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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Marriage & Family

Couple married 73 years die 28 hours apart Watch

Image of Inseparable for seven decades, death proved no match for their remarkable bond.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Helen and Joe Auer had been married in 1941. Joe was a proud World War II veteran. Helen bore her husband 10 children. After it was all said and done, they had seen the births of 16 grandchildren, 29 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Helen ... continue reading


Marriage rates at an all-time low in the U.S. Watch

Image of Marriage rates among young people in the U.S. are at an all-time low.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While homosexual marriage remains very much in the news, with homosexuals and lesbians protesting their right to enter marriage, another related trend isn't garnering much attention. Marriage rates among young people in the U.S. are at an all-time low. Many ... continue reading


Holy, Healthy Marriages Thrive on Communication

Image of Communication is key to the success of any marriage.

By Teresa Allen, M.S. Candidate, Clinical Psychology, Institute for the Psychological Sciences

Presently, October 5-19, Pope Francis is leading a Synod of Bishops in an Extraordinary General Assembly in Vatican City to discuss pastoral approaches to matters of family, marriage and evangelization. The theme of the event, "The pastoral challenges of the family in ... continue reading


Lesbians win discrimination case by discriminating against Christian family Watch

Image of Jenifer McCarthy and Melissa Erwin successfully sued Liberty Ridge Farms for discrimination after the Giffords refused to host their same-sex wedding ceremony on their property.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Owners of a family farm in New York who were sued because they refused to host a gay wedding on their private property, are asking the courts to reconsider a punitive decision against them. They are asking that their First Amendment rights and their right to religious ... continue reading


Victory for life in Texas as abortion advocates lose their minds over latest defeat Watch

Image of Texas women celebrate a victory for life.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A major pro-life victory for the unborn will see the number of abortion mills in Texas reduced from 40 to just 10. And while that number is still 10 too many, the latest appeals court ruling in Texas represents a small victory for life. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Catholic teacher sues diocese after she was fired for... Watch

Image of In vitro fertilization requires the conception of several children in a test-tube to maximize the outcome of success, but then the unwanted children are destroyed before being implanted into their mother's womb.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Roman Catholic schoolteacher who says she was fired for trying to become pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF) will have her case heard in court following a favorable ruling by a U.S. District Court judge. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Former Roman ... continue reading


REPORT: One in 10 girls worldwide sexually abused Watch

Image of The study revealed that about six out of 10 children aged between two and 14 were subjected to physical punishment from their parents or guardians on a regular basis.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The world has a long way to go in regards to respecting its female inhabitants, according to a new United Nations reports. The grim statistics compiled by officials have found that 120 million girls, or slightly more than one in 10 are raped or sexually abused ... continue reading


STUDY: For children, there is NO 'amicable divorce' Watch

Image of Parents who remain amicable during a divorce do their children no favors, according to a new study.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Amicable divorce," which usually refers to the dissolution of a marriage without bad feelings or upheavals on the part of the parents still do the children no favors. That's the findings of a major study conducted across the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


LARGELY FATHERLESS: 36 percent of those turning 21 this year grew up without dads Watch

Image of It must be noted that there are a lot of individuals, through courage, perseverance and hard work, overcome the disadvantage of being born into a single-parent household.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Approximately 36 percent of the American generation, more than a third, born from 1993 through 2012, due to turn 21 this year, were born to unmarried mothers. According to the Centers for Disease Control, at least 40 percent of the babies born in each of the ... continue reading


Remember the Alamo - Texas' abortion law now challenged in court Watch

Image of Abortion rights activists protest on August 4, 2014, outside a U.S. federal court in Austin, Texas, where a hearing started for a case by the Center for Reproductive Rights against a new set of restrictions on abortion clinics in the state that go into effect in September

By Lisa Anderson, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Abortion rights groups challenged Texas' sweeping anti-abortion law in federal court on Monday, as a federal judge in Alabama ruled that the state's similar restrictions on abortion were unconstitutional. NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In its second challenge ... 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, Ephesians 3:2-12
2 You have surely heard the way in which God ... Read More

Psalm, Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
2 Look, he is the God of my salvation: I shall have ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:39-48
39 You may be quite sure of this, that if the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Pope John Paul II
October 22: Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his October 1978 ... 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