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Babies grimace in the womb

Researchers for Durham University discover babies practise grimacing in the womb.

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Babies learn to grimace in the womb

A baby in the womb at 32 weeks Credit: Durham University

Unborn babies "practise" facial expressions of pain while they are in the womb, scientists from Durham University say.

Foetuses have been pictured using 4D scanning technology showing what appears to be pain.

Researchers suggest the ability to grimace is a "developmental process" which could help doctors asess the health of the foetus.

The study, published in the journal "Plos One", found when the mother was 24 weeks pregnant, unborn babies were able to make simple expressions such as smiling.

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