Stimulating the Senses
Now that we've taken care of Mom's physical and emotional well-being, which have a direct impact on the health of the baby, it's time to find out how we can stimulate the baby's awakening senses - in appropriate ways and at appropriate times.
The Experts section covers fetal stimulation programs designed by leading authorities in the field of prenatal education. But you can also create your own program very easily.
Here's what you need to know:
Your baby can taste the amniotic fluid that surrounds her. So Mom, why not take this opportunity to give your little one as many taste and smell sensations as possible? Not only are these a form of stimulation, but experts believe that babies who experience a variety of taste-smells in the womb are likely to be more accepting of a variety of foods after birth.
As soon as you can feel the baby through Mom's pregnant belly, you will find it only natural to engage in touch stimulation. If your baby pushes out his foot, hand or bottom, then by all means push gently back. You can also try lightly massaging your baby. It's fun to see how your baby reacts to these activities, and especially how her reactions change over the course of the pregnancy.
Opinion is divided over whether it's a good idea to shine a flashlight on a pregnant belly. While some believe it's harmless fun, medical professionals caution that bright lights can damage a young baby's eyes. Besides that, it's possible that using a flashlight will disturb your baby's sleep. To be on the safe side, only use a flashlight during the last month of pregnancy, and when your baby is awake and active.
Many parents enjoy this activity because it provokes such a strong reaction in their baby! One mom used the light to keep her baby awake for a longer period in the evening. This in turn helped both baby and mom sleep better at night!