By month five, your developing baby’s inner ear is functioning, meaning he’s able to hear your voice and react to sounds outside the womb. Help provide the nutrition he needs for his developing senses and growing body with certain key foods.
What sounds can your developing baby hear?
Some very exciting developmental milestones are reached between weeks 19 to 22 of your pregnancy. Your developing baby is starting to react to sounds from the outside world, as his inner ear or cochlear, begins to function, and he can now hear you, his mom.
You might not think it, but it’s a noisy world for your developing baby, with vibrations from your voice, your heartbeat, blood rushing around and your stomach rumbling. If your developing baby hears an unexpected noise outside of you, he may react by blinking and remaining motionless for a moment, while his heart might also beat slower.
Use sound to bond with your developing baby
We don’t know if your developing baby remember the sounds they hear inside of you, but some parents believe singing or playing classical music while you’re pregnant will help soothe your developing baby. So feel free to choose something gentle for the two of you to listen to together.
And while you’re soothing his world, take time out for yourself to relax – even if it’s only for a few moments each day. Your body needs more rest during pregnancy so sit somewhere comfortable, take some deep, slow breaths, and listen to some peaceful music. Then, just relax – you’re doing something that’s good for you, and for your developing baby too!
Good nutrition is one of the keys to sensory development. You can help support your developing baby’s growing brain and body by providing all the nutrition he needs for his development. Aim to have at least four servings each week of food that is high in DHA (an omega-3 fat), such as salmon or sardines. If you don’t eat fish, you can get omega-3 fats from foods like flaxseed, walnuts, dark leafy green vegetables, squash, canola oil, broccoli, cauliflower and papaya1.
At this stage of rapid fetal growth, it’s recommended that moms should also be taking a prenatal multivitamin to make sure they are also getting enough of those essential nutrients like vitamin D and folic acid2. Prenatal vitamins are available at most pharmacies, but ask your obstetrician or gynecologist if they can recommend a brand for you.
Your developing baby is expanding his skill sets too
Hearing isn’t the only ability that your developing baby is working on during weeks 19 to 22 of your pregnancy. Your developing baby is even starting to practice his breathing, which is why you may notice he’s having hiccups from time to time. You’ll start to feel your developing baby move, as a “flutter” or a “quickening’’, in your womb. He’s practicing his breathing technique and you’re feeling those tiny hiccups! He’s also learnt to suck his thumb and his ability to move is becoming smoother and more coordinated.
By now your developing baby has grown dramatically, and is between 10 to 12 inches long (25 to 30 centimeters) and weighs more than one pound (around half a kilogram). He’s keen to show off his growth and will start to move in the following weeks of the sixth month of your pregnancy. To find out how your developing baby makes his presence known through movements, read on in pregnancy stages: month 6.
Did you know that your developing baby’s visual development already began in the previous month? You can track how far you and your developing baby have come in pregnancy stages: month 4.
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2American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. FAQ001 Nutrition during pregnancy. Downloaded from http://www.acog.org/-/media/For-Patients/faq001.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20151020T09.... Accessed on October 2015.