Unborn babies ‘practice’ facial expressions in the womb

Unborn babies ‘practice’ facial expressions of pain in the womb, according to research from Durham and Lancaster universities.

4D scans of 15 healthy fetuses showed that they develop from making very simple one-dimensional expressions at 24 weeks, such as moving their lips in order to form a “smile”, to complex grimace expressions by 36 weeks.

The researchers suggest this is an adaptive process which enables the unborn baby to prepare themselves for life after birth.

Read more at Durham University