What It Means When Babies Cry In The Womb, According To Science

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Why Babies Cry In The Womb

What causes a baby to cry before they're even born?

By Angela Anagnost Repke

There is nothing sweeter in the world than feeling your baby grow inside you during pregnancy. The first kicks feel like a tiny current, and once the fetus grows, these movements turn into big waves in the form of a knee gliding along your abdomen. Many of us also feel the rhythmic hiccups that our baby is sharing with us. We place our hands on our growing stomachs and envision the moment we get to meet our baby.

But did you know that babies also begin the practice of crying while in the womb?

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While this fact might break your heart, as you only want your little one to feel pure joy, love, and happiness, it does happen. According to new research from Durham and Lancaster Universities, newborns begin to develop the ways in which they communicate while they're still attached to us so that they're ready to tell us what's on their minds when they first meet us in the outside world.

Researchers used ultrasounds to detect the "grimacing" faces that the fetuses demonstrated while in the womb. The study also showed "complex eyebrow lowering and nose wrinkling." Dr. Reissland, a senior lecturer at Durham University, said, "It's vital for infants to be able to show pain as soon as they are born so that they can communicate any distress or pain they might feel to their carers."

Despite this, further research must be conducted to determine whether or not the crying faces are actually connected to pain that the fetuses are enduring. 

The thought of an unborn baby crying can wreak havoc on a new mother's heart, but that doesn't mean we aren't doing our part to nurture and console them. From everything we put into our bodies to the simple stroke of our bellies, we are already beginning to protect them and make them feel safe and loved — just like they are.

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This article was originally published at PopSugar. Reprinted with permission from the author.