Ultrasound imaging of babies in the womb suggests that 28-week-old babies can silently “cry” in response to a noise. To further investigate this, researchers played 90 different sounds via a speaker placed on the abdomen of pregnant women and recorded the reactions using an ultrasound scan. They discovered a visible reaction that mirrored that of an infant crying. “Even the bottom lip quivers” stated lead paediatrician Ed Mitchell.
Babies can’t cry out loud of course until they’re born. In the womb, babies are totally immersed in amniotic fluid, so there is no air in the lungs and air is needed to produce sounds. Once they are born they can fully expand their lungs, taking in air and letting out those first few wonderful cries.
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