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New scanning techniques have produced amazing pictures of babies inside the womb, which show babies apparently smiling and crying. The procedure has been pioneered by London obstetrician professor Stuart Campbell at the Create Health Center for Reproduction and Advanced Technology.  The new techniques, known as 3D and 4D scanning, make a more detailed picture examination of the fetuses possible.

The new pictures offer new insight into fetal behavior.

The techniques have captured images of fetuses yawning, blinking, and sucking their fingers.  They even seem to smile and cry and move their limbs at very young ages.

Campbell says, “There are many questions that can now be investigated.” He asks, “Does the fetus smile because it is happy, or cry because it has been disturbed by some event in the womb?” Campbell also wonders, “Why does a fetus blink when we assume its dark inside the uterus?”

Up to now, doctors did not think infants made expressions like those captured until after birth.  They previously thought babies learned to smile by copying their mothers.