such devices, apparently, very poorly understand how the nervous system of the baby is formed. All these additional devices lead to over-excitation of the nervous system, informational and sensory stress, from which the fetus cannot protect itself. If the mother has headphones on her stomach, then she herself does not hear what is happening there and does not participate in this process.

Whereas, sounds normally come to the baby through the amniotic fluid and through mom’s body, and mother’s emotions always accompany them.

The authors of some of these techniques promise parents to grow geniuses and bring the facts that thanks to such stimulation, children develop ahead of birth after birth: they begin to look into their eyes, hold their heads, speak … But any doctor will tell you: don’t need to, need to, on time. Advance development is a very large load.

Children who received such excessive stimulation in the attempts of parents to “improve the nature” after birth are excitable, hyperactive, and quickly become mentally depleted. There is no evidence that they are then better at school – but there is evidence that is worse.

Therefore, it is not necessary to alter the nature. Listen to music, talk and sing to your baby, but not with the aim to raise genius, but simply because you are happy

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