How does touch in utero develop?

How does touch in utero develop?

Did you know ? Touch is one of the senses that first appears in your baby's development. The details with Carolyn Granier-Deferre, specialist in the sensory awakening of the fetus.

  • From the first month of life in utero, cells are formed on the superficial leaflet of the fertilized egg: the epidermis is formed. "Touch is one of the senses that first appears in toddler development, and skin receptors are present very early, particularly in the third month of pregnancy, in the perioral area," says Carolyn. Granier-Deferre, researcher in developmental psychobiology and specialist in the sensory awakening of the fetus at Paris V University.
  • A month later, skin receptors appeared on the palms, soles of the feet and the whole face of the future "jack-of-all-trades".
  • In the fifth month, the whole body is endowed with it. "But these receptors are not yet connected to the brain, so there is no sensation per se," says the specialist. It is only from the seventh month onwards that the nerve pathways that connect the skin to the spinal cord and brain begin to function. How do we know? Simply by observing premature babies born at 6 months of pregnancy (26 weeks).
  • With this more and more complete equipment, your baby can begin to respond to tactile stimulation. "Especially on the occasion of his movements that will cause contact with the uterine wall or with his own body (his hand on his head, his thumb in his mouth ...) or during strong pressure on the maternal abdomen. His actions are not yet directed or coordinated and his tactile sensitivity will gradually improve over the last quarter, "said Carolyn Granier-Deferre.
  • The "fatping reflex", immediate imprisonment of your fingers in his fists shows that the need for contact is well inscribed in the genes of your baby! Each of his hands has close to 250 nerve endings in cm2. As for the pulp of the fingers, it is twice as sensitive as the other parts of the body. Around 2 months, will begin to play with his hands, then to grab objects.

Marie Auffret-Pericone, with the collaboration of Carolyn Granier-Deferre, specialist in the sensory awakening of the fetus