• Question: how do respond to the unborn babys

    Asked by Cerys to Lucy on 15 Jun 2018.
    • Photo: Lucy Green

      Lucy Green answered on 15 Jun 2018:

      Babies get their food from the mother – it comes in blood across the placenta and through the umbilical cord. We aren’t completely sure about all the details, but it may be that the liver sort of tastes the blood as it enters the baby’s body and sets off some responses, or that the levels of nutrients / food are detected by special groups of cells called chemoreceptors. Also, in your organs (like the heart or leg muscles) the genetic message (the DNA) may be able to sense changes and set off responses.
      We’ve seen that the unborn babies can change where they send the blood in their bodies and also how the organs grow when there is a change in the mother’s diet.