Mother and Baby

8 surprising things your baby will respond to in the womb

Section: Pregnancy

While your baby is growing and developing day after day, they are experiencing a lot of strange new feelings while in the womb, but what exactly? 

You will feel some kicking and moving around, (not always at the most convenient of times), which are your baby's responses to everything from your back pain to what you drank that day. 

Here are the things that your baby can feel and will respond to while in the womb: 


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1) They're listening too

If you listen to music around the house or are always updating your pregnancy playlist on Spotify, there's no doubt your baby will be listening to some ABBA at 11 in the morning, too. 

Babies can begin to hear from noises from 18 weeks. Research has said that babies get used to the music you're listening to, the TV you're watching, and the voices they've heard while in the womb.

In 2013, the NHS said that: "Babies remember melodies heard in womb, study suggests," reports The Guardian.

"The study found that babies exposed to the lullaby "Twinkle, twinkle little star" while in the womb showed signs of remembering it up to four months after birth." 

They continued: "After birth, researchers found signs that babies in the learning group showed signs of "remembering" the lullaby." 
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2) They shiver when you drink cold water

If your baby's movements have changed pattern, midwives recommend to sit down and drink a cold glass of water to get it back to normal again, as water will stimulate your baby to move.

It makes them move because the cold water is a contrast to the warm surroundings they are in. 

Drinking cold water can also make them shiver, according to Kicks Count
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3) They react to the light

Taking a morning stroll or lying in bed as the sunlight comes in? Your baby is most likely to recognise some of the light, too. 

Your baby's eyes will become sensitive to light at 15 weeks

Although their eyes may be closed at this point, they will still be able to sense a light outside of your bump. 
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4) They open their mouths more when you smoke 

Your baby will react in a certain way if you have a cigarette while expecting.

A UK study of 20 pregnant women revealed that babies with mothers who smoked showed higher rates of mouth movement and self-touching than those living inside of non-smokers.

Although researchers are unsure on why these reactions were found, they have said it could be due to stress
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5) They will move when you touch

Touching your baby bump will result in them moving around. 

A study with 23 women who were between 21 to 33 weeks showed that the mother's touch was the activity that stimulated them to move around the most after they compared the results they had from reading stories and doing nothing. 
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6) They get hiccups

Your baby can experience hiccups from as early as your first trimester, which is down to their reflexes and growing as a baby in general. 

If your baby is hiccuping, this is a good sign that their diaphragm is developing well. Hiccuping is more often to occur in your second and third semester, but still common. 
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7) They will respond to pain

Whether you're in pain physically or emotionally, or stressed, your baby will experience it too. 

Babies learn how to interact and respond to everything the mother goes through as they develop. After 20 weeks, your baby can respond to pain and other sensations. 
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8) They cry in the womb

After playing some sounds next to some mothers' bumps and recording some ultrasound videos, researchers discovered, from some that some babies were startling, opening their mouths, and gasping. 

What sensations did you feel while expecting? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Now read:

Your third trimester: what to expect!

Your (unexpected) body changes in pregnancy

When can you feel your baby move?


While training as a journalist at the University of Gloucestershire for 3 years, she was nominated for the Best Feature Category at the Midlands Student’s Media Awards this year, and Head of News and Social Media for the university’s radio station, Tone Radio. Ellie has been published by the likes of Heatworld, Heart, Gloucestershire Live, and ITV West Country. 

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