All over the world, mothers share their pregnancy experiences. We get to understand everything about their morning sickness and how they feel their babies moving around inside.
And even though there’s this little person in your growing belly, it’s hard to know what his or her experience of pregnancy is. What’s it like for a baby inside your womb?
It’s hard to know what the fetus feels during pregnancy because it can’t communicate with us. But your actions definitely affect him or her. So, it’s good to know how to make your little peanut as comfortable and secure as possible before you meet on their birthday.
Does Sex Hurt My Baby?
Maybe you don’t feel up to sex during your first trimester, but it’s something you can enjoy as your pregnancy progresses. Perhaps one of the first concerns mothers have is if penetration will hurt their baby.
Another worry is that sex can place too much pressure on the mother’s uterus.
To answer the first concern, sex will not hurt your baby. Your cervix bars the way to the womb, and so does your mucous plug. And your womb is full of amniotic fluid which surrounds and protects the baby.
As long as you’re comfortable during intercourse, and finding the best positions for your pregnant tummy, your baby will probably be just fine. Just be aware of these things during intimacy:
- Avoid oral sex, which can introduce too much air into the vagina.
- Steer clear of vigorous, extreme sexual activities, especially with dirty sex toys.
Am I Talking Too Loud?
When babies are born, we tend to tiptoe around them and shush everyone in sight. But the truth is, by the end of the second trimester, the fetus can already hear. And they spend a lot of their time sleeping. In fact, toward the end of your pregnancy, the baby sleeps 90-95 % of the time.
That means, your baby is used to hearing everything you say and do, and still sleep almost the entire time.
Now, this doesn’t mean that your unborn fetus is impartial to auditory stimulation. For example, the baby comes to know its mother’s voice in utero and is even calmed by it. Researchers have made this conclusion because when a fetus hears its mother’s voice, the heart rate lowers.
Since unborn babies pick up higher frequencies than lower frequencies, they have an easier time hearing the mother’s voice, especially if the mother speaks in calm, soothing tones.
So, what happens when a baby hears sounds that aren’t calm and familiar?
Babies react with quick movements when they hear loud, abrupt noises, like slamming and banging. If they don’t like the aggressive music you play or the scary movie you’re watching, they just might protest by kicking or hitting you. etc.
All the Feels
Your emotions don’t just affect you. They affect your baby, too. So, when you’re feeling happy, your baby does, too. When you’re afraid, stressed or anxious, so is he or she. The same goes for a myriad of emotions that women face throughout their pregnancies.
And just as our emotional state affects our physical bodies, your emotional state can affect the baby’s prenatal development. That’s why it’s so important for pregnant mothers to cope with negative emotions safely and responsibly.
This doesn’t mean you should repress your feelings. But it does mean that you acknowledge them and take steps to enter into a state of feeling good as soon as possible. So, if you’re feeling stressed, try to meditate, or do a breathing practice. This can help calm both you and your baby’s nerves.
Your emotional state during pregnancy influences your child’s eventual outlook on life. So, make positive emotions a priority for the two of you!
Your Diet is Your Baby’s Diet
A baby can taste different flavors around 14 weeks. In fact, your meal influences how the amniotic fluid in your womb tastes. This is also how children can grow to prefer certain flavors as they grow older.
It’s normal for your baby to move after you’ve eaten. It can hear and feel your digestive system at work. But if you find that your baby is very active after you eat a spicy meal, it might mean that she can do without all those jalapeños.
Smoking is obviously discouraged during pregnancy as it increases their breathing rates. Alcohol, on the other hand, stops your baby’s breathing in utero.
So, it’s imperative for pregnant mothers to avoid these two substances to protect their child’s physical and cognitive development.
Is It Safe to Exercise While Pregnant?
Your womb is full of amniotic fluid and this protects your baby while you hit the gym. So, don’t worry – your baby isn’t getting thrown around inside your womb!
But if you’re still worried, here are some tips to ensure that your baby stays while you work out.
- Check with your medical professional, midwife or doula for their input.
- Do you feel comfortable when you exercise? If you’re not in pain and not overheating, your baby is probably comfortable, too.
- If you were active before pregnancy, it’s probably okay to continue things like running, hiking, biking, etc.
The fetus may or may not move around during your fitness activities. But either way, remember that he or she is well protected in the warm, amniotic fluid of your womb. As long as you feel safe and comfortable, they probably do, too.
Can You Get Too Much Sun?
We all know how important it is to not get too much sun exposure. This is a concern when you’re pregnant, too, especially if you expose your belly to a lot of sunshine.
For example, if you’re on the beach, the bright light of the sun can be too bright for the baby’s eyes. That’s because their eyes are the last organ to mature, and their brains aren’t yet prepared to read visual signals.
So, if you love being outdoors, try to cover your belly to protect the unborn baby’s sensitive eyes.
Even though your baby is safe inside your womb, and surrounded by amniotic fluid, the outside world still impacts his physical and emotional well-being and development. Being mindful of this ensures that your little one has the best nine months in the uterus.