The fetus, a big sleeper

What does your baby's sleep look like in utero? You probably wonder, especially from the moment you start to feel it moving ... not always when you sleep.

  • Whether he kicks you, turns around, fidgets or stays calm ... for nine months your baby sleeps. However, little by little, different phases of sleep are put in place.

At first no sleep, dormancy

  • Before 20 weeks of gestation, specialists speak of a state of "dormancy" and not of sleep, because it does not yet have the characteristic cycles. Next, researchers observe periods of activity and immobility. It is from the 6th month of pregnancy, around the 28th week, that appears in your toddler sleep restless, close to paradoxical sleep in adults.
  • At 30 weeks, calm sleep - the equivalent of slow sleep in adults - sets in: the fetus is still, his face impassive and his heart rate and eye movements slow down. It is during this phase that growth hormone is secreted. This rest also allows the manufacture of proteins and helps improve the performance of its immune system. Around 36 weeks, at 8 months of pregnancy, these two phases alternate regularly. That's starting to look like a cycle worthy of the name!

A sleep independent of yours

  • Rest assured, the sleep of your future baby is totally independent of yours. However, from the 5th month of pregnancy, you may have noticed that at the end of the day, your baby begins to move and small movements are noticeable on the surface of your belly. This activity which is repeated every day shows that your future baby is synchronized according to a rhythm day / night, the circadian rhythm (from Latin circa diem : almost a day). A semi-regularity that will disappear at birth ...
  • Studies have shown that babies sleep most of the delivery and do not wake until the uterine contractions are strongest and during expulsion. If he wakes up during work, it can be a sign of fetal distress.
  • When he comes to the world, your baby will not lose his good old fetal habits: he will continue to sleep a lot, between sixteen and twenty hours in twenty-four hours. We must recover from the emotions of childbirth.

Isabelle Gravillon