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What Is It Like Inside the Womb?

It is difficult to say what it is like for a fetus inside the womb.
The mother's heartbeat might be heard in the womb.
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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2014
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It is difficult to describe what it is like inside the womb from the perspective of the fetus because, while the fetus may have senses, it may not interpret those senses in the same way that an adult would. Various technologies, however, can provide a description of what experiences a fetus might have inside the womb if that fetus were capable of normative adult senses. For example, sounds might include the mother's voice and heartbeat, and the womb environment is known to be filled with fluid, so those sounds might also be present. Knowing what it is like in utero is not the same as knowing how those sensations are interpreted or what effect they have on the fetus, but many parents feel that knowing the conditions inside the womb provides greater connection to the fetus.

Sound inside the womb is often of great curiosity to parents and scientists. Recordings from within the womb have been taken, so accuracy is essentially ensured. The sounds of the mother's body dominate, although external sounds can also be heard. Subjectively, it is unclear what sounds affect the baby most, as much of the constant sounds must be like white noise to the fetus. Having never experienced any other sounds, it is possible that a fetus does not not truly hear the mother's heartbeat until it is absent.

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There are also smells and tastes within the womb. At a certain stage, the foods a mother eats can be sensed in some form by the fetus through the amniotic fluid. Some people believe that a fetus becomes associated with the smell and taste of a mother's breast milk while in utero.

Visually, it is difficult to say what it is like inside the womb for a fetus, because, although it might look a certain way to adult eyes, a fetus has a very limited range of focus. For long periods of time, the fetus has its eyelids fused. To an adult, the inside of the womb might appear red or skin toned. A fetus who can only sense light might see only darkness, with changes when light sources are placed near the stomach.

There are many images and recordings of what it is like within the womb, but that type of evidence does not represent what it is like for a fetus. As such, attempts to change the womb environment that would be welcomed by an adult are not always appropriate for a child. Stimulation is not usually necessary, as the body of the mother is naturally able to provide the fetus with all the stimulation it needs. Changing what it is like inside the womb should always be approached with extreme caution.

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