Rubbing my belly when I was pregnant wasn't something I really put much thought into. Rather, it was more of an innate response to my body's situation. There are so many amazing changes happening inside that growing baby bump, it only seems natural to want to (literally) get your hands on all that action. Of course you feel a special connection when you send your baby love with those belly pats, but can your baby feel you rub your belly? Because sharing those moments before birth can be special for both mom and baby.
Before your little one is born, all five sense are set in motion. The sense of touch is the first that babies develop, according to the website for What To Expect. This process begins just weeks after your little one is conceived, and she can respond to touch by eight weeks of pregnancy. As Heidelise Als, an associate professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston told Today's Parent, a baby can respond to their mother's touch while in the womb. It's not uncommon for mama to feel a little kick or movement from the baby in response to a touch on her belly.
When it comes to connecting with your baby, touch may be the most powerful tool. As Mother Nature Network reported, researchers at the University of Dundee in the United Kingdom found that fetuses respond stronger to a mother's touch than to the sound of her voice. Which means those little taps, rubs, and scratches throughout the day help to bring you and your baby closer together. (And you thought sharing a body was as close as two people could get.)
Bonding with your baby starts early on in your pregnancy, and using touch can help increase that bond. According to Parents magazine, no matter where you are, you can send little love messages to your baby with belly touches. Anytime throughout your day, you can let you little one know you're there and thinking of them. And it's pretty cool to know they can sense your touch and send you the same message in return.