Scans show fetuses yawning in the womb


Starting a lifetime habit

Growing into a fully formed human being is a long process, and scientists have found that unborn babies not only hiccup, swallow and stretch in the womb, they yawn too…

While some scientists have previously suggested that fetuses yawn, others disagree and say it is nothing more than a developing baby opening and stretching its mouth.

But writing in the journal PLOS ONE on Wednesday, British researchers said their study was able to clearly distinguish yawning from “non-yawn mouth opening” based on how long the mouth was open…

Just in case you’ve been sitting up late at night wondering about a yawning foetus?

Nadja Reissland of Durham University’s department of Psychology, who led the study, said the function and importance of yawning in fetuses is still unknown, but the findings suggest it may be linked to fetal development and could provide a further indication of the health of the unborn baby.

“Unlike us, fetuses do not yawn contagiously, nor do they yawn because they are sleepy,” she said. “Instead, the frequency of yawning in the womb may be linked to the maturing of the brain early in gestation.”

“Yawn contagiously”? That would mean a crowd is needed in there to perpetuate that thesis. Where’s octomom when you need her?

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