Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/8/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Touching face while still in the womb indicate child's psychological, physical development

Children learn how to anticipate touch while in the womb. Psychologists have discovered that children in the womb are able to predict, rather than react to, their own hand movements towards their mouths as they entered the later stages of gestation compared to earlier in a pregnancy. How the child touches their face and head can be an indicator of how well they are developing physically and psychologically prior to birth.

Researchers believe recent findings could improve understanding about babies, especially those that are born prematurely.

Researchers believe recent findings could improve understanding about babies, especially those that are born prematurely.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/8/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: Fetus, baby, in womb, development, mouths, fingers


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Researchers believe recent findings could improve understanding about babies, especially those that are born prematurely. The new findings indicate that these actions help them to interact socially and their ability to calm themselves by sucking on their thumb or fingers.

The results could also be a potential indicator of how prepared babies are for feeding.

The 32 week-old fetus begins by parting their lips in the anticipation of touching their mouth area

The 32 week-old fetus begins by parting their lips in the anticipation of touching their mouth area with a limb then the fetus begins to stretch open its mouth, below.



Scientists believe anticipation is a key marker in a healthy baby's development and it could be a sign of illness if babies don't do it by certain points of the pregnancy.

The ability to anticipate touch and move with intention, such as opening the mouth to suck has developed when a baby ready to leave the safety of the womb, they added.

As the apex of the mouth stretch is reached, the left hand begins to come up towards the mouth (pict

As the apex of the mouth stretch is reached, the left hand begins to come up towards the mouth (pictured left) In the right-hand scan, the mouth stretch gets wider as the fetus anticipates a touch of the mouth area (pictured below). The fetus is pictured at 32 weeks.


"Increased touching of the lower part of the face and mouth in fetuses could be an indicator of brain development necessary for healthy development, including preparedness for social interaction, self-soothing and feeding," Psychologist Dr Nadja Reissland says.

A previous study found babies make faces in the womb, potentially as practice before coming in to the world.

As the apex of the mouth stretch is reached, the 32 week-old fetus lifts its hand and begins to inse

As the apex of the mouth stretch is reached, the 32 week-old fetus lifts its hand and begins to insert it into its mouth (pictured left) and then touches its lips with its left hand (below).



Reissland along with researchers from Durham University and Lancaster University used "4D" ultrasound scans, which are 3D scans that can be seen in real time to image eight girls and seven boys once a month between the 24th and 36th week of pregnancy. Both boys and girls showed the same rate of development.

In the earlier stage of gestation, researchers saw babies touch the upper part and sides of their heads, although later on they began to touch the the lower, more sensitive, part of their faces and mouths.

After 36 weeks, the majority of babies were seen opening their mouths before they touched them, which scientists say is a sign that they were anticipating touch. In healthy fetuses, sensitivity of the area around their mouths increases as they develop, which could mean they have increased awareness of mouth movement.

Scientists believe that moving in sequence, opening mouths before sucking on a finger or thumb, shows intention is developing in the fetuses.

"What we have observed are sequential events, which show maturation in the development of fetuses, which is the basis for life after birth," Reissland says.

"The findings could provide more information about when babies are ready to engage with their environment, especially if born prematurely."

This may also explain as to why some babies are more ready to interact socially and their ability to calm themselves by sucking on their thumbs and fingers.

"Building on these findings, future research could lead to more understanding about how the child is prepared prenatally for life, including their ability to engage with their social environment, regulate stimulation and being ready to take a breast or bottle."

Discover the true meaning of Christmas!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Marriage & Family

British teachers allowed to search and confiscate unhealthy items from students' lunchboxes Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

British teachers and school leaders are now encouraged by the British government to use their powers, under the common law, to search inside student lunchboxes. The teachers are now granted access to them and are allowed to confiscate anything they deem unhealthy for ... continue reading


Husband and wife, married for 75 years, die in each other's arms Watch

Image of The Toczkos were the children of Polish immigrants, started dating as youngsters. Love and marriage and five children followed afterwards.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Boyfriend and girlfriend from the age of eight, 96-year-old Jeanette Toczko, and her 95-year-old husband, Alexander died in each other's arms a few hours apart. The San Diego couple, who had been married for 75 years, was both in ill health and made their ... continue reading


Gang of teens riot inside Georgia Walmart causing thousands of dollars in damage Watch

Image of The teens pulled a man out of his wheelchair.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Wal-Mart in Georgia was ransacked by a mob led by a teenage boy, now in police custody. Identified as Kharron Green, 17, the boy was caught on video during the Sunday riot inside the Wal-Mart, along with others he refused to identify. Police are searching for Green's ... continue reading


Historically important religious discovery found while family renovates living room Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During an Israeli family's living room renovation, they discovered an ancient ritual bath under the floor. Calling the Israel Antiquities Authority, the bath was identified as a mikveh, which was used by the Jews for their ritual immersions. This suggests there were ... continue reading


4 out of 10 children in the US exposed to abuse and violence last year Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Although some types of violence against children appear to be on a decline, children remain the most victimized sector in the U.S. population, as found by a recent study. Through phone interviews, researchers determined the level of exposure children face on abuse and ... continue reading


Marriage is an Appetizer

Image of

By Bill Donaghy

I was asked not long ago to share what I thought might be the three most powerful thoughts from Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body. These three things continually fill me with wonder and awe, and are becoming the tripod on which I stand to view God, life, and ... continue reading


SHOCKING: Woman confesses to killing her EIGHT newborns and hiding the corpses in her home Watch

Image of Dominique Cottrez faces life imprisonment for murdering eight newborn babies.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Dominique Cottrez, a 51-year-old French nurse, has confessed to killing her eight newborn babies, fearing they were from her incestuous relationship with her father. During her trial, she revealed the stories of murder she vividly remembers, dubbed the worst ... continue reading


SUPREME COURT RULES GAY 'MARRIAGE' LEGAL IN ALL 50 STATES Watch

Image of

By (CNA/EWTN News)

In a wide-reaching decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has declared that same-sex "marriage" is a constitutional right and that states must recognize same-sex unions contracted as marriages in other states. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - By a vote of 5-4, the court ... continue reading


Family terrified to move into dream home after deadly threats made from 'The Watcher' Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A couple is now afraid to move into the house they bought for $1.3 million after receiving threatening letters signed by "The Watcher," three days after they closed the sale. Now, they are suing the previous homeowners for withholding information about the creepy house ... continue reading


'This is how God takes evil and turns it into something wonderful': How one woman's Charleston experience reinforced God's love Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Almost a week has passed since the Charleston church shooting and one mother decided to bring her three young sons to the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. Kayla Robinson Hall wanted to show her children that despite the terror and pain people ... continue reading


All Marriage & Family News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 28:10-22
10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 91:1-2, 3-4, 14-15
1 You who live in the secret place of Elyon, spend ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:18-26
18 While he was speaking to them, suddenly one of the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 6th, 2015 Image

St. Maria Goretti
July 6: Born in Corinaldo, Ancona, Italy, on October 16 1890; her ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter