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Studies show that babies react to taste and smell in the womb News Jani

Studies show that babies react to taste and smell in the womb

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Washington: Scientists took 4D ultrasound scans of 100 pregnant women to determine how their unborn babies reacted to the flavors of foods eaten by their mothers. The research team scanned some of the mothers to see the fetal facial reactions to the flavors of banana and carrot.

A study led by Durham University’s Fetal and Neonatal Research Lab, UK, conducted 4D ultrasound scans of 100 pregnant women to determine whether their mothers were exposed to the flavors of the foods they ate. What is the reaction of their children born later?

The researchers looked at how the fetuses reacted to the flavors of carrots or bananas when the mothers ate the flavors.

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Fetuses exposed to carrots showed more “laughing face” responses while fetuses exposed to kale showed more “crying face” responses.

Their findings may further our understanding of the development of human taste and smell receptors.
Researchers also believe that what pregnant women eat can influence the taste preferences of babies after birth and potentially influence the establishment of healthy eating habits.

The study is published in the journal Psychological Science.

Humans experience taste through a combination of taste and smell. In the fetus, it is thought to occur by inhaling and swallowing amniotic fluid in the womb.

Lead researcher Beza Aston, Postgraduate Researcher in the Fetal and Neonatal Research Lab, Department of Psychology, Durham University, said:

“Several studies have suggested that babies can taste and smell in the womb, but these are based on postnatal findings whereas our study is the first to look at these responses before birth.

“As a result, we think that this repeated exposure to flavors before birth may help to establish food preferences after birth, which is important when thinking about messaging about healthy food and milk.” It may be important to think about the possibilities of avoiding ‘anxiety eating’ when weaning.

“Watching unborn babies react to the flavors of banana or carrot during the scan and sharing those moments with their parents was truly amazing.”

The research team, which also included scientists from Austin University, Birmingham, UK and the National Center for Scientific Research-University of Burgundy, France, scanned mothers aged 18 to 40 at both 32 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. . Fetal facial responses to banana and carrot flavors.

About 20 minutes before each scan, mothers were given a capsule containing about 400mg of carrot or 400mg of kale powder. They were told not to consume any food or flavored drinks for an hour before their scan.

Mothers also did not eat or drink anything containing carrots or kale on the day of their scan to control for factors that could affect fetal reactions.

Facial reactions in both flavor groups, compared to fetuses in the control group, who were not exposed to either flavor, showed that exposure to small amounts of carrot or black pepper flavor was sufficient to trigger the response. Is.

Co-author Professor Nadja Risland, Head of the Fetal and Neonatal Research Lab, Department of Psychology, Durham University, supervised Beza Aston’s research. she said:

“Previous research in my lab has suggested that 4D ultrasound scans are a way to monitor fetal reactions to understand how they interact with maternal health behaviors, such as smoking, and their mental health, including stress. , how they respond to depression and anxiety.

“This latest study may have important implications for understanding early evidence of fetal abilities to perceive and discriminate different tastes and smells from foods consumed by their mothers.”

Co-author Professor Benoist Schaal of the National Center for Scientific Research-University of Burgundy, France, said:

“By looking at the facial reactions of the fetus we can assume that a range of chemical stimuli pass through the maternal diet into the fetal environment.

“This may have important implications for our understanding of the development of our taste and smell receptors, and related cognition and memory.”

The researchers say their findings may also help inform mothers about the importance of taste and a healthy diet during pregnancy.

They have now started a follow-up study with the same babies after birth to see if flavors in utero affect their acceptance of different foods.
Research co-author Professor Jackie Blissett of the University of Austin said:

“It could be argued that repeated prenatal flavor exposure may lead to preferences for flavors that are experienced postnatally. In other words, the fetus may develop less ‘favorite’ flavors, such as banana. , may mean they become accustomed to these flavors in utero.

“The next step is to test whether fetuses react less ‘negatively’ to these flavors over time, resulting in greater acceptance of these flavors when babies first taste them outside the womb. ”

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