Developing Taste in the Womb

They say “you are what you eat” and recent research reveals that so is your baby. In fact, the foods that you eat during pregnancy not only reach the baby through your interconnected bloodstream, but they also change the flavor of the amniotic fluid that your baby swallows. New findings of how babies develop a sense of taste in the womb provide pregnant women with more motivation to eat healthy foods.

Scientists have discovered that the foods pregnant women consume can be detected in samples of their amniotic fluid. All the pregnant women who participated in a recent study were 21 weeks along. Researchers believe the baby’s tastes are being programmed for life during this time. Testers smelled amniotic fluid samples and were able to detect anise, mint, garlic, carrot, and vanilla after the pregnant women consumed these foods. Taste is 90 percent smell so it’s assumed that babies taste the foods in the fluid as well. Babies reacted favorably to the foods that they were exposed to in the womb when researchers completed further testing. For example, one group of pregnant women was advised to drink a glass of carrot juice every day. Their babies were later given two types of cereal – one contained carrots. The babies favored the carrot-laden cereal; they ate more and made less negative faces while consuming it.

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