The first time you feel that tiny kick in your belly is a moment you’ll cherish forever, even as some of those late night punches to your bladder are some you wish you could forget. If all those kicks and punches have got you wondering why do babies move in the womb? A new study has the answer and it’s got nothing to do with future soccer stardom.

While it might seem like your future soccer star’s movements are all designed to prepare you for the pain and lack of sleep you’ll soon be facing as a new parent, there’s actually a real reason for all that wiggling. According to new research, babies move in the womb to develop strong bones and joints.

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The study published in the science journal Development found that when babies move their limbs in the womb it helps stimulate molecular interactions, which then prompts cells and tissue to form bones and cartilage.

The study also found that limited movement in the womb can lead to brittle bones and abnormal joint development. Another reason why it’s important to keep track of all of those somersaults and acrobatics going on inside.

Do you remember the first time you felt your baby move? Share your stories in the comments.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: Herney via Pixabay

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