06 February

Can the baby see in the womb?

Exposure to light in the womb is essential for unborn babies to develop healthy eyes, according to new research.Eyes depend on light to see, and a new study on mice found that the eyes also need light for healthy development during pregnancy. When the fetus is growing inside the uterus, the visual system begins to form as early as week 4 of pregnancy.

Cells from the developing brain tissue forms the two optic nerves on either side of the brain.

The visual pathway starts from the lens where the light is focused and then the light is perceived and processed by retinal cells and the information is passed on to the brain by the optic nerves and the final image processing happens in the brain. By week 16 it is said that the baby may be able to perceive light and by the third trimester, If a torchlight is shone on the belly of the pregnant mother the baby may actually sense the light and as a response may actually show movements inside. By Week 28 some baby’s may actually open their eyes for a short while when they are awake.

Eating a balanced diet during pregnancy like eating foods which have Vitamin A in particular like the leafy vegetables and fruits and ensuring that you take your prenatal vitamin is very important to ensure that your baby develops a good eyesight. But, the baby’s eyes develop even after birth and initially may have problems in focusing. So some babies may seem cross-eyed when they are born. Don’t worry, as they learn adaptation and focus the cross-eye comes down, but do check with your doctor if it seems too obvious and does not seem to be improving even after a month or two.  The color of the eye is dependent on the melanin pigmentation and it continues to be formed even after birth. The color of the eye is genetic and like the body, colour is not dependent on food.

About our blogs

We have put together weekly developments during pregnancy. These articles are only for information. Every pregnancy is different and every woman's experience may be different. We also have articles relating to women's health, infertility and plan to add information about newborn care. Through the blogs, videos and our online consultation services, we are trying to empower mothers (as well as soon-to-be-moms) with health information which is easily understandable. Our mission is to help mothers have a happy pregnancy and a very happy postpartum experience. 

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Pregnancy brings a new meaning to the concept of beauty to a woman. It is a period of immense joy, excitement and anxiety. The feeling of carrying a little soul within you is beautiful.

Last modified on Friday, 03 August 2018 15:49
Dr Padma

Dr Padma is a Family care physician and is the Founder and CEO of MedHealthTV.


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