Unborn babies ‘practice’ communicating with mum

4G scans show babies pulling faces to use once they're born

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Fascinating research from a team at Durham University has shown that unborn babies practice facial expressions while still in the womb.

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4D scans of 15 healthy babies show that they develop from being able to make very simple, one-dimensional expressions at 24 weeks, such as moving their lips in order to form a “smile”, to pulling much more complicated expressions at 36 weeks.

Although the facial expressions, such as lowering the eyebrows, wrinkling the nose and stretching the mouth, are described as “pain” faces, it is not thought the babies are actually distressed but rather are preparing themselves to communicate with their mothers once they born that they are hungry or uncomfortable, by making grimaces or crying.

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