Babies Hunger In Womb – When & What Does Your Baby Eat?

Babies Hunger In WombPregnancy is a magical journey of wonders, care, and love. Nutrition has a very vital role in the development of your baby as it is the only source of energy and food for your baby. We will discuss the effects of maternal hunger on the baby,  how the food is delivered to the baby, and what are the consequences of inadequate nutrition during pregnancy on the baby’s health.

So, lets begin our rwading journey on finding out about your baby’s hunger in your womb.

Read more: Can You Take Theraflu While Pregnant?

Do Babies Get Hungry In The Womb

Whether babies get hungry or not is an arguable topic, with different doctors having different views. It is difficult to say that babies feel hunger the same way we do or if they crave for food, but studies have shown that they do behave differently in the presence and in the absence of enough food taken by the mother. According to recent research done by the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP), it was found that the baby starts to drain nutrients from its mother’s blood by the 10th week of pregnancy. This shows that they do get hungry and do get their nutrition fulfilled.

Is My Baby Hungry When I’m Hungry During Pregnancy

It is a common question that almost every expecting mother wonders. You and your baby are actually connected to each other through the umbilical cord and share the same nutrients in your blood. So, if you are feeling hungry, that can mean that your baby is also deficient in enough nutrients and energy. Still, there is no proper evidence to support this as your hunger is temporary, but the nutrients present in your blood do not decrease in such a short period of time, so your baby can still have enough availability of nutrients despite you being hungry.

How To Know If My Baby Is Hungry In The Womb?

It is quite a difficult task to conclude when your baby is hungry and when he/she is not. As there is no specific way of finding out if your baby is craving food, we cannot always be certain about this. Still, there are some ways that have been found to be an indicator if your baby is hungry in the womb. These include:

  • When your baby is hungry, you might notice Increased Fetal Movements. This is thought to be a way for your baby to get your attention and tell you that he/she is hungry.
  • During your hunger time, your baby can also experience Fetal Hiccups. These are caused by your baby swallowing the amniotic fluid and can both be a sign of your baby getting enough nutrition and not. It is advised to always contact your healthcare provider for this.
  • Increased Heart Rate can also be an indicator of the lack of enough nutrients supply for your baby. It shows that your baby is working harder to get the nutrition.
  • Your baby can also go into the phase of Decreased Activity phase if he/she is not getting enough nutrition.

Effects On Baby When Mother Is Hungry During Pregnancy

If the mother is hungry for a short period of time, like for a few hours, then it would not affect that much the baby as the necessary energy and nutrients are already present in the mother’s blood. But if the mother stays hungry and empty stomach for longer periods of time or is herself facing starvation, then this can have adverse effects on the baby’s health.

Premature Birth

If the mother is not taking a proper diet during the whole course of pregnancy, she might experience premature birth. Babies born before the proper time have a very high potential for catching diseases as compared to normal babies.

Restricted Growth

The babies not getting enough nutrition often face difficulties in growing and developing properly. These babies have very restricted growth and can also face the problem of low birth weight.

Low Birth Weight

The birth weight of the babies not getting enough food and nutrition are most likely to be drastically less as compared to the normal healthy baby. The normal birth weight ranges from five to eight pounds (5 to 8).

Behavioral Problem

Babies born in starving conditions sometimes can fail to develop proper brain functioning and can have behavioral defects in babies.

It is always recommended for the pregnant mother to eat a balanced and nutritious diet. It will nourish the baby and will help the baby grow.

What Does The Baby Eat In The Womb?

The baby, as being in the amniotic sac during pregnancy, cannot eat anything but gets its body nutrition directly from the mother’s blood. It is provided with all the necessary nutrients and oxygen by the placenta via the umbilical cord. These include all minerals, vitamins, and macro & micro nutrients.

How Nutrients Are Delivered To Your Baby In The Womb

While the baby is in the womb, he/she receives all its nutrients inside the amniotic sac via the placenta. Placenta is also known as the “Bridge” between the mother and her baby.

Placenta is responsible for the supply of all the necessary nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and most importantly, Oxygen. The placenta also facilitates the transfer of protective cells like Antibodies and WBCs.

How Nutrients Are Delivered To Your Baby In The Womb

When Does Baby Start Absorbing Nutrients From Mother?

The baby starts to take nutrients and energy from the mother just after the implantation. It would be around the 3rd to 4th week of pregnancy. The potential of the baby to absorb nutrients increases with time as the pregnancy progresses. Still, it is considered that the umbilical cord and the placenta is developed completely around the 10th week of pregnancy and can provide the baby with max nutrients needed.

Late Night Hunger During Pregnancy

Late night hunger is a common thing during pregnancy. This is because the baby requires a constant supply of energy and nutrients. So if you do not eat enough before going to bed, you might have to get up late at night to satisfy your hunger. To help with this problem, it is recommended that you take a nutritious and balanced meal before going to bed. Some of the most nutritious food you can take at that time are:

  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Whole Grains
  • Yogurt

Late Night Hunger During Pregnancy

When To Be Concerned

You should be worried if your baby is not getting enough blood and nutrient supply for more than a few days. If you are not getting enough supply of food, your baby might crave the food and exhibit symptoms like increased fetal movements and decreased fetal activity.


Do Babies Get Scared In The Womb?

There is no proper evidence for if babies can get happy or scared in the womb. Their experiences are restricted as the brain is not yet fully developed. Still, your baby can respond differently to staying hungry or full during day time

Can You Miscarry From Not Eating Enough?

If you do not eat enough energy required by the body, you might face the issues like miscarriage or premature births during the delivery. So it is always recommended to take a properly balanced diet.

Can Fetal Movement Declines As A Result Of Malnutrition

Yes, if the baby is deprived of the proper diet for longer periods of time, he/she might not have enough energy left to do proper movements. At first, the baby might move a little bit to get your attention. Later, as time passes, if the baby still does not get proper food.

What Week Does My Baby Start Eating In The Womb?

The baby starts to absorb the nutrients in the mother’s blood by the 3rd week, and the maximum absorbing quantity starts by the end of the 10th week. Placenta is the main bridge that provides the food and energy required for the baby.


Summarizing all of the topics, babies get energy from the nutrients present inside the mother’s blood, so a nutritious and well-balanced diet should be taken by the mother. Placenta acts as a bridge between the female body and the baby and provides all these nutrients. If you are feeling hungry, there is a chance that your body is also hungry, and they are making you feel hungry.

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