Babies kicking in the womb are creating a map of their bodies -- ScienceDailyThe findings suggest that fetal kicks in the late stages of pregnancy -- the third trimester -- help to grow areas of the brain that deal with sensory input, and are how the baby develops a sense of their own body. The fast brainwaves evoked by the movement disappear by the time babies are a few weeks old. "Spontaneous movement and consequent feedback from the environment during the early developmental period are known to be necessary for proper brain mapping in animals such as rats. Here we showed that this may be true in humans too," explained study author Dr Lorenzo Fabrizi (UCL Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology). Kimberley Whitehead (UCL Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology) said: "We think the findings have implications for providing the optimal hospital environment for infants born early, so that they receive appropriate sensory input. For example, it is already routine for infants to be 'nested' in their cots -- this allows them to 'feel' a surface when their limbs kick, as if they were still inside the womb.