First Evidence of Its Kind Reveals Unborn Babies React to Taste and Smell

Researchers at England’s Durham University found the first direct evidence that babies react to taste and smell in the womb, a study published on September 21 said.

Fetuses exposed to carrot showed more “laughter-face” responses while those exposed to kale showed more “cry-face” responses, the study said.

The team looked at ultrasound scans from almost 70 pregnant women in the northeast of England who were from 32 to 36 weeks’ gestation. The scans were taken 20 minutes after the mother swallowed one vegetable capsule and one mouthful of water.

The images featured here show fetuses reacting to kale and carrot. Fig 1 shows a fetus producing a “cry-face” to kale, and Fig 2 shows a fetus producing a “laughter-face” to carrot. Credit: Beyza Ustun, Nadja Reissland, Judith Covey, Benoist Schaal, and Jacqueline Blissett via Storyful

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