Can Babies Smile in The Womb?

Images captured using a 4D scanner suggest that unborn babies exhibit facial expressions as a reflex in preparation for birth, Professor Stuart Campbell said. For some time 3d 4d ultrasounds have shown that babies smile, yawn, cry and blink inside the womb. Professor Campbell, who has observed such expressions since he first started using 3d 4d ultrasound, said it was previously believed babies learned to smile after birth by copying their mothers. “That may indicate the baby’s calm, trouble-free existence in the womb and the relatively traumatic first few weeks after birth, when the baby is reacting to a strange, new environment,” he added.

“They make breathing movements inside the uterus, but there is no air, and they blink, but there is no light, so it seems they are making preparations for birth. “They make breathing movements inside the uterus, but there is no air, and they blink, but there is no light, so it seems they are making preparations for birth,” he said.

Reflexes or Result of Stress-Free Environment?

Babies do not usually smile after birth until they are about six weeks old.That may indicate the baby’s calm, trouble-free existence in the womb and the relatively traumatic first few weeks after birth, when the baby is reacting to a strange, new environment. Smiling, however, cannot be interpreted as preparation for birth but maybe a reflex.Prof Campbell said: “What’s behind the smile, of course, I can’t say, but the corners turn up and the cheeks bulge … I think it must be some indication of contentment in a stress-free environment.”

Some Factors That Contribute to a Stress-Free Environment.

A stress-free environment would include a baby’s perception of the surroundings, mother’s emotional and physical conditions, external or outside sound, audio, and some other effects. An interesting observation should be made regarding an ultrasound technician’s role when performing the 3d 4d ultrasound session. The professional skills, knowledge, and experience of the sonographer would distribute to the confidence of the expectant mother that decent ultrasound images would be produced. If she is feeling relaxed and calm, the baby would also feel that and reflect positively. That is an essential factor in the stress-free environment. We strongly believe that is the main reason why at Ultrasound Baby Images, we were able to create so many images of smiling babies. You can check them out for yourselves right here.

The 4D scanner, which produces detailed 3D images that move in real-time, has shown that babies start making finger movements at 15 weeks, yawning at 18 weeks and smiling, blinking, and crying at 26 weeks.

3D 4D Ultrasounds Facts.

In 2012, Prof. Kawakami had observed five-hundred-sixty-eight fetuses at a clinic by using 4d ultrasound, and 31 fetuses who showed smiles were selected. The range of conceptional age was from 156 days to 214 days. The participants exhibited 51 smiles in 62 min of recording. The average duration of smiles was 3.21s. That must be the first study that collected fetal smiles intensively. The age effect on the frequency and duration of fetal smiles was not examined in this study. The fact that fetuses show a lot of smiles makes us reconsider the meanings of spontaneous smiles; fetal smiles must not result from social effects.

Fetuses, observed within the womb with a 4D ultrasound smile from at least the 23rd week of gestation. But other studies show that even newborns do smile on rare occasions – at most once in every four minutes for some one-day-olds.

Are Newborns’ Smiles Real, or Just Reflexes? Baby smiling at the researcher in the lab.

It was a long time acceptable, that newborn smiles could be a result of positive emotions coming from the physical or other outside interactions that influenced behavior. Smiles have been noted in the first few days of life as a response to stroking the cheek or the belly. Newborns also smile in response to sweet tastes and smells.
Newborn babies often even smile back, making for the parents to believe that the babies’ smiles are real. Meantime, even textbooks tend to regard neonatal smiling as a reflex rather than an actual expression of joy and happiness. The behavior of newborns is still considered mostly reflexive. Scientists even have assumptions that newborns have a limited ability to feelings, emotions, and could not interact with their caregivers because of their lack of social experience.

The mystery of Newborns’ Smiles.

We don’t know and need to find out yet, since when newborns can be accepted as socially competent beings. In majority views, newborns smiles were considered only in response to muscle twitches, penile erections, bowel or bladder movements, or as spontaneous reflexes. Many scientific publications express opinions that the first “social smile” occurs only after the second month of life. Behavioral studies regarding neonates are relatively scarce and require more analyses to interpret the meanings of a particular behavior. However, there is a high likelihood to assume that these early smiles have a social purpose. It is also showing that these smiles are more than just a reflex.

 

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