NRL News

Unborn children have already pretty much done everything that a newborn baby does, leading expert tells The Today Show

by | Jul 31, 2014


By Dave Andrusko

ConceptiontoBirthEarlier today a friend of 30+ years forwarded me another story from what is turning out to be a font of information about unborn babies: The Today Show, specifically its segments on parenting.

The title of the segment, hosted by Savannah Guthrie (who is pregnant), is “The Secret Life of Babies: New Research about what’s learned inside the womb.” And it’s plenty!

For us the major conclusion drawn is not new but important because it will reach a wider audience: “Life in the womb is much busier than you might expect.”

Here’s what Dr. Bill Fifer, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and described as a leading expert on fetal and newborn learning, told The Today Show:

“Everything that a newborn baby does, a fetus has pretty much done already.”

Dr. Fifer, Guthrie says, is gathering some of the “latest and most cutting edge information about life in the womb.” We wrote about another Today Show episode last week: “Moms can teach their unborn babies nursery rhymes, study shows.” It received, by far, the most “likes” of any post ever on NRL News Today.

Thursday’s broadcast (which can be seen at alludes to that research from the University of Florida as part of a larger examination of just some of the developmental milestones a baby experiences while she or he is “hanging out in Hotel Uterus,” to quote Guthrie.

The first major milestone, we’re told, is touching. Unborn babies are “exquisitely able to sense information over all parts of their body, although some are more sensitive than others, like around the mouth, around the feet, around the hands,” Dr. Fifer says.

Around the 20th week, sensory systems for taste and smell develop. In addition, there is strong evidence that babies may be able to recognize Mom’s voice by birth.

A good chunk of the piece is to explain how the baby can and does respond to Mom’s behavior, whether it be what she is eating or her moods.

It’s a wonderful 4 minute, 5 second long infomercial for the full humanity of the unborn child. Please watch it at and share it with friends.

Editor’s note. For those who may have missed it ,we are re-publishing last week’s post on “Moms can teach their unborn babies nursery rhymes, study shows.”

Please join those who are following me on Twitter at Send your comments to

Categories: Unborn Children