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When Can My Fetus Feel Pain?

Even when unexpectedly pregnant and considering abortion, knowing the intimate details of what is happening inside of your body is vital to helping you make the best decisions possible for you. It is important to educate yourself on where the fetus is in their growth journey and familiarize yourself with what is happening to your body and their body. This will help you consider your options – abortion, adoption, and parenting – with a clear mind.

When considering her options, many women wonder when their fetus can feel pain. Here’s what you need to know.


At this stage, poking a needle into a baby’s stomach causes stress hormones to be released. This indicates that the fetus can definitely feel pain by the early second trimester. Many factors indicate that a baby can feel pain earlier than this, though. Learn more about early pregnancy here. 

Babies will start to develop facial features. Fingers and toes are well-defined. Eyelids, eyebrows, eyelashes, nails and hair are formed. Teeth and bones become denser.

You may begin to feel the fetus moving around. The fetus is developing muscles and exercising them. Hair begins to grow on the head. The shoulders, back and temples are covered by a soft fine hair. The skin is covered with a whitish coating that is thought to protect fetal skin. This coating is shed just before birth.

The baby responds to sounds by moving or increasing the pulse. Finger and toe prints are visible. In this stage, the eyelids begin to part and the eyes open.


The baby continues to mature and develops reserves of body fat. At this point, hearing is fully developed. Your baby can hear your voice and other loud noises from outside of your body. They change position frequently and respond to stimuli including sound, pain, and light. The amniotic fluid begins to diminish as the baby grows.

The brain is developing rapidly at this time, and the baby can see and hear. This means that they are learning about the world outside of your body by experiencing it through your movements and experiences. Most internal systems are well developed, but the lungs may still be immature. He or she is about 18 inches long and weighs as much as 5 pounds.

During this stage, the baby continues to grow and mature. The lungs are close to being fully developed. The baby has coordinated reflexes and can blink, close the eyes, turn the head, grasp firmly, and respond to sounds, light, and touch.

It’s easy to think about the growth of your baby as a clinical event. But the female body is truly doing a miraculous thing when it creates and grows a life.

Many women report that, no matter what choice they make for their pregnancy, they feel changed from the very first moment a baby begins to grow inside of them.

You are not alone. We have support for you. 

Cline Center 


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