New ultrasound technology, producing vivid 3D images, reveals complex behavior in unborn children from an early stage of development.
New ultrasound technology shows 12-week-old unborn child ‘walking’ in womb (Photo: BBC News).
Scans pioneered by Prof. Stuart Campbell at London’s Create Health Clinic show a 12-week-old fetus “walking” in the womb, reports BBC News.
Other pictures show fetuses apparently yawning and rubbing their eyes.
Campbell’s technology previously made news when it produced images of unborn babies appearing to smile. The professor has compiled the images in a book titled “Watch Me Grow.”
Unlike conventional 2D ultrasound images, used to measure growth, the new machines can give doctors information about fetal behavior.
“Maybe in the future it will help us understand and diagnose genetic disease, maybe even conditions like cerebral palsy which puzzles the medical profession as to why it occurs,” Campbell told the BBC.
His images show at 12 weeks, an unborn child can stretch, kick and leap around the womb long before the mother can feel movement.
While most doctors thought eyelids were fused until 26 weeks, Campbell’s pictures show the baby open its eyes from 18 weeks.
A whole range of typical baby behavior and moods can be observed beginning at 26 weeks, including scratching, smiling, crying, hiccuping and sucking.
Smiling was believed to not start until six weeks after birth.