Your unborn child in the womb not only does hiccup, swallow or stretch but also yawns, this is according to a new study. The study by Durham and Lancaster University scanned 15 healthy fetuses, and suggested that the yawning of a foetus could be another indicator for doctors to judge whether it is healthy or not. The study however has some disagreeing with it calling this yawning of the foetus as a mere mouth opening, but the study was quick to shut controversies by distinguishing between from non-yawn mouth opening based on the duration of mouth opening, and they did this by using the 4D video footage to closely examine all events where a mouth stretch occurred in the fetus.
The researchers used a newly developed criteria, the research team found that over half of the foetus mouth openings observed in the study were classed as yawns. The study was carried out on eight female and seven male fetuses from 24 to 36 weeks gestation.
The researchers also found that the yawning declined from 28 weeks and also that there were no specific differences between male and female foetuses’ yawning frequency. The study also said that the function and importance of yawning is still unknown, but the study findings suggest that yawning could be linked to feotal development.
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