Appendix 3
Movement and Learning Patterns of the Unborn Child and The Development of the Senses





The fetal heart rate increases in response to scalp blood sampling and after tactile stimulation during amniocentesis, indicating that the fetus responds to stimuli that may be painful.
Before birth Nijhuis/Hepper, p 135
The sudden burst of body movements that occurred during amniocentesis may have been caused by painful stimulation. In each patient, the needle either struck the fetus or the fetus moved against the needle. 3rd trimester Hill, p 690
Pain pathways run from sensory receptors in the skin to those in the brain. Nerve endings that sense pain are at least as dense in the skin of a newborn as in an adult. Such receptors appear around the mouth in the 5th week after conception, and are present in the face, the palms, and the soles of the feet by the 9th week, spreading to the trunk, arms, and legs by the 13th week, and to all areas of the skin by the 18th week. The development of the neocortex, the largest part of the brain, begins at 6 weeks after conception, and by 18 weeks a full complement of nerve cells is present. The evidence thus suggests that by late in gestation the fetus has developed sufficiently to sense pain. from 5th week after conception Anand and Hickey, p 1322 & p 1326


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