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February 5, 2018

Preborn babies sense not just pain, but light and temperature

A baby in her first trimester - Preborn babies sense not just pain, but light and temperature
This past week, Students for Life of America’s Western Regional Director Reagan Barklage shared a post on the SFLA Facebook page, discussing her recent trip to see a massage therapist about some sciatica pain due to her pregnancy. She describes how her preborn baby boy did not like being moved out of his position, which was causing his mother pain. She then tells how her massage therapist calmed her baby for the rest of the session — and it’s amazing:

Barklage writes, “Before I left for DC a few weeks ago, I got a massage as Baby Barklage was sitting on my sciatic nerve and causing a lot of pain…. While getting the massage, he started freaking out and kicking really hard, because the therapist was kindly evicting him from his current living situation. The therapist stopped and said, “Hang on! We gotta calm baby down first.” The therapist then put some warm towels on me to get Baby B to calm down, and within seconds, he could feel the warmth and instantly settled down. The therapist was then able to gently move him without any stress from the baby. Here is why that situation blew my mind. 1) My therapist put my baby first, making sure he was calm and relaxed before working on me. 2) My baby could feel the warmth of a towel! WHAT?!”

It really is mind-blowing to learn about the development of preborn children. According to the Endowment for Human Development, which released a prenatal video series in partnership with National Geographic, by nine weeks after fertilization (according to six different studies), “the nerve receptors in the face, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet can sense and respond to light touch. Following a light touch on the sole of the foot, the fetus will bend the hip and knee and may curl the toes.” Between 12 and 13 weeks after fertilization (according to three different studies), the preborn child’s “whole body surface, except the top of the head and the back, responds to light touch.” By 24 weeks in the second trimester, the preborn baby “responds to pressure, movement, pain, hot and cold, taste, and light.”

Yes, even while still in the womb, babies can feel temperature changes.

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