11:51 25 November 2012
Researchers from Durham University have conducted a study which aimed to determine the reasons why unborn babies yawn while inside the womb.
Using 4D ultrasounds on 15 unborn babies, it was revealed that foetus' yawn an average six times per hour.
The study also reveals that the youngest babies yawn more often, but there is no difference between the sexes.
However, some academics were not convinced that babies yawn while inside the womb.
They argued that they simply open and close their mouths.
However, researcher Doctor Nadja Reissland said that they have proof to show that they are indeed yawning.
The researchers admit that they are not certain as to why babies do this though. They think that the long, slow stretch is the body’s way to develop the brain regions involved in the movement of the jaw.
Dr. Reissland reportedly wants to determine if yawning is a sign of brain development, so it could be one day added to indicators for doctors to use in determining whether the foetus is developing normally.
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