Babies in their mother’s womb react differently to tastes and smellsscientists first concluded after analyzing their facial expressions.
“We can assume that a series of chemical stimuli pass in the feeding of the mother in the environment of the fetus”
In this study, conducted by researchers from Britain’s Durham University and France’s Burgundy University, and published Thursday in the journal Psychological Science, 4D ultrasounds in 100 women aged 18 to 40 years and pregnant from 32 to 36 weeks.
These images have allowed observe how future babies react when their mother eats carrots or kale.
When faced with the carrot, the fetuses showed a “laughing face”, while those whose mother had eaten cabbage had a “tearful face”.the scientists claimed.
“Several studies had suggested that babies could taste and smell in the womb, but they were based on results after birth. Our study is the first to focus on these reactions before birth,” said Beyza Ustun, a researcher at the University of Durham and lead author of the study.
The human being perceives flavors by combining taste and smell. In fetuses, researchers believe the mechanism could be produced through the amniotic fluid of the uterus.
“By looking at the facial reactions of the fetuses, we can assume that a series of chemical stimuli pass through the feeding of the mother in the environment of the fetus,” said Professor Benoist Schaal, from the University of Burgundy and co-author of the study.
“This could play a very important role in our understanding of the development of our taste and smell receptorsas well as the perception and memory with which they are linked,” he continued.
According to the researchers, these results could help inform mothers about The importance of a healthy diet during pregnancy.
The study authors also began looking at whether the diet of pregnant women could have an impact on the baby’s preferences after birth.
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